I’ve mentioned before that my husband isn’t a big fan of ground beef and because of this I didn’t cook it for YEARS.
But then we had kids.
They’ve DEVOURED everything I’ve ever made with ground meat – homemade Italian meatballs and homemade breakfast sausage and egg roll in a bowl and the best ground beef taco meat don’t stand a chance in our house.
I’ve recently added a classic recipe to the list too: the best burger recipe. And wouldn’t you know it, the kids can’t keep their hands off of them!
I’m calling this “the best burger recipe” and you should know that I don’t take that title lightly.
Only a few recipes are worthy to be called “the best” in my book and they all have to meet the following requirements:
- Easy to Make. If it’s too complicated, I know I won’t do it again (which negates “the best” title, don’t you think?)
- Dependable. I want to make this recipe over and over again and it must work every single time.
- Simple Ingredients. If I don’t already have what I need FOR A BURGER RECIPE, then it’s too complicated.
- Worthy of Feeding Company. I almost always make a new recipe (or two) when we’re having company over, and every “the best” recipe goes through third-party testing.
As of this posting, I have 369 recipes on this blog and only FIVE are worthy of “the best” label:
- The Best White Sandwich Bread
- The Best Scrambled Eggs
- The Best Stove-top Mac and Cheese
- The Best Ground Beef Taco Meat
- The Very Best Slow Cooker Carnitas
Sure, I have TONS of recipes that are amazing… cast iron skillet cornbread and Thai peanut sauce and bacon chicken Caesar salad wraps and homemade chicken nuggets are on my meal plans constantly because they’re all smack-yo-mama delicious.
But they haven’t earned the title of “the best.”
This burger recipe though? I assure you – it’s the best burger recipe you’ll have all summer!
Odds are you’ve had burgers in the past, and I bet they’ve been pretty good. But have you had a good burger at someone’s house?
I don’t know what tricks restaurants use to make their burgers moist and juicy and to be honest with you, I don’t think I want to know.
Cooking an amazing burger at home is a different ballgame, and I have a few tricks to share to ensure you’re consistently making the very best burgers you can!
The Best Burger Recipe
I’ve tested this recipe using 80/20, 85/15 and 90/10 ground beef and they all have pros and cons to them.
Our most amazing, juiciest burgers came from the fat in the 80/20 ground beef. The 85/15 came in second place and the 90/10 came in a distant third. In fact, the 90/10 was so distant that no one asked for seconds…
In my opinion, go with the 80/20 or 85/15 if at all possible. Save the 90/10 for other ground beef recipes.
And in case you’re wondering, no, you can’t just simply add butter or oil or bacon grease or lard or any other fat to a pound of 90/10 or 93/7 ground beef and say it will make up the difference. It didn’t work.
My family is committed to buying grass-fed ground beef because it contains more B vitamins than conventional meat (and my hubby needs all the B’s he can get!). We’re blessed that our local ALDI store carries grass-fed ground beef, and my local Kroger and Costco do as well.
If you don’t have access to these stores OR your local stores don’t carry grass-fed ground beef, I recommend Butcher Box. You can read my honest review of their products here, and that’s the beef I used to test half the batches of these burgers.
I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with a variety of spices to add to this burger recipe. I tried…
… and of course I tried “a little of this and a little of that” of what I had in my spice cabinet.
What came out the best though? The spice that makes these burgers worthy of “the best burger recipe” title? Homemade Dry Onion Soup Mix.
I keep a big batch of this in my pantry for my homestyle classic pot roast, and on a whim I grabbed it one day to make burgers.
OH MY GOODNESS. ** insert all the heart eyes and drooling emoticons here ** They were SO DELICIOUS, I didn’t want to finish my burger. My kids asked for seconds!!
My homemade dry onion soup mix calls for dry beef bullion, which is VERY hard to find without MSG, so I also tested the burger recipe without it… IT’S JUST AS GOOD!
If you’re starting with 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef like I’m telling you to, then you don’t necessarily need to add moisture to your burger. The meat and my homemade dry onion soup mix will do the trick.
However, sometimes it’s fun to make a burger so moist that juices are literally dripping all over your face.
On those occasions, consider adding a splash or two of liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce or olive oil to the meat before you make the patties. You can also add ¼ Tbsp of butter to the center of each patty as well.
A Few Other Tricks for The Best Burger Recipe
Ground Turkey: I haven’t tried this recipe using ground turkey, but I’m sure you could and it would turn out okay. Ground turkey is usually much leaner than ground beef, so you’ll definitely want to add some fat to your mix. They won’t be “the best,” but they’ll be pretty stinkin’ good.
Bun-sized Burgers: The sizes of hamburger buns seems to be all over the place lately. I took these pictures with Simple Truth whole wheat buns from Kroger. They are just over 3″ in diameter and fit a 1/4 lb burger perfectly. I’ve seen much bigger buns before, so make sure you gauge the size of your bun before shaping your patties.
- 3″ bun = 1/4 lb burger (photo above, on the right)
- 4″ bun = 1/3 lb burger (photo above, on the left)
- 5″ bun = 1/2 lb burger
Stretching the Meat: I typically suggest stretching your meat at home by adding fillers like rolled oats, shredded vegetables, lentils or legumes. I don’t recommend that for this particular recipe because these changes will significantly affect the texture of the beef.
Batch Cooking: Make a double or triple batch whenever you can, since these burgers tend to go quickly. Plus it means you won’t have to cook again on another night!
- 1 lb 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef, room temperature
- ¼ cup of homemade dry onion soup mix
- 1 tsp olive oil, liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 Tbsp butter (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and dry seasoning. Add optional ingredients, if using, and mix together with your hands until well combined.
- Note: You can use a stand mixer to mix the ingredients, but take care to not over mix. This will result in a tough and chewy burger.
- Divide the ground beef into either 3 or 4 equal pieces and form each piece into a patty.
- Preheat your grill or cast iron skillet to medium heat.
- Place each patty on the grill or skillet and let it cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Carefully flip just once and let the burger cook on the other side for another 3-5 minutes, or until the burger has reached desired doneness.
- Remove to a plate and allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. This lets the juices redistribute among the burger.