how to grill hamburgers©GettyImages
Grilling 101

How to grill hamburgers

Master the art of grilling the perfect hamburgers

What is a barbecue without a hamburger? Hamburgers are one of the traditional barbecue food staples. They are pretty much made at every single barbecue that you go to, and have gone to growing up. There is nothing like a grilled hamburger with a browned, caramelized, charred exterior. They just hit the spot!

Below are four steps to make the perfect grilled hamburgers.


  • 1 package of hamburgers (Package of 4 hamburgers; 80% lean/20% fat ground beef would be best)
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil or cooking spray, to oil and coat the grill.

Step 1: Prepare your hamburgers

  • Let your hamburgers sit at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • If making hamburgers from scratch, make individual burgers about 4 to 6 ounces each. Take your 4 to 6 ounces of ground meat, and roll it into a ball. Then with your hands, gently flatten the meat to about ½” to ¾” in thickness, and about 4” wide in diameter. Then gently, make an indent into the center of one side of your burger, about ¼” deep, with your thumb. Repeat until all burgers are the same size.

Step 2: Season your hamburgers

  • Place your hamburgers on a plate or sheet pan and season both sides well.
  • Season your hamburgers for at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes before grilling.
  • Simple olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper are enough to create delicious hamburgers. *1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper, are your basic seasoning per package of four hamburgers. Feel free to modify your seasonings to your liking.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika are additional commonly used spices for additional flavor.
  • If making hamburgers from scratch, feel free to add small chopped onions and peppers within the meat for added flavor.

Step 3: Preheat your grill

  • Prior to grilling, spray your grill with a coating of cooking spray or lightly coat a small folded piece of paper towel with olive oil. Using grill tongs, you can gently rub the grill with the paper towel of olive oil, for a mild oil coating.
  • Preheat your charcoal grill or indoor grill on medium high heat for several minutes.
  • To test if your grill is at the perfect temperature, place your hand several inches from the grill. If after a few seconds, the heat becomes too hot, and you have to remove your hand off of the grill, your grill is at the perfect grilling temperature.
You want the burgers to look golden brown©GettyImages
You want the burgers to look golden brown

Step 4: Time to grill

  • Place the hamburgers directly onto the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the first side of the burgers begins to turn golden brown in color and you see the grill marks.
  • Flip the burgers, and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the second side of the burgers turn golden brown in color and you see the grill marks.
  • When done, the hamburger meat inside should be evenly browned. The internal temperature of the hamburgers should be 160 to 165 F. *The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooking hamburgers to 160 to 165 F, to make sure that any harmful bacteria from the ground meat is destroyed by adequate heat/cooking. *If making a cheese burger, then at this point add the cheese, and cook for another 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted.

When done, feel free to top with different condiments and toppings of your choice. Condiments: Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard/honey mustard, barbecue sauce, any sauce of choice, etc. Toppings: Lettuce, different types of salad greens, tomatoes, cheese, onions (raw or cooked), peppers (raw or cooked), pickles, avocados, bacon, etc.

You can also choose to toast your hamburger buns as well for a slight toasted flavor , and crispy texture. And feel free to try different types of hamburger buns for additional flavor. Hamburger Buns: Plain, whole wheat, whole grain, potato buns, pretzel buns, sesame seed buns, etc.

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