Classic Hamburger Recipe

January 5th, 2008

Best Hamburger Recipe

Hamburgers, an essential ingredient for an All American summer (or if you live in Southern California, just another weekend). There is something irresistible about a burger that even the most devout advocate of haute cuisine cannot deny. Good friends grilling and drinking in the backyard and a little friendly competition.

Gourmet Hamburger Contest

A colleague of mine recently hosted his first ever 'Build-A-Better-Burger' Contest, and as you can imagine there were a myriad of extravagant hamburgers served. Each was designed to tantalize the taste buds of the competition. As with any competition (especially those where walking away with the pride of knowing you have conquered is the only prize) everyone brought their A-game.

Hamburger Recipes

Check out the list of delicious and gluttonous entries:

The host, Sean, not to be shown up on his own turf started things out with his 2650 calorie Cordon Bleu Burger consisting of patties stuffed with French country ham, havarti & Swiss cheeses, caramelized onions , sautéed mushrooms and homemade dijonnaise served on a butter grilled baguette. Ed, the sushi chef of the bunch, made an Asian-influenced burger with "Japanese pink mayo". You know, the whipped up mayonnaise with Sriracha that is commonly served on sushi rolls. Another contestant served the 'Killer California BLT burger' with applewood smoked bacon and every San Diegan's choice fat, the avocado. I heard that Bruce's 'Blueberry Bleu' cheeseburger was nothing short of a work of art.

I am not sure as to which burger took the prize, but I have zero doubt that every burger recipe was something to brag about. I only regret I was there to witness it! Oh, did I forget to mention I wasn't present. Why you ask? It was, what I can only assume, a calculated last minute invitation made with the intention of eliminating competition (and a day after Thanksgiving I might add). Well, probably not. Here is the thing though; anyone can make a decadent hamburger that weighs in at a whopping 2000+ calories . But for my money and my taste buds, the classic hamburger more than does the trick.

Hamburger Recipe

Simple as it seems a good plain hamburger is hard to come by now-a-days. Most of your basic hamburger recipes consist of grilled patties served with various condiments like ketchup, mustard, lettuce, relish and other toppings like cheese inside a sliced bun. I mean how hard can it be? What can possibly go wrong? Plenty I say even if you avoid a quick ride to those beloved golden arches. We all need to master the art of hamburgers but we have to start with a solid foundation. I encourage you to build a signature burger of your own. After all, who hasn't been fascinated with owning a bar that boasts the "best burgers in town"? But I assure you; to master the art of decadence you will need a classic hamburger recipe as that foundation.


Hamburger Patty Recipe

1 ½ pounds ground beef (80 percent lean) - this is the perfect balance of fat
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Cooking Hamburger

1. Spread the meat over a large surface like a plate or a glass pan sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Gently toss the meat with your hands to incorporate the seasonings. Do not overmix.

3. Divide the meat in to 4 portions and pat into 1-inch-thick patties, making a ¼ inch indentation in the center of each.

4. Rub each burger with a dab of vegetable oil.

5. Grill the burgers covered, indentation side up until seared well on the first side. This should take no more than 3 minutes. Whatever you do, don’t press on the burgers while they are on the grill! This will release all of the juices and the result will undoubtedly be a dry and crumbly.

6. Flip the burgers and continue to grill the other side until they reach your desired doneness. Again, don’t press on those burgers! Take a sip of your beer if you must do something.

7. Transfer the burgers to a plate and let them rest under a foil tent for 5 minutes. This step is necessary to lock in those juices.

8. I like my burger served on a toasted bun with a little mayo and ketchup. If the burger is cooked right, then I really don't need anything else. Not even cheese - I guess you can day I like to taste the beef.

goes well with :

Caramelize Onions

12 Responses to “Classic Hamburger Recipe”

  1. HumptyNo Gravatar Says:

    Nice hamburger recipe. Just wanted to let you know that I once got busy in a Burger King Bathroom ;)

  2. How to caramelize onions | Caramelized Onions Recipe Says:

    […] up any where from your omelet in the morning, sandwiches for lunch, mashed potatoes for diner, heck hamburgers for weekend, and tasty onion dip for a little beer snack. Heck, you can even make French onion soup […]

  3. Guacamole Recipe Says:

    […] goes well with: Classic Hamburger […]

  4. KeithTNo Gravatar Says:

    Having been a short order chef in running my own take-away restaurant in the UK for over 20 years I experimented with many ways to make simple tasty beef and turkey burgers. One technique for traditional beef burgers was for every pound of seasoned minced (ground) beef I added two slices of white bread, (crusts cut off), that had first been soaked in milk and then squeezed out almost dry and mixed well into the beef before forming into patties of 4oz each. This not only binds the minced beef, but adds tenderness to the meat.

    Turkey burgers can be done in a similar way. I also add some parsley and thyme stuffing mix to the minced turkey meat to add that extra flavour.

  5. FumiNo Gravatar Says:

    @KeithT Very cool! Growing up in Japan, my mother made hambaagu / hambaagaa (Japanese style hamburgers or hamburger steaks) by adding slices of white bread with crust cut off soaked in milk as well. Japanese hamburger texture is more similar to meatloaf and I am sure there are Italians out there that are also familiar with this technique as they use it when making Italian meatballs.

    I love adding fresh herbs from my garden to jazz up my burger. Cilantro is my current favorite.

  6. Keith BNo Gravatar Says:

    Nice and simple.

    One could if desired start with tenderloin done in a food processor,add just a touch of Bacon Fat.(Keep a very close watch on your grill if you add too much!!!)
    and some carmalized onion to the mix.
    Makes great”Steak House Burgers”


  7. Loans PeteNo Gravatar Says:

    :( it’s 3am here where I am kicking about the internet..I want a gourmet style steak meat & bacon fat burger (as above) ! Yeh with blue cheese and nice tomato’s

    Sweet .. :)


  8. raychelNo Gravatar Says:

    good for school work :)


  9. VitusNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi, am in the never-ending search of the perfect hamburger… and I always see/hear and ad here to “don’t overmix” – but this is the first time _ever_ I’ve seen “2. Gently toss the meat with your hands to incorporate the seasonings.”
    Please help me understand the “meat tossing technique” – seriously! Not kidding, no double meanings – just want to understand as it is a first for me to see in the search.
    BTW – the burgers from the competition all seemed v.delicious!

  10. Regena BegunNo Gravatar Says:

    I spent a whole year as an exchange student in Kyoto Japan, and I have to say I probably wouldnt have gotten by if it wasnt for a cheap dinner of udon a couple of times a week! There is even one shop where you can eat for free if you do 30 minutes of washing after, but I cant say I was ever that poor! Anyway, I found a load more tasty looking ideas at this udon recipe site.

  11. Evin CooperNo Gravatar Says:

    I’ve been searching for a simple, plain burger recipe for FOREVER. I’ve tried every combo and they’re always so over-seasoned that you have to match your toppings to the burger, or just boring. These were PERFECT. I used them to make a crap-ton of mini-burgers for my kiddos and they LOVE them. Dinner rolls, ketchup, 2 pickles = happy kids. This is an oooooold post but I thought I’d still drop you a line to say hey.

  12. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    Happy kids = Happy Mom. Glad to hear you like it. Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

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