The All-American Burger: A Backyard Barbecue Classic

high angle burgers with usa flag assortment
There's nothing quite like a perfectly cooked, juicy burger loaded with standard toppings. This recipe will show you how to make the classic American cheeseburger, which is ideal for a backyard BBQ or a filling midweek meal.

Ingredients

For the hamburgers:
  • 1 pound ground beef (80:20 lean-to-fat ratio);
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper;
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder;
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder;
  • 4 hamburger buns.
For the Toppings
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pickles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prep the Patty Paradise: In a large bowl, gently combine the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Avoid overworking the meat, as this can lead to tough burgers.
  2. Shape Up: Divide the seasoned beef mixture into four equal portions. Form each portion into a patty that’s slightly wider than your hamburger bun. Make a small indentation in the center of each patty with your thumb to prevent them from puffing up in the middle while cooking.
  3. Fire Up the Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you don’t have a grill, a large skillet over medium heat will work as well.
  4. Burger Bliss: Place the patties on the preheated grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare burgers. For a more well-done burger, cook for an additional minute or two per side.
  5. Cheese Time: During the last minute of cooking, place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Let the cheese melt until gooey and delicious.
  6. Bun Voyage: While the burgers are cooking, toast the hamburger buns on the grill or in a toaster.
  7. Building a Masterpiece: Once the burgers are cooked and the cheese is melted, remove them from the heat. Pile your toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and your favorite condiments. Top it all off with that juicy cheeseburger!

Tips For Burger Perfection

  • A spoonful of Worcestershire sauce or Dijon mustard can be added to the ground beef mixture to give it an extra flavor boost.
  • If you prefer thicker burgers, prepare thicker patties and modify the cooking time appropriately.
  • Toasting the buns offers a lovely textural contrast to the juicy burger and helps them stay together.
  • Be creative with your toppings! Beyond the classics, the choices are unlimited. Add avocado, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, or a fried egg for a gourmet touch.

With this recipe and a little practice, you’ll be able to cook restaurant-quality burgers in no time. So fire up the grill, assemble your friends and family, and savor the flavors of a true American favorite!

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