The Perfect Hamburger

Hamburgers may seem like an incredibly simple thing to make, and therefore not very blog-worthy, but I think that having good recipes for the basics is even more important than being able to whip up some fancy-schmancy foods.  After we bought our house a couple of years ago we started grilling and quickly learned that we really weren’t that great at it.  After several rounds of charred hockey puck burgers, and then burgers that were cooked well but without great flavor, I found this recipe.  While our grilling skills have improved vastly in all areas, I now feel that we can make really delicious burgers.  The recipe is simple and uses classic ingredients for the seasoning.  Some might think it is silly to use a recipe for something as basic as burgers, but I like it because it ensures that we have great results every time.  The original recipe (linked below) also has suggestions for some variations on the recipe for different flavors, but I love the classic so much that I have never gotten around to trying any of them myself!

The Perfect Hamburger


1 lb. ground sirloin

2 Tbs. finely chopped yellow onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 or 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

4 slices cheddar or Swiss cheese (optional)

4 hamburger buns, split

Sliced tomato for serving

Sliced onion, for serving

Torn lettuce for serving

Sliced dill pickle for serving

Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or other condiments of your choice for serving



Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.


In a large bowl, mix together the beef, yellow onion, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each 3⁄4 inch thick.


Grill the hamburgers directly over medium-high heat, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Check for doneness by cutting into a hamburger near the center or testing with an instant-read thermometer. No pink should show on the inside, and the internal temperature should register at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. If making cheeseburgers, place a slice of cheese on top of each hamburger during the last 3 minutes of cooking.


During the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, toast the hamburger buns, cut side down, on the grill. Serve the hamburgers on the buns with tomato, white onion, lettuce, dill pickle and condiments. Serves 4.

Source: Williams Sonoma

19 Responses

  1. This looks so good! The picture perfect hamburger! We’ve retired our grill for the season, but I may need to whip these up on the grill pan. Yum! And great picture.

  2. I love trying different recipes for burgers. And it’s definitely not too late to grill here since it was 80 degrees today!

  3. I love this recipe, I need to make it again before it gets cold!

  4. I completely agree with you about having great recipes for basic foods. I want to have perfect results every time, which can only happen if I know exactly what I did each time.

  5. I agree, it’s just as important to have those simple go-to recipes as it is to learn how to make the fancy-schmancy dishes! Those burgers look awesome!

  6. Off topic, but just wanted to let you know I just found your blog and it’s one of my new favorites. I tried the black bean patties last night and they were GREAT! Next time I think I’ll try mincing a jalapeno or two up with them.

  7. Hi Annie,

    You’re right! It is nice to find a basic but tasty recipe you can do right every time. I have a few burger recipes myself and I know it can be difficult to reproduce the same thing time and again. Great Job!

  8. i agree that it’s good to have recipes for even the basics! your burger looks great!

  9. I’m always down to try the perfect burger! This recipe does sound petty darn good. 🙂 Can’t wait to try it for myself.

  10. Hamburgers are always blog worthy!! If hamburgers weren’t blog worthy, vegetarians wouldn’t have made so many veggie burger recipes. Lovely picture by the way.

  11. Burger looks great…my question however is where did you get the buns? They look great and are such a big part of a burger!

  12. Annie, I found using such a lean cut of meat made my burgers dry….I cooked them on med-high heat….is there a trick to it?

    • Hi Gessica,
      We make these all the time and have never had a problem with them being dry. There is no special trick to it. I personally can’t use any meat less lean than ground sirloin, the greasiness makes me feel ill. Maybe you just overcooked them?

  13. So glad I found this! I’m doing a Burger Love list this summer (posting a new burger each week) but I wanted a basic patty to start with. My husband and I really like adding onion to our ground sirloin as well.

    Also, I have added several of your recipes to my Pinterest page…so glad I found your blog!

  14. LOVED these!

  15. Gotta say I found your blog through a friend the other day and planned my whole week of meals already! I can’t wait to try these burgers tonight! I will write again with my (I’m sure) glowing remarks!

  16. Yup, best burgers I have ever made! The family was very happy🙂 Thanks!

  17. I have tried tons of different hamburger recipes in the last few years trying to settle on one that always comes out juicy and flavorful, and this one really delivers.

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