Tips & Recipes to Cook the Best Darn Burger You've Ever Tasted

Stop searching for the perfect burger and make it yourself. We've got tips to help you make a juicy, craveable hamburger you'll absolutely love.

Updated January 11, 2024
Classic hamburger

Friends, we want you to bite into the best hamburger of your life. A burger that curls your toes with your first bite. A burger that you dream about for years to come. And, we want you to make that burger. Yes — you. 

We get that different people like different kinds of burgers, but we promise we've got tips and tricks to help you make a hamburger that you love and want to make again and again. Move over, Ronald McDonald. There's a new burger king (or queen) in town. 

The Hamburger Patty

A hamburger starts with the meat, and we suggest getting the best quality meat you can find. We like one that has enough fat that it won't dry out... at least 15% fat (85% lean). We love a grass-fed patty, but grab what you like best — wagyu, bison — whatever floats your hamburger-loving boat. 

Helpful Hack

If you have a meat grinder, we highly recommend grinding your own blend in pursuit of the perfect patty. We like a grind made of half brisket and half boneless short rib. 

Flavorful Patty Mix-Ins

You can go for straight meat, but you can try a few ingredients we've found that pump up the umami flavor to make the meat somehow even more meaty and savory. 

  • 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder per pound of meat (Pulse dried mushrooms in a food processor until powdered. We like porcini for this.)
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 minced garlic clove per pound of meat
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and ½ teaspoon each garlic and onion powder per pound of meat
  • ½ onion, finely grated, with all the water squeezed out (wring it in a tea towel) per pound of meat

The Bun & Condiments

There are so many ways to vary this, but we've got thoughts. For the perfect burger, a toasted bun is a must. Choose your favorite type and give it a light toast on the stovetop or grill. Then, pile on your burger and condiments.

Our absolute fave condiment is a burger sauce made from mixing ¼ cup mayo with 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of chopped, fresh chives. Otherwise, pile on your condiments to make the burger your own (but try ours — we think you'll love it). 

Other condiments we love:

  • Bacon jam
  • Caramelized onions
  • Guacamole (or mashed avocados)
  • Crispy bacon
  • Minced red onions
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Mushrooms sauteed in butter with a touch of fresh garlic and thyme
  • An over-easy fried egg
  • Cheese (we love blue cheese crumbles or smoked gouda)

Related: How to Cook Bacon to the Perfect Crisp Doneness Every Time

Our Best Burger Recipe

Now that we've shared some tips with you, here's our fave burger. It makes four burgers.


  • 2 pounds ground beef blend of your choosing
  • ¼ cup porcini mushroom powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or your favorite fat or oil)
  • 8 tablespoons shredded smoked gouda (or cheese of your choice)
  • 4 brioche buns, split
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives


  1. In a small bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground beef, mushroom powder, and two of the minced garlic cloves. 
  2. Divide your meat mixture into four balls. Make sure the meat isn't packed firmly — it should be nice and loose.
  3. Flatten the balls gently to about ¾ inch thick.
  4. Dimple the top of the burger in the center using your fingers (it'll plump back out as it cooks). 
  5. Season the patties with the salt and pepper. Freeze them for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven or a smoker to 300°F.
  7. Place the patties on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  8. Put in the preheated oven for 4-8 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 125°F.
  9. Once the patties come out of the oven or smoker, heat your bacon grease or another fat in a large skillet on medium-high until it shimmers.
  10. Sear the patties in the skillet until browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side.
  11. Put the patties on a plate and put 2 tablespoons of cheese on top of each. Tent the patties with foil. The heat of the patties will melt the cheese.
  12. While the patties rest, in a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, remaining minced garlic clove, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and chopped chives. Set aside.
  13. In a clean nonstick skillet, heat the butter on medium-high until it bubbles. Put the tops of the burger buns, cut-side down in the butter, and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes.
  14. Spread the mayo mixture on the buns and top with the patties. Add any other condiments as desired. 

How to Stuff a Burger

Just when you start to think that you've tried every combination of topping that could be perched on top of a burger, it's time to go deeper... into the burger itself.

Stuffing a burger is easier than you think. When you're forming the patties, rather than make one patty from the 8 ounces of meat, make two thinner patties. Place two tablespoons of your stuffing in the center of the patty and top with another thin patty. Press the edges together and let the burger rest for a bit in the fridge. Then cook as usual.

Some ideas for burger stuffing include:

  • Blue cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Shredded cheddar mixed with crumbled bacon
  • Mushrooms

Tips for the Best Burgers Ever

We know that burgers are a personal thing, but we're all about making them as good as they possibly can be, no matter what ingredients you're using. 

  • Don't overcook the burgers. Use an instant-read thermometer to take the temp and make sure the cooked patty is between 130° and 135°F before serving.
  • Don't press on the patty as you cook it unless you're going for a smashburger. This pushes the juices out of the meat and dries out your burger.
  • Always rest your patty for at least five minutes after cooking so the juices reabsorb into the meat.
  • Season the outside of the patties with a little salt and pepper before you cook them (but don't mix salt into the meat before you make the patties). 
  • Don't overwork the meat. Keep everything nice and loose, or you could wind up with tough patties.

Build Your Perfect Burger

Make your burger your masterpiece. Start with our suggestions and then add your own touches until you get the burger you want — a big, juicy, craveable burger that's filled with all the things you love best. 

Tips & Recipes to Cook the Best Darn Burger You've Ever Tasted