“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”

- Mark Twain

Classic Beef Burgers


Burgers are simple. Just a few techniques will increase your prospect for success. Once you have mastered a bare-bones burger, it is easy to expand your repertoire.


Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat (400°-450°F/200°-230°C).

In a bowl, combine the beef, water, ketchup, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands until well blended; do not over-mix. Gently form the meat into 6 patties no more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Refrigerate the patties until the grill is ready.

Choose your topping and prepare as needed.

Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the patties on the grate, cover the grill, and cook for 7 minutes, turning the burgers after about 4 minutes for medium (150°F/65°C). They should be slightly pink at the center. Add 1 minute per side for well-done (160° F/71° C). If you are making cheeseburgers, put 2 slices of cheese on each burger 1 minute before the burgers are ready to be removed from the grill.

To toast the buns, place them, cut side down, on the grate over the fire 1 minute before the burgers are ready. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve on the buns with the chosen topping. If the burgers will sit for even a few minutes, keep the buns and burgers separate until just before eating.


Makes 6 Servings
2 lbs (1 kg) ground beef chuck, 85 percent lean
5 tablespoons (3 fl oz/ 80 ml) ice-cold water
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Choice of toppings
12 slices good-quality American, provolone, or Cheddar cheese (optional)
6 hamburger buns, split


CLASSIC BURGER TOPPING ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) tomato ketchup, ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) mayonnaise, 6 thick beefsteak tomato slices, 6 bumpy, crunchy iceberg lettuce leaves, and 18 pickle slices.

¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) Roasted Tomato French Dressing (page 222). ¾ cup (4½ oz/ 140 g) Grill-Caramelized Onions and 12 slices crisply fried bacon;
or omit the bacon slices and make Bacon Burgers

SRIRACHA BURGERS ¾ cup (2.5 oz/75 g) Soy-Grilled Shallots and
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) Blue Cheese Dressing mixed with ¼ cup
(2 fl oz/60 ml) Sriracha sauce.

BREAKFAST BURGERS 1/3 cup (3½ oz/
105 g) Grilled Tomato Jam.
12 slices crisply fried bacon, and 6 fried eggs; use smoked Cheddar cheese and serve on toasted English muffins.

QUESO BURGERS 1/3 cup (5 oz/142 g) Green Chile Queso {page 223). ‘la cup (3 oz/90 g) Pickled Salsa. 1/3 cup (1 ½ oz/ 45 g) crumbled blue or yellow corn chips, and¾ cup (4½ oz/140 g) fire-roasted peppers.

MUSHROOM BURGERS WITH PORT KETCHUP ¾ cup (3 oz/90 g) grilled mushrooms. 1/3 cup {l oz/
30 g) Soy-Grilled Shallots
and ½ cup {4 oz 125 d Port Ketchup, use sharp Cheddar Cheese

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