The Best Juicy Burger

The secret to the best burger patty is to keep things simple! You don’t need any extra ingredients for the juiciest hamburger. Trust me! Of all the burger recipes we’ve tried, this is my favorite.

Watch the Video

Easy Hamburger Recipe Video

We love a good burger, so we spent a few days researching our favorite way to make the best hamburgers.

We learned that simple is best when it comes to homemade burger patties. There’s no need for extra ingredients!

The Best Juicy Burger

Key Ingredients

It may sound crazy, but quality meat, salt, and pepper are all we add to our simple burger recipe.

  • Ground beef: For the best, juiciest burgers, use meat with 15% to 20% fat. Any lower, and you’ll lose some flavor, and the burgers will be dry. I usually buy ground chuck, but a ground sirloin is a nice option, too.
  • Salt and pepper: I season my burger patty like steak and sprinkle them on the outside. There’s no need to mix the salt and pepper into the meat.
Ground meat, salt and pepper

If you’re not convinced, we’ve tried adding extras like olive oil, cream, mustard, and grated onion. While we liked some, none were as good as a seasoned burger patty cooked in butter.

Olive oil didn’t add much, and the texture went a little funny. Olive oil made the burgers grainy, while cream made the meat tender. We both really liked it, but not enough to buy a whole carton of cream for a tablespoon (that’s all you needed to add). And while we both love mustard and onion with burgers, we prefer them added to the cooked patties, not mixed into the meat.

How to Make the Best Burger

I form my ground beef into 1/3 pound patties. They’re big but not overwhelming. A kitchen scale can help divide the meat. I also add a little dimple to the middle of each burger patty, stopping it from puffing up and keeping things uniform.

I season my patties before cooking. The more you fuss with hamburger meat, the tougher it will become when cooked. That’s why I season my burger patties like I season steak. I generously sprinkle salt and pepper onto both sides.

Seasoning the hamburger patties

My favorite way to cook burgers is in a cast iron skillet or flat-top grill. We heat the skillet over medium heat, add some butter, and cook the burgers on each side for 2 to 3 minutes (see below for my tips on telling when burgers are cooked).

Hamburgers cooking in a Cast Iron Skillet

If you want to grill your burgers, go for it. We’ve taken our cast iron skillet to the grill with us. I love the sear you get on the skillet compared to the grates. No matter how you cook it, allow the patties to rest for a few minutes. I loosely wrap them in foil.

Letting the hamburger patties rest

How to Tell When a Burger is Done

You’re looking at somewhere between medium-well and well in the photo below. I cook my burger patties to medium. The best way to tell when a burger is done, is to use a meat thermometer. I’ve shared the temperature of burgers when they are rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well-done below.

Perfectly Cooked Hamburgers
  • Rare: Red in the center, 120°F and below
  • Medium-Rare: Very Pink in the center, 130°F
  • Medium: Pink in the center, 140°F
  • Medium-Well: Grayish Pink in the center, 150°F
  • Well Done: Gray, No Pink in the center, 160°F and above

Note: The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until an internal thermometer reads 160°F. I still prefer medium, but I wanted to make sure that you know.

What to Serve with Burgers

Upgrade your homemade burgers with homemade condiments! Ditch the store-bought stuff, make your own mayonnaise, or try this easy homemade ketchup. Keep it classic with sliced tomato, iceberg lettuce, and sliced onions. I love cowboy candy (candied jalapeños) and pickled red onions on my burger (they’re super easy to make and add a lovely tangy crunch). For something rich and creamy, go for sliced avocado or a dollop of homemade guacamole.

For burger sides, you can’t go wrong with French fries with fry sauce or these homemade tater tots. My son also loves these easy sweet potato fries. If you’d prefer a classic salad, try our pasta salad, potato salad, or simple green salad with this balsamic dressing.

More Burger Recipes

The Best Juicy Hamburger

The Best Juicy Burger

  • PREP
  • COOK

For our favorite burger recipe, we keep it simple and use quality meat, salt, and pepper. When forming the hamburger patties, be careful not to overwork the mixture since this can make the burgers tough when cooked.

Makes 3 burgers (1/3 pound each)

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 pound (450g) ground beef chuck or round

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Butter, as needed


    1Take the beef from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before forming the patties.

    2Form the beef into three 5 to 6 ounce hamburger patties.

    3Use your thumb to imprint a shallow dimple into the middle of each burger. (This prevents the middle from puffing up while cooking.)

    4Season both sides of the hamburgers with salt and pepper.

    5Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Cook hamburger patties on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how well you like it (140°F for medium, 160°F for well done).

    6Rest the burgers covered loosely with aluminum foil for 5 minutes, then serve on a buttered bun with lettuce, tomatoes, and onion (or how you like it).

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Burger Doneness: Rare=120°F, Medium-Rare=130°F, Medium=140°F, Medium-Well=150°F, Well Done=160°F
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Calories 276 / Protein 24 g / Carbohydrate 0 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 20 g / Saturated Fat 8 g / Cholesterol 95 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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30 comments… Leave a Review
  • philip November 26, 2023, 5:22 pm

    Just tried this recipe tonight AWESOME cooked it my el. frying pan .I will never bbq burgers again unless its on a flat outdoor grill

  • Margie June 24, 2022, 2:41 pm

    Best burgers I’ve had in years. Just like the ones Mom made while she was still here. Thank you for a good burger and a reminder of Mom’s delicious burgers.

  • Agnes December 11, 2021, 8:46 am

    I wish I knew sooner not to waste good meat with egg and breadcrumbs, definitely better imo with just salt and pepper!

  • Sharon June 12, 2020, 10:07 am

    I have never been able to make a good hamburger so I have always bought frozen ones and all I can say is THANK YOU they are Delicious and easy to make!!!!!

    • Ryan Smith May 15, 2021, 5:21 pm

      I always over thought my burgers and usually ended up disappointed. I started doing just a salt pepper crust about two years ago, never went back!

  • Kyla April 19, 2020, 10:28 pm

    Best pattie recipe EVER!!!! So simple and easy.

    • inam January 13, 2021, 2:41 pm

      I so agree this is the easiest burger I have ever made.I love it a lot.

  • Nicole Heckman March 27, 2020, 9:58 pm

    Best burger I’ve ever made.

  • Valentina Dube October 22, 2019, 7:28 pm


  • Lisa August 22, 2019, 12:53 pm

    Just made these for the kids and they said they are the best burgers they have ever had. I can hear “mmm I’m in heaven right now” and lots of “ delicious” etc. High praise indeed!

  • NADA KASEM April 25, 2019, 2:03 pm

    What kind of cream were you referring to in the beginning? Heavy cream?

    • Joanne May 1, 2019, 12:25 pm

      Yep, some chefs add a bit of heavy cream to their burger mixture.


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