Best Burger Patty

The hamburger. Such a simple concept. More often than not, I see people overthinking what makes the best hamburger recipe. They add loads of spices and treatment of the meat, add-ins, burger toppings and more.

Read these 10 tips for better burgers to make every single hamburger recipe better by miles: juicy, flavorful and delicious! You won't beleive #4! #hamburgerrecipes #burgerrecipes


Not that I am opposed to any of these, but what really matters is the actual beef and how you make the patty. Let me share with you a basic burger patty recipe to get you started on the way to juicy and delicious burgers in a skillet, on the grill, air fryer or even in the oven.

Ground Beef for Burgers

Ground beef, aka called hamburger, is made from ground or finely minced beef. Leftover pieces from larger cuts are often used to ensure that no pieces go to waste, although these pieces are usually fattier and tougher, which is why they are being discarded in the first place. 

gloved hands showing how to make a burger patty using ground beef

The process of grinding the meat tenderizers (much like using a meat mallet) and makes it easier to eat because it shortens the fibers making them simpler to chew (same concept as why you cut steak or a roast against the grain).

Types of Ground Beef

Picking ground beef, sometimes referred to as beef mince, for burger patties can be confusing with all of the terminology. Here is a quick guide to better read the packaging.

  • Regular “Ground Beef”: Contains the highest fat content, about 25 to 30%, cut from trimmings of cuts including brisket and shank. It is also the most flavorful and juicy since it has the highest fat content. This is often my beef of choice for making hamburgers, but beware, the patties will shrink a little while cooking since it has a high fat content.
  • Ground Chuck: Contains 15 to 20% fat, cut from a mixture of trimmings around the shoulder. This cut can also be used for hamburgers and has less fat, often labeled as “lean ground beef.”

    But beware that you may also find that it doesn’t hold together as well on the grill (unless you add binders like breadcrumbs or egg) and may not be as juicy.
  • Ground Round: Contains about about 12% fat and is ground from the lower end of the animal, near the tail area. This type of ground beef doesn’t have much flavor and is sometimes labeled as “extra lean”.

    It is best for chili or homemade hamburger helper due to the low fat content, eliminating the need to drain the fat. Since it doesn’t have much flavor, it really needs to simmer in spices and aromatics to give it taste and to tenderize the meat.
  • Ground Sirloin: This is one of the leanest, but also most expensive, since it is made from a cut of beef that is actually more desirable as a whole. It contains 10% to 14% fat.

    You might see this one advertised on the menus of restaurants as the “speciality burger”, but since it is so lean, it actually needs a lot of help to make it taste good.
close up of burger patty recipe cooked with toppings

10 Tips for the BEST Homemade Beef Burgers!

  1. Start with Quality Ingredients. Use good old ground beef with a 80/20 fat content. It will have flavor, be juicy and is fairly inexpensive. If you are grilling, some of the fat will drain off during the cooking process anyhow.
  2. Seasonings. A good burger doesn’t need spices and herbs blend into the meat. If I’m adding lots of flavorful toppings, like my Red Wine Shiitake Burger, I don’t add anything! If I’m making burgers for a party and they need a little kick, I’ll add my Homemade Onion Soup Mix.
  3. Don’t Overwork the Meat. Toss, don’t blend the meat. Processing too much will create a tough burger. I break the ground beef into little pieces as I add it to the mixing bowl and then gently toss with pre-mixed spices (if I’m using them) before forming into a patty. Toss and pack your patty instead of kneading. Again, working the meat too much will create a tough burger. I can’t stress this enough.’Toss, don’t blend the meat. Processing too much will create a tough burger. I break the ground beef into little pieces as I add it to the mixing bowl and then gently toss with pre-mixed spices (if I’m using them) before forming into a patty. Toss and pack your patty instead of kneading. Again, working the meat too much will create a tough burger. I can’t stress this enough.
  4. Burger Press or Make a Well. Make uniform patties using a burger press. After removing, score meat and put a small well in the center. This prevents your hamburgers from shrinking up, become bloated in the center and looking like a UFO.
  5. Salt and Pepper. Save the salt for last. Salt will enhance flavor, but it will also dry out your meat. If you are merely seasoning plain meat, wait and season right before you put it on the grill. You can also add salt after the cooking process. I like using a pink Himalayan or Black Salt for a crunchy and impactful finish. This is also when you can add pepper.
  6. Freeze to Secure. Freeze patties for 30 minutes before putting on the grill. This will help the meat congeal and hold together through the cooking process.
  7. Quick Heat for Juicy Burgers. Initially place burgers over direct heat to sear the outside and create the flame grilled look, but then move them to indirect heat to continue cooking. Fire dries things out and you don’t want it to take all the moisture out of your burger.
  8. Don’t Press Down! Never, ever, press down on your burger patty with a spatula. This will do nothing but squeeze out those blessed juices (and flavor).
  9. Resting Burgers. Let them rest before eating. This is an essential step for any piece of meat, but often overlooked for hamburgers. It allows the juices to redistribute and absorb back into the meat fibers. Cutting in too soon will let them to escape to nothing but your plate or cutting board.
  10. Simple is Best. Don’t overthink it. Use the best ingredients and keep it simple.

What Temperature Should My Burger Be?

Even though I prefer a rare steak, burgers should be a little more well done than a steak. The reasoning behind this is that after taking a ride through the meat grinder, more surface space has come in contact with outside elements, thus raising the risk for potential yuckies.

Safely handling the meat, getting it fresh, cooking it to medium-rare at a minimum or even freezing it to kill of some of the yucks will help ensure that your burgers are safe to eat. Use a digital meat thermometer to make sure you reach the right temp and remember that carry over cooking will raise the temperature an additional 5°F.

Even if you prefer a rarer steak, don’t fear a more well done burger. Because all those fibers have already been shortened, even if you do cook it to medium-well, it won’t be chewy or taste like leather. 

Here is a burger temperature chart (which varies from other beef temperature charts). Keep in mind that the thickness of your burger patty will greatly determine the cooking time to achieve desired doneness.

  • Rare: 125°
  • Medium-Rare: 135-145°
  • Medium: 145-150°
  • Medium-Well:105-155°
  • Well Done: 155-160°
Burger Temperature Chart

How to Cook a Burger Patty

A good burger can be made several different ways. Pick which works best for your lifestyle and family. No grill? No problem!

How to Make Hamburgers in the Oven

Most people overlook making a beef burger in the oven, but it is really easy! Place your burger patties on a parchment lined baking sheet, or even better a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet so the juices don’t pool around it. Simply bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, depending on desired doneness. 

If you want to add cheese, place a slice of cheese on the burger patty after it is done cooking, turn off the oven, close the door and let the residual heat melt the cheese for 1 minute. Still allow it to rest before dressing.

How to Make Burgers on the Stove

I don’t why people ask this questions considering that most of the burgers you’ve had in your lifetime were probably cooked indoors. There isn’t a giant grill going outside Red Robin.

Restaurants burgers are generally cooked on a griddle, which is just easier than a frying pan, but essentially the same thing. Just heat up a skillet and cook on either side for 3-4 minutes or until your desired level of doneness. We have a detailed post on how to make skillet hamburgers here. I always prefer a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, but any pan will do!

How to Make Burgers on the Grill

Likely the most popular way to make a burger, you can use a charcoal or gas grill.

Preheat the grill to 300°F and grease the grates with vegetable oil. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping several times. Place a slice of cheese on after it reaches the desired temperature and then cover the grill to steam the cheese for about 1 minute.

How to Make Burgers in the Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 370°F and spray lightly with cooking spray or use a parchment air fryer liner.

Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes. Place cheese on the patty after reaching desired temperature and then cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Best Burger Toppings

Listen, how you choose to dress your hamburger recipe is purely up to you and your taste, but I’d be remiss to not list out a few condiments to enhance your basic hamburger. These are just the classics.

Next, pick you bun. The most classic are sesame seed or brioche buns, but pretzel buns are quickly catching up in the race.

Commonly asked Burger Patty Questions

Can hamburgers be frozen?

Yes, burgers can be frozen either raw or cooked. Sometimes people even freeze raw hamburgers so they have time to congeal and are less likely to fall apart on the grill or to attempt killing some of the bacteria that could be on the meat after grinding. 

You can also freeze a cooked burger. I suggest airtight plastic bags so you can get as much air out as possible. If you freeze a stack, separate them with parchment or wax paper. Freezing them individually makes for a simple meal for one in a jiffy! 

Can I make burgers ahead of time?

You can make both the patties or cooked burgers in advance. If you are having a large party, try parcooking the burgers the day before or before your guests arrive, then you can spend less time manning the grill and more time having fun.

Simply put the cooked patty back onto the grill for 1 minutes on each side to heat it back up again. 

Do burger patties need eggs?

Burger patties do not require eggs or breadcrumbs, although some recipes call for them. When you add either or both of these elements, you’ll get a slightly tougher texture more reminiscent of meatballs or meatloaf. For this reason, hamburger patties are more fragile, but will be tender. 

Can burgers be pink in the middle?

Sure! You can make a burger rare and you know I am a huge advocate for eating beef no less than medium-rare, however burgers might be the only exception to the rule for several reasons. See above on our whole section for what temperature to cook a burger too.

Make it a Meal

Add a few of our favorite side dish recipes to make your burger a whole meal. Nothing pairs better than potatoes! Sweet potato fries, air fryer French fries or even a standard baked potato in the oven are great options.

And also add some veggie to keep it colorful! Best Corn on the Cob Seasoning, Seasoned Peas and Onions, Red Cabbage Slaw, Deviled Egg Mac Salad, Southern Fried Corn, Vinegar Coleslaw and Homemade Baked Beans are all great options.

More Burger Recipe Ideas

A basic hamburger is a great way to get started and can’t be beat, but sometimes you are craving something a little extra. Here are a few gourmet burgers and sliders that might interest you.

close up of teriyaki burger recipe

Pineapple Teriyaki Burgers

4.58 from 7 votes
Pineapple Teriyaki Burgers are the ultimate in juicy and sweet gourmet burgers using field greens, onion jam, pineapple slices and teriyaki sauce.
See The Recipe!
fork cutting into an open face pizza burger

Open Face Pizza Burgers

4.63 from 8 votes
A juicy BUBBA burger on top of a toasted English muffin topped with pizza sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese and zesty pepperoni bites.
See The Recipe!
head on image of a sliced hot honey burger

Hot Honey Burgers

4.67 from 6 votes
A juicy BUBBA burger topped with chipotle mayo, pepper jack cheese, fresh butter lettuce, tangy pepper spread, sweet and spicy honey and all held together with a poppy seed onion bun
See The Recipe!
Photo Credit: Mariusz Szczawinski

Best Burger Patty Recipe

5 from 6 votes
The perfect burger patty recipe plus 10 tips to make any burger recipe the absolute BEST!
Servings: 6



  • 2 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 6 hamburger buns , toasted


  • Divide the meat into six portions, and form the patties with your hands or a burger press. (Mine were 1/3 lb. each and about 1 ½” thick.) Place the patties onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • If you are using a finger or a spoon, create a well in the top of each burger. This will prevent the burger from shrinking up and bloating in the middle.
  • Cook the burger patty as desired.
  • After removing, allow to rest for 5 minutes and season as desired.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments and star ratings.


Calories: 504 kcal, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Protein: 30 g, Fat: 32 g, Saturated Fat: 12 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 107 mg, Sodium: 314 mg, Potassium: 461 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Vitamin A: 0.4 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 89 mg, Iron: 4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 504
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: burger patty recipe, burger patty seasoning, how to make a burger patty, how to make hamburgers
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
angle view of double burger patty with cheese and burger toppings
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love all the great information you included in this post. It’s so much more than a recipe. It’s a complete guide to the best burger.

  2. Nice post with plenty of good tips that will make a difference. I must admit that I love my burger press after making them by hand for more than twenty years-LOL! I settled for a simple stainless steel manual press. Press will handle up to 8oz and is 5-inch diameter. I usually keep the burgs at 5oz, but also made some nice 6oz. This press has indents to make the dimple that keeps the burgs from turning into UFOs. Look for “Calivo” on a popular online site. And yes, nothing wrong with pulling them out of the freezer and throwing them on the grill or stove (cast iron!). Just allow a little more time. Also, a meat thermometer is an essential tool. Have fun!

    For those who are about to cook, we salute you!

  3. I agree that you don’t need much additives to put in the burger meat. I prefer to mix the ground beef with some salt, pepper, red onions and garlic. I keep it simple, most of the flavour of the burger has to come from the fat content of the burger and the top quality meet.

  4. Thank you for sharing these tips. It is so important to know how to contain the juices and flavors of the burger as it cooks. Great post!

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips. I’m sure they will help me take my burger recipe from good to great. Maybe I’m just overthinking it like you mentioned.

  6. These are really great tips! It’s easy to make an okay burger, but if you put a little extra work into it you can come away with a really delicious burger. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  7. I was surprised that ground beef could have a fat content of 20/80. This was a surprise because I would have thought that all meats would have a higher fat level. Another thing that surprised me was that the cut of the meat makes a difference in taste as well.

    1. The 20/80 was a typo on my part! Thanks for catching that and I have now fixed it. But yes, the cut of beef will most certainly impact taste.