This perfect cheeseburger is the classic burger recipe you crave
when you’re wondering how to make a *good* cheeseburger!
My last name is Berger. And the jokes about burgers that have followed me all my life are plentiful!
So, years ago, I set out to create the perfect cheeseburger recipe. A burger without cheese is just sad to me, but you do you!
How to Make a Cheeseburger
First, let’s talk beef. You will hear all kinds of information about what kind of beef you need to make your burger with. Ground Chuck with high-fat content. 80/20 Ground Beef. Lots of chefs will tell you what makes a tender burger or a good butcher who forms a great burger. All of these things are fine and true!
Listen, I am super picky about my ground beef. And I like two brands. The one from my local grocery store, Ingles-Markets. Or Butcher Box! ((You can use my LINK to try it for yourself!))
Unpopular Opinion: I don’t like grease dripping down my arms when I’m eating a burger. My daily values of fat content dripping down my arms is not my preferred burger-eating experience. Therefore, I like normal ground beef, around 90% lean.
It’s just gross to have grease dripping down your arm.
Yes, I want my perfect burger patty moist and filled with flavor, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a disaster to eat. The great thing about a delicious burger is it doesn’t have to be filled with beef fat. For me, the best cheeseburgers are thin patties with a slice of cheese. I lean towards the smash burger style!
Next, let’s chat about burger seasoning. I love a seasoning blend, and I often create my own seasoning blends from things I have in my pantry.
For me, the best burger seasoning is a mix of Ranch seasoning powder, House Seasoning, and Montreal Steak Seasoning. All of these mixed with some Worcestershire Sauce to form a burger marinade are what make these cheeseburgers delicious!
Wondering what House Seasoning is? It’s equal parts kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add in as much black pepper as you like to a jar then give its a good mix! I use this on almost everything I cook, and it lives right by my stovetop.
If you wanted to make this burger seasoning marinade, mix it into your ground beef, and let it marinate overnight, that would be AMAZING!
But, you can also just go from a mixing bowl to a sheet pan to grill or stovetop.
Now, let’s chat about forming your burgers and what size they should be, etc.
Don’t you HATE it when you go to a cookout, and your burger looks like a puffy hockey puck?! Or the burger is so thick it just makes you second guess your choice of a meal?!
There is no need for that.
After you’ve mixed your meat around with the seasoning marinade, you’ll score the meat into 4 equal portions. If you have more than a pound of beef, you’ll want to make it into eighths. Each burger patty should be about 4 ounces if you were to weigh the patty.
Grab your piece of beef from the quartered sections, then form that one mass into a ball. Using your thumbs and fingers, begin pressing from the center of the ball of meat, and pushing it out while moving it in a circle. Watch the video above to see what I mean!
I like my patties on the thinner side. About half an inch thick or thinner! And it absolutely has to fit on the bun! Nothing too small, nothing too large where it’s spilling over the hamburger buns!
Once you’ve gotten your patty to this size, make a little divot in the middle of the patty with your thumb. Pressing just slightly to give it a little indention. This will help the top of the burger from puffing up like a hockey puck!
At this point, you can pop the burger patties into an even layer in freezer bags and freeze for later!
How Cook a Cheeseburger
Now, we’re ready to grill these burgers! In this Dynamite Burger Recipe, you can see how I grill my burgers – when I have a grill! But, in my little humble apartment, we aren’t allowed grills, so I use the stove-top and a hot skillet to make my burgers.
Stovetop burgers will remind you of the diner classic burger recipes! Where a crust forms on one side and gives a toothsome bite when you sink your teeth into the first bite! Yum.
Get your skillet screaming hot! And don’t add any vegetable oil. Just plop your patty onto the skillet, and let it be. Don’t move it, touch it, anything! Just let it be.
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Once you’ve added your patties to a super hot skillet (This is my favorite cast-iron pan!) turn the heat down to medium-high heat.
You’ll notice the edges of the burger patties will begin to brown, and you may see some sizzling bubbles towards the center of the patty while it’s cooking. That’s a good sign in the cooking process! When you have a good sear and good crust form, you’ll have the best homemade cheeseburgers!
The burger will tell you when it’s ready to flip! If it sticks to the pan (or grill!), let it cook longer.
To get really scientific, the proteins in the burger patty are coagulating when they’re browning. If they haven’t coagulated enough, they hold on for dear life! This goes for any protein. So, if you’ve ever grilled chicken and left half of it stuck to the grill when you flipped, that little baby needed more time!
Now you know!
Once you’ve flipped your burgers (after maybe 5 minutes!), let it cook a few more minutes on the other side. I like my burgers medium-well-well. There is something so gross about biting into a burger and being greeted by a line of raw meat. Ugh!
For medium-rare burgers, you’ll want an internal temperature of 130˚-135˚.
In case you need help with your level of doneness, here’s a handy internal temperatures chart!
I’m a fan of adding American cheese and letting it melt over the burger patties! When I’m cooking on the stove and I can’t find a lid, I’ll just add a cookie sheet on top – it melts the cheese perfectly!
Next, let’s chat about burger toppings!
There are so many! I highly suggest making a Burger Bar and laying all your favorite toppings out for a big gathering! Place burgers on a baking sheet tray that you’ve warmed in the oven. Then,
Cheeseburger Topping Ideas:
- Dill Pickle
- Sweet Pickles
- Tomato Slices
- Onion Slices – I prefer Vidalia! But, Red Onions are a spicy option.
- Cheddar Cheese
- Barbecue Sauce
- Brioche Buns
You’ll also need to serve some delicious side dishes with your juicy cheeseburgers!
Side Dish Recipes for Cheeseburgers:
Classic Potato Chips are a must!
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 2 tsp House Seasoning (recipe in notes)
- 2 tsp Ranch Seasoning
- 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 slices American Cheese
- 4 Burger Buns
- In a mixing bowl, add your ground beef, seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Using your clean hands, mix everything together by using a kneading + folding motion.
- Once the seasonings are combined with the ground beef, mush the whole thing out into one later (inside your bowl).
- Score the meat into 4 sections using your hands.
- Pull one section off at a time, and form into a ball.
- Using your thumbs and fingers, press from the center of the ball, moving out, in a circular motion to form a flat patty.
- When your patty is formed, place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Use your thumb and make an indention on each patty, in the center. This keeps it from puffing up!
- While your patties hang out, put a cast-iron skillet on your stove and get it screaming hot.
- Once your pan is hot, plop your burger patties in the skillet, and don't touch them! Let them sear without any interruptions.
- Cook your burger until it releases, then turn the stove down to medium heat when you flip the burger over.
- Place a slice of American cheese on top of each patty, and allow it to melt by covering the burgers with either a lid or cookie sheet.
- Once your cheese is melted, add the cheeseburger to a bun and serve to your hungry people!
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/4 cup onion powder
- 1/8 cup black pepper
Add all ingredients to a jar or closed container, and shake reallllly well to mix! Use this seasoning on everything, and keep it close to you!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 1657mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 39g
This nutrition information has not been reviewed by anyone with a degree! These are estimations.