The Best Classic Burger Recipe

This week on Keep It Simple, Chef Jon Ashton is showing us how to make the ultimate classic burger. He’s giving us the secret to choosing the best ground beef, cooking tips and getting a juicy, delicious, restaurant-style burger every time!

Related: Where Did Hamburgers Originate?

Ingredients Needed to Make the Best Classic Burgers:

  • 24 oz (1 1/2 lbs) freshly ground beef chuck
  • 2 Tsbp Canola Oil
  • 2 slices unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 soft hamburger rolls
  • American of cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

How to Choose the Best Burger Meat

When it comes to choosing the best ground beef for juicy, flavorful burgers you want to look for ground chuck and you want to buy a 80/20 ratio (80% lean/20%fat). That 20% fat keeps the burger moist as it’s cooking over high heat.

A Guide to Burger Doneness

An easy cheat sheet for how to cook burgers according to doneness:

  • Rare: Cook for 2 minutes on each side
  • Medium Rare: Cook for 4 minutes on each side
  • Medium: cook for 5-6 minutes on each side
  • Well Done: Cook for 7-8 minutes on each side

Related: 10 Burgers That Will Rock Your World

A Guide to the Best Burger Buns

As far as the best burger buns are concerned, these are tops (literally):

  • Brioche
  • Sesame Seed
  • Potato Rolls
  • Pretzel Buns
  • Hawaiian Buns

Related: How Many Burgers Do You Need for Your Cookout?

The Best Classic Burger Toppings

When it comes to the perfect burger toppings the options are limitless, but here are classic burger topping with a few chef-y surprises:

  • Cheese: American, cheddar, havarti, Münster (Muenster), farmer’s cheese, blue cheese, Stilton, gorgonzola, Roquefort, alpine cheeses (such as Comté, raclette and gruyere)
  • Tomatoes: in-season beefsteak tomatoes are the best hands down, but heirloom tomatoes are also a close second)
  • Lettuce: shredded iceberg or any leaf lettuce whole
  • Bacon: thick-cut bacon, turkey bacon, applewood smoked bacon all work for burgers
  • Onions: caramelized onions, raw red onions soaked in ice water, grilled Vidalia onions, fried onion rings, caramelized shallots
  • Pickles: sliced half sour pickles, kimchi, pickled ramps, onions, beets or kohlrabi)

How to Cook the Best Classic, Juicy Burgers

1. Gently form a patty with your ground chuck meat. Don’t compress too much; 1-inch thick patties are the goal. Use your thumb to form an indentation in the center of the patty.

2. Season the burger after it’s been formed with salt, then heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Add the burger and season again with salt and pepper; cook 3-5 per side.

3. Use tongs to cook the burger all around on its sides.

4. Place 2 pats of unsalted butter on top of the burger, followed by a slice of cheese, then add a lid to your pan to seal in heat.

5. Brush your buns with butter, then toast them in the same skillet until golden brown on the bottom.

6. To assemble your burger, add lettuce on top of the bottom bun, followed by the burger patty, then bacon, tomato, pickles (or the toppings of your choosing), then ketchup or mustard (or your favorite condiment). Add the top bun and bite in!

Watch this easy video to learn how to make the best burger:

Related: This Secret Ingredient In Impossible Burgers Makes Them Taste Like Meat

Tips for Making the Best Restaurant-Style Burgers:

  1. Remove ground beef from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. 1 inch is the ideal patty thickness.
  3. Use your thumb to create an indentation in the patty—this will avoid a dome affect when cooking.
  4. Don’t salt the meat before you make the patties or your burgers will be tough.
  5. Only season the burger after it’s been formed on the outside, just as your about to cook it.
  6. Cast iron skillets are the best for cooking burgers because it conducts the heat from edge to edge. Plus they cook in their own fat this way, for an extra flavor bomb burger.
  7. You can also finish the burger in a 400 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.
  8. Adding 2 pats of butter on top of the burger while it’s cooking makes for the juiciest burger bite.

Best Burger Variations

Best Celebrity Burger Recipes

Every week we’re making recipes easy on Keep it Simple. Follow along with Jon Ashton as he shows you how to level up your home cooking, and subscribe for new videos every Thursday!

Best Classic Burger Recipe

Ingredients

  • 24 oz (1½ lbs) freshly ground beef chuck
  • 2 Tsbp Canola Oil
  • 2 slices unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 soft hamburger rolls
  • American of cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
Key Tags

Directions

  1. Gently form a patty with your ground chuck meat. Don’t compress too much; 1-inch thick patties are the goal.

  2. Use your thumb to form an indentation in the center of the patty.

  3. Season the burger after it’s been formed with salt.

  4. Heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add Canola oil.

  5. Add the burger and season again with salt and pepper; cook 3-5 per side. Add salt and burger when you turn the burger over.

  6. Use tongs to cook the burger all around on its sides.

  7. Place 2 pats of unsalted butter on top of the burger, followed by a slice of cheese.

  8. Add a lid to your pan to seal in heat.

  9. Brush your buns with butter, then toast them in the same skillet until golden brown on the bottom.

  10. To assemble your burgers, add shredded lettuce on top of the bottom bun, followed by the burger patty, then bacon, tomato, pickles or the toppings of your choosing. Add the top bun and bite in!

Kitchen Counter

Serves 1.

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