Classic American Hamburger

4.9 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 10 mins Rest Time 5 mins Total Time 25 mins
Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 460 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Is there anything more American than the hamburger? Probably not. Here's our recipe for a juicy classic American hamburger!



  1. Divide the ground beef into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a round patty, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Season both sides of the patties with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

    classic American hamburger
  2. Preheat your grill or heat a stovetop skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. If using a stovetop skillet, you can add a little oil to prevent sticking.

  3. Cook the patties for about 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip them over. If you're adding cheese, place a slice of American cheese on each patty when there's about a minute left of cooking time. Cover the grill or skillet to melt the cheese.

  4. While the patties are cooking, split the hamburger buns in half. Butter the inside and toast them on the grill until they're lightly browned. 

  5. Time to assemble the burger! Spread your favorite condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise) on the toasted buns. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom bun. Add the cooked burger patty. Top the patty with sliced tomatoes, onions, and pickles. Place the top bun.

  6. Serve the classic American hamburgers immediately while they're hot and juicy!


  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different burger recipes, sauces, and combinations to find your personal favorite. The beauty of burgers is their versatility.
  • Accompany your burgers with classic side dishes like french fries, coleslaw, or a crisp green salad.
  • Customize your burger with additional toppings like bacon, mushrooms, or a fried egg.
  • Make it a double or triple burger by stacking multiple patties.
  • Don't press down on the patties with a spatula while cooking; this can release the juices and make the burger dry.
  • Let your burgers rest for a minute or two before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and the flavors to meld together.
  • Choose the right ground beef: For the juiciest burgers, select ground beef with a higher fat content, typically labeled as 80% lean and 20% fat. The fat helps keep the burgers moist and flavorful.
  • Keep the meat cold. It's essential to keep the ground beef cold until you're ready to shape the patties. Warm meat can result in a less tender burger.
  • Make an indent in the center. To prevent your burgers from puffing up in the middle as they cook, make a slight indent in the center of each patty with your thumb before grilling or cooking.
  • Don't be shy with the seasoning. Season both sides of the patties generously with salt and pepper. You can add other seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika for extra flavor.
  • Ensure that your grill or skillet is thoroughly preheated before adding the burger patties. This helps create a sear on the outside, sealing in the juices.
Keywords: hamburger

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a hamburger?

Yes, you can use ground turkey or chicken to make turkey or chicken burgers. However, keep in mind that they have a lower fat content, so they may be less juicy than beef burgers. You can compensate for this by adding ingredients like grated vegetables, breadcrumbs, or egg to the mixture.

What's the best way to melt cheese on a hamburger?

To melt cheese on a burger, place a slice of cheese on the patty during the last minute of cooking. Cover the grill or skillet to create a steamy environment that helps melt the cheese evenly.

What's the ideal meat-to-fat ratio for a flavorful hamburger?

The ideal ratio for a flavorful burger is often considered to be 80% lean meat (20% fat). The fat content adds juiciness and flavor to the patty.

What's the best way to achieve a juicy burger?

To make a juicy burger, choose meat with a sufficient fat content, season the patties well, cook them over high heat to get a nice sear, and avoid pressing down on the patties while cooking, which can squeeze out the juices.

What are some popular hamburger toppings and condiments?

Popular toppings include lettuce, tomato slices, onions (raw or caramelized), pickles, bacon, mushrooms, and various types of cheese. Common condiments include ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and barbecue sauce.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #themoderncookbook if you made this recipe. Follow @moderncookbook on Instagram for more recipes.

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  1. Lily Peterson

    I love hamburgers, this is a great version!

  1. Lily Peterson

    I love hamburgers, this is a great version!