Barbecue Hamburger Recipe

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Barbecue HamburgerJuicy Delicious Barbecue Hamburger

A good barbecue hamburger recipe is essential to every outdoor cook's repertoire.

And we all know why...

Hamburgers are amazing! The juicy, charred, beefy flavor is out of this world! Add your favorite toppings and condiments and you're in barbecue burger bliss.

You know exactly what I'm talking about!

Barbecue hamburger recipes can be simple or very complicated. But when done right, they reach a culinary peak that is hard to rival.

Barbecue Hamburger Recipe Essentials

Making a good barbecue hamburger is not hard, and it shouldn't be.

Most people go wrong because they just don't know any better. It's really simple and I think some people overcomplicate things.

I'm here to help you though, and with this barbecue hamburger recipe, you'll be making the best burgers ever!

Barbecue Hamburger Know How

Here are the basics to a great barbecue hamburger recipe, which helps you make a fantastic barbecue hamburger...

  • Select the right meat
  • Don't overwork the meat
  • Don't over season the meat
  • Cook over medium high to high heat
  • Don't press down on the burgers while they're cooking

Select the Right Meat

The first and most important factor in making a tasty, juicy burger is selecting the right meat. The fat content and the cut of meat are essential to your success.

The fat content should be 80/20, meaning the meat should have a 20% fat content. This will be clearly marked on all the ground beef that you buy.

This may seem like a high fat content, and it is. But you need this high fat content to keep the burgers moist while they're seared over high heat. If you use meat with a lower fat content, your burgers will be dry...

And you don't want that. You want nice, juicy burgers.

The cut of meat you want is ground chuck.

Ground chuck comes from the beef shoulder. It is very tough, that's why it is often braised, stewed or turned into ground chuck.

Beef chuck is also very flavorful. It contains a lot of connective tissue, like collagen, which melts when it's cooked.

This makes your barbecue hamburgers moist and delicious. Yum!

Don't Overwork the Meat

The next important thing about making barbecue burgers is not overworking the meat, or mixing it too much.

A properly formed and cooked burger should be easy to bite, and fall apart in your mouth. It shouldn't be tough and chewy!

The key is to toss the meat gently with the seasonings and then form it into patties, without mixing it or kneading it too much.

To make your life easier and to prevent overworking the meat, you can use a burger press.

They have a form where you put the meat and then you press down on the meat with the other half of the press.

Line the press with plastic wrap for quick, easy removal of the patty.

If you have to pull the patty out with your fingers, it will no longer be the beautiful hamburger patty that it once was.

A burger press is definitely a handy tool to have around. 

If you're interested in one, you can find them at Amazon.

A simple, inexpensive burger press is the lid of a jar.

The plastic lid from a large jar of nuts works well. Make sure the lid is a little larger than your bun because the patty will shrink a bit while cooking.

Line the lid with plastic wrap, press the meat into the lid. Lift the patty out using the plastic wrap.

Fast and Easy!

The plastic wrap also makes cleaning the lid or burger press much easier.

Don't Over Season the Meat

You want to add some seasonings to enhance the flavor of the meat, but not so much that it covers or masks the beefiness of the burger.

Cook Over Medium High to High Heat

Barbecue Hamburgers are relatively thin. This means you need to cook them quickly over medium high to high heat. This ensures that your burger gets a nice char on the outside before the inside gets overcooked and dry.

Don't Press Down on the Burgers While They're Cooking

I know you've seen people pushing a spatula down on a burger while it's cooking. Don't do this!

This pushes the fat, along with the juiciness and flavor out of the burger.

If you form the patty properly, you don't need to push it down to flatten it.

Don't worry, I'll show you how...

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Barbecue Hamburger Recipe

Recipe notes: This recipe may seem long, but it's not hard or complicated. I just want you to understand what's going on so you get the best results. After you make this barbecue hamburger recipe a few times, you'll be able to do it in your sleep.

The patties in this barbecue hamburger recipe are 7 ounces each. This makes a good-sized burger; it's not too small and it's not too big, it's just right!

I've made a lot of burgers, (in restaurants and at home), and a 7-ounce burger will be big enough to satisfy most of your guests.

The proportions for this barbecue hamburger recipe are based on this size burger, that's why the recipe calls for 2.25 lbs. ground chuck. This makes 5 patties with an ounce to spare.  

To make sure the burgers are all the same size and are done at the same time, I recommend that you use a kitchen scale. It helps to ensure consistent results. Place some plastic wrap over your scale to make cleanup a breeze.

If you don't have a kitchen scale, just divide the meat into equal proportions the best that you can.

A kitchen scale is nice to have in your kitchen. I use mine all the time, especially for dividing up meat and for baking.

You want to cook your burgers over medium high to high heat. For a charcoal grill, use enough charcoal to fill a large chimney starter. If your grill is large enough, you may want to build a modified two-level fire so you can toast the buns after the burgers are done.

To build this modified two-level fire; after the coals are ready, spread a single layer of coals over one third of the charcoal grate. Spread the remaining coals over the remaining two thirds of the grill. You'll cook the burgers over the hotter side and toast the buns over the cooler side. (The side with the single layer of coals.) If you don't want to do this, you don't have to; you can toast the buns with your oven broiler.

For a gas grill, adjust your burners to high for about ten minutes to heat up the grill, then turn it down to medium high for cooking your beef patties. After the burgers are done, turn the burners to low to toast the buns.

For the patties

  • 2.25 lbs. ground chuck
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion


  • Large barbecue hamburger buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Hamburger dill pickle chips
  • 1/2 medium yellow or red onion, thinly sliced.
  • 10 Slices medium cheddar cheese

  • Prepare your grill for direct, medium to medium high heat cooking.
  • Place a 2-foot-long sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on your work counter.
  • Break the 80/20 ground chuck apart and spread in onto the aluminum foil. See the picture below.
80/20 Ground Chuck on Foil80/20 Ground Chuck on Foil

  • Sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion onto the meat. Toss gently to combine.
  • Using your kitchen scale, divide the meat into 7-ounce portions.
  • Use a burger press or a lid from a jar to form your patties.
  • To form the patties by hand; Toss the meat back and forth in your hands to form a ball. Press the ball into an even patty about the size of the palm of your hand. Place the patty back onto the aluminum foil and press to form a patty about 3/4 of an inch thick. Make sure it's a little bigger than the bun so that it covers the bun after cooking. Push the edges of the patty in with the palm of your hand so there's no jagged edges. See the picture below.
Barbecue Hamburger PattiesSeasoned Barbecue Hamburger Patties Ready for the Grill
  • When you grill is ready, clean your grate.
  • Grill the burgers for about 4 minutes per side for well done. 3 minutes per side for medium and about 2 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare. Only flip the burgers once and do not press down on the burgers with a spatula, a press or anything else.
  • Right before you pull the burgers off of the grill, place two slices of the cheese on each of the hot patties. Keep the patties warm by tenting them with foil or by placing them in a warm oven.
  • If using a gas grill, turn the burners to low and toast the buns. If using charcoal, toast the buns over the single layer of coals or use your oven broiler. Watch the buns carefully and check them often so they don't burn. They only take a minute or two to toast.
  • Remove the buns. Spread your mayonnaise on the bottom part of the bun. Add mustard and ketchup to the top part of the bun. Place your lettuce and tomato on the bottom bun, the onion and pickles on the top bun. This is the classic hamburger setup. See the picture below.
Hamburger Bun with Lettuce, Tomato, Mustard, Mayo, Pickles and OnionClassic Hamburger Setup
  • Place your patty on the bottom bun, place the top bun on the patty and enjoy! Serve immediately with French fries, potato salad, beans or whatever else you like.

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