Basic Grilled Burger

You don't need more than ground beef, salt and pepper to make the perfect grilled burger. Just pay attention to buying the right beef and shaping the patty the right way.

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Basic Grilled Burger

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Total Time: 25 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 to 1½ pound ground beef chuck 80% lean meat
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • toppings and condiments


  1. Gently mix the beef with the salt and pepper. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and then form the hamburgers, being careful not to over-handle the meat. One good way to do this is to throw the meat back and forth between your hands like a baseball, packing the meat each time you catch it. Flatten the balls into patties, making an indentation or divot in the center of each patty.
  2. Pre-heat the grill until hot (if using charcoal, coals would be covered with white ash; if using gas, pre-heat for at least 10 minutes). You should be able to hold your hand about 2-inches over the grill for only 2 to 3 seconds before pulling it away. Place burgers on grill, season with salt and pepper, and cook to desired degree of doneness (see below), flipping once and never pushing down with the back of a spatula.
    Cooking Times for Burgers:
    Medium Rare – 4 minutes per side
    Medium – 5 minutes per side
    Well – 6 minutes per side
  3. Lightly toast the hamburger buns, either in the oven or on the grill. Place the cooked burger patties on the toasted hamburger buns and serve the burgers with your choice of toppings – tomato ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, etc…
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