How to Grill Burgers

Learn how to grill perfect, juicy hamburgers every single time with my handy tips!  Tips include hamburger grill time, the best beef for burgers, and burger temperature. 

How to grill burgers tutorial photo of classic grilled burger on white board

Grilling season is the very best season.  Truthfully, I grill year round, so it’s always grilling season for me. 

I’m the most comfortable in front of my grill.  It’s always relaxing, and I love being outside, unless the temps are freezing. 🙂

In my opinion, food is always better when it’s grilled.  The grill marks are appetizing, you can’t beat the smoky flavor, and the biggest bonus is that there are less dishes to wash!

My life changed when I learned how to grill, and now I grill everything from chicken, steak, vegetables of all kinds, and of course, burgers.

There’s nothing better to me than a classic, all-American burger.  This burger could be considered an In-n-Out Burger copycat as it’s slathered with homemade Thousand Island sauce and topped with classic toppings.

As much as I love In-n-Out burgers, homemade is always best. 🙂

how to grill burgers with photo of juicy grilled burger

How to Grill Burgers

I learned how to grill juicy hamburgers a long time ago, and I make them regularly because they’re a family favorite.  Normally I grill burgers on the weekends when I’m not working on recipes for the blog and taking photos, which is why it’s taken me so long to share this guide with you.

After making these classic grilled burgers during the week, I’ve decided to start making them on weeknights more often.  They’re so quick and easy, and my family was so excited for dinner!

If you’re really on top of your burger game, make a batch of my homemade burger buns.

Best beef for burgers

Let’s talk about the best kind of beef for burgers.  My favorite kind of ground beef is organic grass fed beef, because it’s sustainable and it has the most flavor.

There’s nothing like grass fed beef burgers.  They’re juicy, flavorful, and worth the extra money.  Costco happens to sell grass fed beef in a 3 pack, which is the most cost effective way to purchase it.

I personally love the grass fed beef from Butcher Box.  This is an affiliate link as I’m part of their affiliate program, because I love their sustainable, organic meat! 

Every great burger needs some fat content, as the fat is what makes them tender and juicy.  I normally use the 80/20 ratio of 80% lean ground beef and 20% fat, and the burgers are perfect every time.

how to grill burger photo of juicy grilled burger on white board with sauce

How to shape burger patty

For this grilled burger recipe, I used 1 pound of grass fed ground beef, and made the burger patties 1/4 pound each.

When shaping the burger patties, t’s important not to overwork the ground beef as it can become tough.

Simply form the ground beef into balls, then working from the middle outward, form into even patties until about 1/2″ thick. 

Use your thumb to make a dimple in the center, which will help keep your burger from shrinking too much.

How to season burgers

When you’re using good, quality ground beef, a simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all you need so that the flavor of the beef really shines!

How to grill burgers on a propane grill

I always grill burgers on a gas grill as I prefer the ease of use.  See this guide if you’d like instructions on how to use a charcoal grill.

  • Turn the propane on, then ignite the burners to high heat.  Brush the grates with a grill brush if necessary.
  • Close the lid and heat the grill until it reaches about 400 degrees.  Reduce the heat to medium high, or about 375 degrees, and place the burgers on the grill.
  • Close the lid and cook until the burgers reach the desired doneness.
  • Never, ever smash the burgers down while cooking!  All of the juices will escape and the result will be a dry burger.

how to grill burgers process collage of grass fed beef burger patties and burgers on the grill

How long to grill burgers

Grill your burgers according to your desired level of doneness:

  • Rare:  2-3 minutes per side
  • Medium: 3-4 minutes per side
  • Medium well: 4-5 minutes per side

I always grill my grass fed beef burgers for 3 minutes per side for medium doneness and they’re perfectly juicy every time.  

How to keep burgers from falling apart

Make sure the grill is piping hot and the burger patties are cold.  Oil the grates lightly, or to prevent flare-ups, simply coat each burger lightly with oil.

There’s no need to flip the burgers more than once.  Excess flipping may make the burgers fall apart.

Burger temperature

The best way to tell when your burgers are done is by using an insta-read thermometer.  

Insert the thermometer into the burger from the side, making sure that the tip remains inside the burger. 

Rare temperature is 125 to 130 degrees.

Medium rare temperature is 130-140 degrees.

Medium well temperature is 140-150 degrees.

Assembling your burger

Always place the lettuce on the bottom half of the bun to keep the bun from getting soggy from that juicy burger!

Place the burger over the lettuce, then top with tomato and red onion.  

Slather the homemade thousand island sauce over the top burger bun, and place on top of the burger.

Recipe tips and substitutions

  • Don’t forget to grill your buns!  When the burgers are finished cooking, turn off the grill.  Place the buns on the grill racks split side down, and close the grates.  They’ll be nice and toasty in about 2-3 minutes!
  • If you want to make a grilled cheeseburger, add the cheese to the burger during the last 20-30 seconds of cooking time.
  • Form the patties up to 24 hours in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill.
  • Customize your burgers with your favorite condiments, sauces, cheese, veggies and buns!

how to grill burgers with classic grilled burger photo

Need more grilling inspiration?  See all of my Grilling Recipes.

Try these burger recipes:

BLT burger

Chicken Burgers

Grilled turkey burgers

Side dishes to serve with burgers:

Broccoli slaw salad

Grilled potato salad

Grilled sweet potato fries

Three bean salad

 

Classic Grilled Burgers

Yield: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes

Learn how to grill perfect, juicy hamburgers every single time with my handy tips!  Tips include hamburger grill time, the best beef for burgers, and burger temperature. 

Classic Grilled Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. grass fed ground beef
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons natural ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • (4) burger buns

Instructions

  1. Turn the propane on, then ignite the burners to high heat. Brush the grates with a grill brush if necessary.
  2. Close the lid and heat the grill until it reaches about 400 degrees. Reduce the heat to medium high, or about 375 degrees.
  3. While the grill heats, form (4) 1/4 pound burger patties into an even 1/2" thickness. Use your thumb to place a dimple in the center to prevent the burgers from shrinking. Season well with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Close the lid and cook until the burgers reach the desired doneness. Rare: 2-3 minutes per side or 125-130 degrees, Medium: 3-4 minutes per side or 130-140 degrees, and Medium well 5-6 minutes per side, or 140-150 degrees.
  5. Remove from heat and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn off the grill and place the buns split side down on the grill. Close the lid and toast for 2-3 minutes.
  7. While the burgers cook, place the mayo, ketchup and pickle relish in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Assemble the burgers by placing lettuce down on the bottom half to prevent the bun from becoming soggy. Place the burger on top of the lettuce, and top with tomato and red onion. Spread 1 tablespoon of the sauce over the top half of the bun, and place over the burger. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • Form the patties up to 24 hours in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
  • If you want to make a grilled cheeseburger, add the cheese to the burger during the last 20-30 seconds of cooking time.
  • Customize your burgers with your favorite condiments, sauces, cheese, veggies and buns!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4 burgers

Serving Size:

1 burger

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 61mg Sodium: 340mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Protein: 25g
Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made. Nutrition information does not include the buns.

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