How to Grill Burgers Like a Pro for an Unforgettable Cookout

Grilled burgers are a summertime must-have. If you don't already know how, it's time you learned how to make the most delicious, juicy burgers ever.

You only need a handful of ingredients, half an hour, and a hot grill to make the most delicious, juicy burgers you've ever tasted. Here we'll teach you how to grill burgers step-by-step, including how long to grill burgers, the proper doneness temp, patty-shaping techniques, and what seasonings to use. If you don't have a go-to recipe for making burgers on the grill, we have that covered (which includes tasty grilled burger recipes beyond regular beef!) so everyone at your summer cookout will be satisfied. Fire up the grill and get ready to throw some burgers on those flames.

raw ground beef onion seasonings worcestershire sauce pan
Karla Conrad

Step 1: Season Your Meat

Before cooking burgers on the grill, it's important to add the right amount of seasoning. For maximum flavor dispersal, our Test Kitchen likes to spread ground beef on a platter and add your seasonings of choice. Gently mix by hand, but be careful not to knead the mixture. Use our best-ever grilled burger recipe as a guide for measurements for upgraded grilled burger seasoning or simply start with salt and pepper.

How Much Meat Do I Need?

We like to use 1½ pounds of 85%-lean ground beef to make four burgers for the grill.

Step 2: Shape Burgers for Grilling

For consistent-size patties, pat meat into rectangles and divide. Pat each section into rounds but don't overwork the meat. Flatten each burger into ¾-inch patties. If desired, press irregular edges in toward the center to form perfectly round burgers.

Test Kitchen Tip: Add onion and steak sauce to lean beef. They add moisture and flavor.

After shaping burger patties, use your fingers to press lightly in the center of each patty, forming a shallow indentation. This dimple does two things: It helps keep the burger from bulging while cooking, and it makes the burger cook more evenly.

meat thermometer burgers patties grill
Andy Lyons

Step 3: Grill Burgers

For a charcoal grill, grill ½-inch patties on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until done (160°F to 165°F), turning once. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack over direct heat. Cover; grill as directed.)

How Long to Grill Burgers

Thicker burger patties require longer grilling times to reach a safe burger doneness temperature of 160°F. Aim for 12 to 15 minutes for patties that are ¾ inch thick.

To measure the doneness of a patty, insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of the patty to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. To make a cheeseburger, add a slice of your favorite cheese during the last minute of cooking.

Apple Bacon Burger
Andy Lyons

Slide your patty onto a burger bun and get topping! We love the classic burger toppings: ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, and mayo. But every once in a while, we like to mix it up! Try fun burger topping takes on the classics such as guacamole, spicy ketchup, and more. You can also up your burger game by making a juicy stuffed burger. Not into meat? Try one of these delicious veggie burgers.

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