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posted December 20, 2023

Classic Cheeseburger

Juicy beef patties, melty cheese, creamy mayo, sweet tomato, crisp lettuce and red onion, and finished with dill pickle chips, this Classic Cheeseburger is what burger dreams are made of.

Classic cheeseburger on black background.

Classic Cheeseburgers

There aren’t many things in life more satisfying than coking up some tasty burgers on the grill for your family and friends. The smoky aroma of beef in the air and the sound of the sizzle coming off the grill are intoxicating. The anticipation of sinking your teeth into that first juicy bite can be borderline torture, and you want to make sure you deliver on the expectation.

That’s where I come in. I’ll walk you through everything step by step along the way. From classic burger toppings, to useful tips, I’m going to give you everything you need to know to grill burgers with complete confidence. By the time we’re done, you’ll be turning out perfectly grilled, classic cheeseburgers every time.

Classic Cheeseburger Toppings

There’s really no wrong answer when it comes to toppings for cheeseburgers. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. But when I think of a truly classic burger, it has to include these fixings:

  • Cheese: When it comes to melting cheese on a juicy burger, there’s no better choice than American. You can also use cheddar cheese if you prefer.
  • Tomato: a nice, thick slice of tomato brings a little sweetness to the burger.
  • Lettuce: A nice, green leaf of Romaine lettuce will both enhance the taste of your burger, and make it look oh-so pretty.
  • Onion: Onions are a great way to get crisp in every bite. I prefer red onions, but you can use any kind.
  • Pickles: No burger would be complete without a few pickle chips. I like dill, but you can get fun with it.
  • Mayo: You can use ketchup, yellow mustard, or whatever sauce you like, but mayonnaise is my go-to for this classic.

Obviously, you’re free to top your burgers any way you want. However, for my money there’s nothing better than this classic combination of flavors.

Burger patties on baking sheet being sprinkled with seasoning.

Tips for Grilling Perfect Burgers

  • Quality beef. If you want a really flavorful, juicy burger, you have to start with a quality meat. I recommend using an 80/20 meat to fat ratio. This amount of fat really brings out that natural beefiness of your patties. You want purchase ground chuck or round, and stick with at least an 85/15 ratio. Otherwise, you’re going to start to lose some of that coveted beef flavor.
  • Season right. Nobody likes a bland burger. I use my Signature Beef Seasoning whenever I’m grilling burgers. It brings out and adds to the natural flavor of your beef without overpowering it. You can also go with equal portions Kosher salt and black pepper and still turn out some delicious burger patties.
  • Don’t over-flip. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is flipping your patties too much. You want to only flip them1-2 times so your patty crusts and retains all the juicy goodness.

Burger patties on grill grates being topped with cheese slices.

How Long to Grill Cheeseburgers

A great part about grilling burgers is that it doesn’t take very long to turn out a delicious meal for your family. Typically, you’re going to grill your patties for roughly 5-7 minutes per side, only flipping once if possible. It can take a little more or less time depending on the thickness of your patties, and your desired level of doneness. I have my Thermapen ONE on hand at all times while grilling, but any reliable food thermometer will work.

Temperatures for Burger Doneness

Everybody has their own preference when it comes to burger doneness, and it can be difficult to manage them all. I’ve included this temperature guide to help you get everyone’s order right every time.

  • Rare – 125 degrees F
  • Med Rare – 135 degrees F
  • Medium – 145 degrees F
  • Med Well – 155 degrees F
  • Well Done – 165 degrees F

Keep in mind, the FDA recommends that ground beef be finished to a temperature of 165 degrees F. Anybody that consumes beef cooked to a lower temperature, does so at their own risk (but I’ve always been a bit of a risk-taker).

Assembled burger on black background.

How to Make a Classic Cheeseburger

Making your own classic burgers at home is both super easy and fun. Here’s how to make perfect, mouthwatering burgers in just a few simple steps:

  1. Preheat your grill. Preheat your grill or smoker medium-high heat (400-450 degrees F). I love making burgers on my Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill, but you can do this on any grill easily. You’re going to be cooking to internal temperature around 150 degrees F for medium doneness. I like to use my Thermapen ONE, but any reliable food thermometer will do.
  2. Make the patties. Form your ground beef into 4-6 ounce patties. You want to make them a little bigger than your hamburger buns because they will shrink down a little during the cooking process. Season on both sides with my signature Beef Rub.
  3. Grill the burgers. Place the patties on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until about 10 degrees F below your desired doneness. You only want to flip them once to help retain as much flavor as possible.
  4. Add cheese and toast buns. Top each burger with a slice of American cheese and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt. This is the perfect time to throw your buns on the grill for toasting.
  5. Assemble your burgers. Spread some mayo on your buns and then double stack your burger patties on the bottom bun. Next, pile it high with crisp lettuce, red onion, a slice of tomato, and some dill pickle chips.

More Tasty Burger Recipes

If you’re in the mood to sink your teeth into more juicy and delicious burgers, then you’re in luck. Here are few more of my favorite burger recipes to grill for your next backyard BBQ:

Burger patties on grill grates over flame.

Classic Cheeseburger Recipe

Grill up more goodness. If you loved making these Classic Cheeseburgers, be sure to leave me a comment below and rate it 5 stars. You can find hundreds more delicious BBQ recipes just like this one, with how-to videos and useful tips, in the Hey Grill Hey app.

Hey Grill Hey is here to help you become a backyard BBQ hero so you can feed the people you love. Check us out on YouTubeInstagram, and Facebook to get more recipes, videos, and pro tips from Hey Grill Hey.

Classic cheeseburger on black background.

Classic Cheeseburger

Susie Bulloch
Juicy beef patties, American cheese, mayo, tomato, lettuce, onion, dill pickle, this Classic Cheeseburger is what burger dreams are made of.
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 10 mins
Total Time : 20 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 943kcal


  • 2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
  • 4 hamburger buns (regular or sesame seed)

Burger Toppings

  • 8 slices American or cheddar cheese
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 tomato (sliced)
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • pickle chips
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonaisse


  • Preheat. Preheat your grill or smoker to 400-450 degrees F.
  • Form patties. Form your ground beef into 4-6 ounce patties and season on both sides with my signature Beef Rub.
    2 pounds ground beef, 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
  • Grill the burgers. Grill patties 4-5 minutes per side, or until about 10 degrees F below your desired doneness.
  • Add cheese and toast buns. Top each patty with a slice of American cheese and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt. Toast buns during this time.
    4 hamburger buns, 8 slices American or cheddar cheese
  • Assemble your burgers. Spread some mayo on your buns, double stack patties, add desired topping ingredients, and enjoy.
    1 head romaine lettuce, 1 tomato, 1 red onion, 2 Tablespoons mayonaisse, pickle chips


Calories: 943kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 4614mg | Potassium: 1222mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 14290IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 605mg | Iron: 8mg
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