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Chefs At Home

Summer Bites: this is how you make the perfect hamburger

Chef Tony Matassa teaches us how to make a juicy classic hamburger

We’ve all been there: that moment when the craving for a juicy and delicious hamburger just hits you and leaves you breathless. And if you’re anything like us, not just any plain ol’ burger will do. We need the best and only the best to satisfy that desire for one of most popular fan favorite foods in the US. Thankfully, we have the Chef Tony Matassa of the BBQGuys (where they have TONS of great grilling recipes) to help us with creating some grilled perfection right from the comfort of our home. Chef Tony has over 12 years of grilling expertise, so he knows a thing or two about making something that is truly special (that’ll also hit all the right craving spots). Check out his classic burger recipe that he’s shared with HOLA! USA for National Hamburger Day.

Classic Hamburger Recipe by Chef Tony Matassa from BBQGuys


  • 2 lbs 80/20 ground chuck
  • 1 ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ¾ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb thick cut bacon, precooked & chilled
  • 6 each hamburger buns


  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Baby arugula
  • Cheddar cheese, thin sliced
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Pickles
  • Tomato, thinly sliced


  1. Pre-blend black pepper, cayenne, and coarse salt together and set aside.
  2. Break up the ground beef into looser pieces, and lay it out evenly in a sheet pan. This will make it easier to blend in our seasoning evenly.
  3. Sprinkle in half of your seasoning blend and half of the chopped bacon bits.
  4. Give the meat a light mix, avoid overworking the meat, this will dry it out.
  5. Sprinkle in the remaining half of the seasoning blend and bacon bits, and toss to incorporate.
  6. Portion out 6 loosely packed meatballs, this will make it easy to add any remaining meat to each meatball so that your patties come out even.
  7. Take each meatball and gently press them out into patties only a couple of times, again avoid over compressing the meat so that it remains juicy.
  8. Make a thumb indentation in the center of each patty, this allows the burgers to cook flat instead of ending up looking like a tennis ball.
  9. Avoid lighter fluid when lighting charcoal, all you need is some paper towel pieces and a chimney starter.
  10. Allow all of your natural lump charcoal to get lit and pour them out on the base of the grill in a pile.
  11. (Optional) Depending on your grill size, you may need to add another chimney full of unlit charcoal to the stack of lit charcoal.
  12. Allow the unlit charcoal to catch fire, and spread all of the lit coals across the grill.
  13. Place the grids on the grill, and close the lid to allow the grill to preheat for about 5 minutes.
  14. Once preheated, place your burgers across the grill and allow them to sear with the lid open so that they get a great flame broil.
  15. Once the burgers have juices rising to the top, and the sides begin to grey, they are ready to flip.
  16. Once the second side of the burgers has a nice sear, move them to the outer edges of the kettle grill.
  17. Place the lid on and shut the top and bottom vents down to only a slight crack opening. This will dwell down the temperature and allow the burgers to finish cooking with a great amount of smoke flavor.
  18. After 2-5 minutes of smoke, the burgers should be ready to come off.
  19. Place the burgers on a sheet pan and rest them for 5 minutes while you toast your buns. This is a good time to put some sliced cheese on the patties so that it melts while the burgers rest.
  20. Dress your burger with your desired toppings, serve, and enjoy!
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