When it comes to grilling, nothing tops a perfect grilled burger. We collected the best burgers for grilling with our top 50 favorites, from smoked brisket burgers to butter stuffed burgers. Lamb, turkey, chicken, and of course beef burgers make up this collection of burger recipes along with everything from griddle smashburgers to classic chargrilled patties to make sure no matter what you’re grilling or grilling on, there’s something for you!
It’s no secret we crush pretty hard on flavourful burgers here. And for good reason. Is there any better dish that sums up summer grilling, Americana, and all the good that goes along with it? No. We didn’t think so.
Did you know May is #Nationalburgermonth? Whether you’re grinding your own beef or just casually flipping patties on a weeknight, this list of 50 of the best burgers for grilling this summer is exactly what you need to kick things off. From Memorial Day to Labor day (and long after that), the classic juicy flavors of flame kissed patties are begging to be topped with a single slice of American cheese or mountains of fun toppings.
When it comes to what grill to cook your burgers on, the best answer is the one you have. I have had amazing burgers from classic campfires, simple Weber Kettles, pellet smokers, fun Blackstone griddle burgers, and even gas grills (bonus points if you’re smoking on your gas grill). Sure, for a delicious hamburger, charcoal is my favorite. But every grill makes amazing burgers.
Check out this list along with our tips and tricks below for the juiciest and most delicious burger recipes!
These are the best hamburger recipes for grilling!
FAQs & tips for perfectly grilled burgers
Use 80/20% beef for the best burgers. Skip the lean ground beef when it comes to burgers. An 80/20 (or even 70/30) is the key to juicy burgers. Look at the label when buying your meat to make sure you’re getting a good fat ratio (bonus, 80/20 is cheaper than lean grinds)
Why go for an 80/20 blend? The fat cooks while the burgers are grilling and keeps things moist. Fat = Flavor. Just like with that perfectly cooked ribeye, the fat adds the rich beefy flavor of the meat.
Other tips for juicy burgers are adding an ice cube over the burger or stuff the burger with butter. Use caution though, too much ice or butter can cause flareups and water down the flavor.
Be gentle with your meat. Use caution when forming your patties. Overworking the grind can cause the burger to become dense and dry when cooking.
Tip: If using a hamburger press, do not smash the burger in place, use it to gently tap the meat into shape and that’s it.
Another common cause of dry and dense patties is smashing with your spatula. Unless you’re making an epic smashburger (on a griddle) don’t smash the meat! This just pushes our juices and feels like unnecessarily rage-y against the meat. And no, that isn’t blood you’re squeezing out of the ground beef, it’s myoglobin flavor, so don’t
To get grill marks, gently press the patty, don’t flex while you’re at it.
Season the outside of the meat. For the best flavor, make sure you season the outside of the raw hamburger patties. It’s the only thing you need to add to burgers before grilling. Sprinkle salt over the outside of the burger before grilling.
If you really want to double down, add a layer of umami by sprinkling my ooomami spice blend on the outside (oh, and it’s great to mix in mayo too. Learn how to add bonus depth to tons of dishes with it on my guide to adding umami)
Why do people indent their patties? When patties cook, they plump up, and if they are an even thickness from edge to edge, this can cause a curve in the center causing the burger to cook unevenly. Adding an indent, or thumb print, to the patty, helps the burger to cook evenly over the heat.
Try it! Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, press into the center of the hamburger.
If the meat is too warm when you put it on the grill, the burger can fall apart.
Chill your patties to prevent this. When working with meat and forming the patties, you heat up the fat. To make help your burger hold its shape while grilling, place it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm back up before tossing it on the grill.
To keep those perfect patties from sticking to your grill:
Preheat the grill. Just like with a cast iron pan, a pre-heated grill grate will reduce the chance of ‘sticking’ or tearing the meat.
Clean the grill grates. Clean your grill grates after every cook by heating the grates and using a grill brush or stone to remove any stuck on build up. That build up rusts and damages the grates and causes future cooks to stick to them.
Don’t flip until ready. If you go to flip the patties and they stick, give them another minute. All you will do is tear them if you fight them.
Don’t press on the burgers. Grill grates are designed to sear, pressing down can cause the meat to stick.
Unless you’re cooking over a campfire, close the lid. This allows less heat to escape, circulating the heat around the patty. Note, if you’re using frozen patties or know your grill gets flare-ups, don’t close the lid for long or walk away from it. Keep a squirt bottle of water on hand to man any unwanted flames.
Tip: If you’re using a flattop griddle, use a metal bowl to cover the patties to keep steam and heat in for really juicy burgers.
Yep! Add wood chips or wood chunks to your grill to layer on that authentic barbecue taste. Here’s my guide on how to use woodchips to smoke a burger. You won’t want to miss the major myth about using woodchips I bust too!
The thickness of your burger and the heat of the grill will determine how long you cook them. But a general rule of thumb is 4 to 7 minutes a side.
If you are making a cheeseburger, add the cheese at the last minute of cooking so it melts perfectly.
Don’t guess when it comes to burgers. Ground beef, pork, lamb, and chicken are all recommended to be cooked to 160 – 165F. Use an instant-read meat thermometer like a Thermoworks One when testing your cook temps.
Tip: To accurately test the hamburger temp, remove the patty from over the open flame and then insert the probe from the side.
Store burger patties in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure to store any other toppings in other containers so they won’t get soggy.
To reheat the patties, try steaming them with a little water, covered in a preheated skillet, or microwaving them in short 30-second bursts, flipping each time, until heated through.
When it comes to using the leftovers, try making a hamburger salad, leftover cheeseburger omelet, or turning it into a pizza topping!
Tools for perfectly grilled burgers
Don’t over think it, you don’t need a ton of fancy tools for burgers. But here are a few that certainly make the job easier.
- Instant read thermometer
- Cutting board
- Sheet pan
- Wax sheets – they make patty-sized wax sheets now, and they are handy if you are forming your own patties ahead of time or want to minimize clean up.
Side dish ideas
When it comes to great cheeseburger recipes, it’s hard to imagine any side more perfect than the French fry, but when cooked in beef tallow they are the most amazing fries ever!
Depending on how much you want to serve, smoked pork and beans, creamy rich mac and cheese, or even bbq’d brussels sprouts are great pairings along with fresh cold sliced watermelon.