Recipe for Basic Burgers | Almanac.com

Basic Burgers

4 servings
Preparation Method
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Nothing beats an old-fashioned hamburger, and the best burgers are really quite basic.  

I remember the old days when my mother always added an egg and some bread crumbs to the mix, “to bind it together.” In reality, she was probably stretching the meat to make that extra patty.

Today, I leave out the crumbs. I simply season the ground beef, throw it on the grill, and top it with a selection of cheese, greens, and grilled vegetables—whatever strikes my fancy. From start to finish, I can serve dinner in 20 minutes. 

A word on seasoning: Don’t just dust salt on the exterior of your burger patties. It’s best to put the ground beef in a bowl, break it up, and sprinkle evenly with salt.  Then shape your burgers. Do not overwork ground beef. Once it’s in the shape of a patty, stop!

Which Beef for Burgers?

When you’re making hamburgers, use the cut of beef that best suits your taste and budget.

  • I generally use ground beef (80/20 or 85/15). I prefer a little fat in my burger for flavor and moistness—and it’s cheaper, too. Watch your burger carefully for grease flare-ups and don’t overcook. 
  • For richer taste and more flavor, splurge for ground chuck. Cut from the shoulder, ground chuck ranges from 15 to 20 percent fat, and makes a gourmet burger.

Please comment on what you think makes the best burger! There’s always room for improvement.

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 buns
Hamburger toppings

Combine first three ingredients and shape into four 6-ounce hamburger patties.

Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Grill the patties, covered with the grill lid, over medium-high heat (350 degrees to 400 degrees) 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until beef is no longer pink. Grill the buns 1 minute on the cut side, or until they are lightly toasted. Top with beef patty and your favorite toppings.

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