Best Hamburger

How to make the BEST hamburgers. Ingredients and technique for making your perfect burger.
Course Brunch, Sandwich
Cuisine American, Best
Keyword burger, cheeseburger, hamburger
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Beef
Diet Dairy-Free, Low Sugar
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 851 kcal


  • 680 grams ground beef
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 dill pickle
  • hot sauce (to taste)
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 small red onion (sliced into rings)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 hamburger buns
Metric - US Imperial


  1. Divide the meat into four 6 ounce (170 gram) pucks about 1.25 inches thick by 3 inches wide. Try to handle the meat as little as possible and do not smash it together with your hands. Place the pucks on a wire rack and and refrigerate uncovered until you're ready to fry your burgers. This dries out the surface of the meat making it easier to get the crispy layer of browned meat on each side.
  2. Lightly oil a cast iron skillet or griddle by adding a little vegetable oil and spreading it around with a paper towel, soaking up any excess oil. Heat over medium high heat.
  3. While your pan is heating, salt and pepper both sides of your burgers.
  4. When your pan is hot, add a puck of meat and immediately top the meat with another smaller cast iron skillet or heavy pot and press down until the burger is your desired thickness. Leave the pot there while the burger cooks. The weight on top encourages meat to pan contact, which is how you get the crisp crust on your burger. If you're using a griddle and have room, repeat with the other patties.
  5. Let this fry until the burger is cooked 1/3 of the way up the sides and you can see a dark brown crust forming where the meat meets the pan.
  6. Remove the weight and flip the burger over. Top with a slice of cheese and continue to fry until the meat reaches your desired doneness (130 F for rare, 135 F for medium rare, 140 F for medium, and 150 F+ for well done). Keep in mind that hamburger is more prone to contamination than whole cuts of beef, so unless you really trust your butcher, you'll probably want to cook your burger to at least medium.

  7. To make the sauce, add the mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, pickle, hot sauce and black pepper to a small food processor and puree until smooth.
  8. To construct your burger, toast your bun, and slather a generous amount of sauce onto the bottom bun. Top with onions and then the burger patty, then the tomatoes, and finally the lettuce and top bun. I use this order because the weight of the burger keeps the onion rings in place while the heat slightly cooks them. The cheese adheres to the tomatoes holding them in place, and the tomatoes act as an insulator, keeping the hot patty away from your lettuce so it does not wilt.
Nutrition Facts
Best Hamburger
Amount Per Serving
Calories 851 Calories from Fat 567
% Daily Value*
Fat 63g97%
Saturated Fat 20g125%
Cholesterol 153mg51%
Sodium 1095mg48%
Potassium 640mg18%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 350IU7%
Vitamin C 3.5mg4%
Calcium 334mg33%
Iron 5.1mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.