How to Make Perfect Burgers

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If you want to know how to make perfect burgers, then you came to the right place. I’ll help you grill picture perfect burgers every time.

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Picture Perfect Burgers

Today we’re tackling the ultimate backyard classic: the Perfect Burger. I’m talking about juicy, flavorful patties fresh off the grill, nestled in a toasted bun and loaded with all the fixings; a thick slice of ripe tomato, crisp rings of red onion, tangy pickle chips, and a leaf of buttery lettuce. Add some creamy mayo, and a touch of ketchup and zesty mustard, and you’re in burger heaven. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or just starting out, I’ll walk you through every step to achieve burger perfection. Get ready to become the talk of the neighborhood with these mouthwatering, perfect burgers.

The Best Beef for Burgers

The best burger starts with using the right beef for your patties. I recommend using ground chuck with an 80/20 meat to fat ratio. If you go with a higher fat ratio, your burgers may start to fall apart when the heat kicks in. If you go too lean with your beef, you can end up with dry burger patties. I find 80/20 is the perfect ratio for juicy, flavorful burgers that hold together.

Burger patties being formed on baking sheet with gloved hands.

Burger Toppings

The topping possibility for burgers is seemingly endless, but for this recipe I wanted to provide you with some classic toppings sure to please the crowd. Make sure you’ve got these options on hand, and the odds are good you’ll keep everyone happy:

  • butter lettuce (whole leaf)
  • tomato (thick sliced)
  • red onion (thin sliced)
  • pickle chips
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • mustard

Keep in mind burgers are easy to customize, so you can go as crazy here as you want. If you want to throw some of my Homemade Smoked Bacon and your favorite BBQ sauce on, who’s stopping you?

How Long to Grill Burgers

A great part about burgers is that it doesn’t take long to grill a full, delicious meal for your family. Typically, you’re going to grill your patties for roughly 4-5 minutes per side, only flipping once if possible. Time can vary a bit depending on patty thickness, your grill, and your desired level of doneness. Make sure to use a reliable instant-read thermometer (like my Thermapen ONE) on hand, and refer to the temperature guide below:

  • Rare: 125 degrees F
  • Medium Rare: 135 degrees F
  • Medium: 145 degrees F 
  • Medium Well: 155 degrees F
  • Well Done: 160 degrees F
Beef patty grilling directly on grill grates.

How to Grill Perfect Burgers

Now that you know all the burger basics, let’s get grilling. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be sinking your teeth into perfect burgers in no time:

  1. Preheat. Set your charcoal grill (or gas grill or smoker) for high heat, around 400-450 degrees F.
  2. Form patties. Form your ground beef into ½ pound patties, but be careful not to over-handle. Once you’ve formed your patties, season them generously with some of my signature Beef Rub. You can also use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder, or use your preferred burger seasoning. I’ll teach you the techniques for perfect burgers, but feel free to make them your own.
  3. Grill the burgers. Place your burger patties directly on the hot grill grates, and let them cook for 4-5 minutes per side. You want to allow your burgers to cook through and develop a nice sear all around, but you want to minimize flipping. The less you turn your patties, the more you’ll lock in all that tender, juicy beef flavor.
  4. Toast buns. When your patties reach your desired level of doneness (135 degrees F for medium rare) add your buns to the grill for toasting. This step is totally optional, but I highly recommend it.
  5. Assemble your burgers. Once your buns are toasted, pull them for assembly. spread some mayo on the bottom bun, then top with a leaf of butter lettuce. Place your patties, then top with thinly sliced red onion, pickle chips, a thick slice of tomato, and of course, ketchup and mustard. Again, burgers are easy to personalize, so go with what you love here.
Patties on grill grates with flames rising around them.

Tips for Perfect Burgers

If you do nothing more than follow the recipe, then you’ll end up with tasty and awesome looking burgers. However, I’ve got a few tips to help make your backyard the best burger joint in town:

  • Quality meat. If you want a really flavorful, juicy burger, then you have to start with a quality meat. I recommend using an 80/20 meat to fat ratio for the most beefy flavor.
  • Minimal flipping. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is flipping your patties too much. You want to only flip them 1-2 times so your patty crusts and retains all the juicy goodness.
  • Customize. The great thing about burgers is you can personalize them to your preferences. I’ll help you nail the grilling and give you some condiment and topping suggestions, but this is your time to shine. Feel free to give your burgers your own touch.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to sides to serve alongside your perfect burgers, there are a lot of ways to go. You can always go the traditional route of French fries, and I’ve got an recipe for them in this post. If you want to take your burger night to the next level, then try some of these sassy sides next time:

Perfect burgers stacked with toppings on a black surface.

More Flavorful Burger Recipes

Once you perfect the art of grilling the perfect patty, you’ll be looking for excuses to make them all the time. You’re in luck, because I’ve been hard at work coming up with some of the best burger recipes you can imagine. You can download the Hey Grill Hey app to see all the killer burgers I have available, but here are few of my personal favorites to try at your next cookout:

Perfect Burger Recipe

Make Perfect Burgers following this simple recipe, then give it a 5-star rating and tell me all about your experience in the comments. If you want to learn the ins and outs of making all your favorite meats perfectly, then head over to The Grill Squad. I’ve got Pitmaster classes with how-to videos and step-by-step picture guides to help you become a backyard BBQ hero.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you can be the first to get grilling tips, smoking suggestions, and more incredible recipes like this one. And don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel where I’ve got a whole how-to series for BBQ beginners, or just to brush up on your skills.

How to Make Perfect Burgers

By: Susie Bulloch
0 from 0 votes
If you want to know how to make perfect burgers, then you came to the right place. I'll help you grill picture perfect burgers every time.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings4 people
Save this recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get the latest from Hey Grill Hey every week!
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Burger Toppings

  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1 red onion thin sliced
  • pickle chips
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonaisse
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard


  • Preheat. Set your grill or smoker to 400-450 degrees F.
  • Form patties. Form your ground beef into ½ pound patties, then season on both sides with my Beef Rub, or equal parts salt. pepper, and garlic powder.
    4 pounds ground beef, 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
  • Grill the burgers. Grill patties 4-5 minutes per side, flipping as little as possible. Cook to your desired doneness, 135 degrees for medium rare.
  • Toast buns. When your patties are close to being done, add your buns to the grill and toast them as well.
    4 hamburger buns
  • Assemble your burgers. Spread some mayo on the bottom bun, then top with a leaf of butter lettuce. Place your patties, then add the rest of your toppings and sauces, and enjoy.
    1 head butter lettuce, 1 tomato, 1 red onion, pickle chips, 2 Tablespoons mayonaisse, 2 Tablespoons ketchup, 2 Tablespoons mustard


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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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