After many years of research & experimentation, we have perfected the best hamburger seasoning recipe plus our tips for making and grilling perfect hamburgers!
There are some foods out there that when they are really good, rank as my all-time favorite foods. Hamburgers are one of those foods. A medium-rare, messy drippy and perfectly seasoned burger served with lettuce, tomato, and dill pickle would have to be high on my list of favorite foods.
While this post is ALL about the burger, if you are not a burger person, here are 16 other unique grilling recipes.
Now, if that burger is a little closer to medium, eh…I can pass. And if that burger is one that I could eat in a silk blouse without fear of dripping any of the juices…yeah, I’ll save my fat grams for something else.
Because we live in a free world I will grant you your degree of ‘doneness’ of your hamburgers. One of my beloved offspring won’t eat his burger unless there is not a sign of pinkness anywhere…I don’t understand it, but I grudgingly accept it.
However, we might just come to blows over the fat content of the burger. In my book, if you make hamburgers with lean ground beef you might as well just grill a chicken breast. So that’s my line in the sand.
When I worked at Williams-Sonoma several years back, I had the opportunity to try several of their seasonings and food items. Heretofore, we had always just sprinkled salt and pepper on our burgers when we put them on the grill and called it done.
But after using their burger seasoning, I quickly became a convert and came up with a recipe for the best hamburger seasoning that upped the flavor of the burger just enough without being THE flavor of the hamburger. I mix up a batch at the beginning of the summer and mix into our 80/20 ground beef or chuck for all our burgers.
Tips for Great Burgers
- Use fresh ground beef that is at least 20% fat.
- Handle your ground beef as little as possible. If you do add in seasoning, lightly toss it together with a large fork, like you would be tossing a salad.
- When you form your burgers, put a little dip or dimple in the middle of the burger. This will prevent them from bulging.
- Don’t salt your burger until you are putting it on the grill. Our burger seasoning doesn’t have salt in it. But when you put your burgers on the grill, definitely top them with salt and pepper to enhance flavor.
- Flip your burger as often as you like, but don’t push down with your spatula. That pushes all the delicious fat out of your burger and into your grill.
- Grill your buns!
- Use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness.
- 120°F (49°C) and below for a raw center
- 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare
- 140°F (60°C) for medium
- 150°F (66°C) for medium-well
- 160°F (71°C) and above for well-done
- Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. I tuck in a dessicant package from a vitamin bottle to make sure it doesn't clump up.
- Lightly mix 2 teaspoons per pound of 80/20 ground chuck. Don't over work your beef, just toss it with the seasoning.
Plus…this Hamburger Seasoning Mix is so good…it would make a great gift for that BBQ aficionado in your world. Just mix up a big batch of the stuff and put it in some fun jars and presto…great gift.
So in addition to this bang-up Hamburger Seasoning Mix, here are some other suggestions for making the best burgers:
- The Meat…Ideally, find a coarse ground beef of 20% fat. Once again, the leaner meat will result in a dryer burger and more than 20% fat will produce a burger that falls apart.
- Toss the meat with the seasoning lightly…handling your meat as little as possible. Form large balls (6-8 ounces each) and then compress them. Don’t over-handle, pat, mush, etc…
- Use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle, this will help the burger from bulging in the middle.
- Keep your burgers chilled until they are ready to cook
- If you’re grilling outside, heat your grill to medium-high/high and oil the grates.
- If you’re cooking inside using your cast iron skillet, turn the heat to high.
- Right before you are ready to cook your burgers, salt the outside to your taste.
- Place your burgers on the cooking surface and let it cook undisturbed for:
Medium Rare…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 4 minutes or internal temp of 130-135°
Medium…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 5 minutes or internal temp of 135-150°
Medium Well…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 6 minutes or internal temp of 150-165°
Well Done…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 7 minutes or internal temp of 165° and up
8. Whatever you do, DO NOT PUSH YOUR HAMBURGERS DOWN WITH YOUR SPATULA! You will squeeze out all the goodness when you do.
9. Let your burger sit for about 5 minutes over a rack before placing them on a bun. This will allow liquids to reabsorb or drain away so that your bun doesn’t get soaked.
Now that you have that wonderful burger, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want that crispy, delicious homemade dill pickle as a most necessary topping. Here is an easy to make recipe for perfect, homemade dill pickles
Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today. And, if you have some ground beef leftover after making these burger patties, I would highly recommend making ‘incredible meatballs.’
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