This is the Ultimate Guide for How to Grill the Best Juicy Burgers using either gas or a charcoal grill and fresh or frozen hamburgers. This is the best recipe that also includes my homemade rub for perfect seasoning and flavor.
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Have you ever wondered how long you should grill your burgers? You’re in the right spot. Grilling burgers has always been my favorite task for BBQs and cookouts.
Burgers are my favorite item on the menu! Yes, I love them more than the ribs and I hate hot dogs. They made be tied with chicken wings!
What Type of Beef to Use
Ground beef is important, but the type you use is even more important. The percentage of fat in the beef matters. Fat provides moisture and will produce juicy burgers. The fat will also keep the burger from drying out on the grill, while cooking at a high temperature.
Ground chuck beef is the best cut to use and at 80% lean. 75% lean will work as well. You can use leaner cuts of meat, but expect a drier burger.
I use the pre-made burgers from Butcher Box, the meat is 100% grass-finished and grass-fed.
How to Season the Meat
I love to use my Homemade Burger Rub Seasoning for these. It’s a combination of the following:
I also love to add Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke for additional flavor. The liquid smoke gives the burger even more grilled flavor.
How to Form Burger Patties/How to Keep Them From Shrinking
If you aren’t using pre-made patties, you can grab a pound to a pound and a half of ground meat and form them yourself. Take a look at your buns and shape the patties so that they are larger than the actual bun you will be using.
Burgers shrink. So take that into account. You also don’t want to over-mix and over-work the meat. If you’ve ever made BBQ Meatballs, you are familiar with this rule of thumb.
Over-working the meat will cause it to be tough, dry, and it’s more likely to fall apart when you get it on the grill and get to flipping it. It’s best to use minimal shaping. Once shaped, press down into the center of the burger using your thumb. This will allow the patty to cook evenly and maintain a circular shape as it grills.
You can read more about The Best Method for Shaping Burgers here.
Another reason why you don’t want to overwork the meat is that your hands are at room temperature. Your room temperature hands will alter the temperature of the meat, which should be cold when it goes on the grill.
Cold meat will stick together when you place it on the grill. Warm or room temperature meat will crumble and fall apart.
Take this into account if using pre-made patties. When you defrost the burgers they are more likely to fall apart when they come to room temperature. Once defrosted, I separate the burgers onto parchment paper and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to season and grill.
Why You Use Oil
You should oil the grill grates using a cooking brush or towel prior to grilling. This will help prevent sticking. I like to do this prior to preheating, to prevent flare ups from the oil.
I also like to add a little oil to the burgers. This just provides another precaution, to prevent sticking. The oil also helps with getting those perfect grill marks on the patty.
How to Grill the Best Burgers
Detailed instructions and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
- Season the ground beef with liquid smoke, Worcestershire, and the burger seasoning.
- Form 4 burger patties.
- Drizzle olive oil onto the grill grates to prevent sticking.
- Place the burgers onto the grill and close the lid.
- A minute prior to removing the burgers from the grill, top each burger with a slice of cheese.
Burgers are cooked at a pretty high heat. I recommend 450 degrees.
Getting to know your grill is important. Most modern and newer grills will display the temperature. For this dish, 450 degrees is optimal.
If you don’t have a temperature dial you can do a hand test to see if the grill has reached medium-high. You can read more about How to Check the Temperature of Your Grill here.
Cook Time/How Long Do You Grill the Burgers
Total cook time will vary based on how done you like your burgers. You can also use a meat thermometer to gauge. These are total cook time, be sure to flip halfway.
- 4 minutes, 125 degrees rare
- 5 minutes, 135 degrees medium rare
- 6 minutes, 145 degrees for medium
- 7 minutes, 155 degrees for medium-well
- 9 minutes, 160 degrees for well done.
According to the USDA, hamburgers should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Use a food thermometer to be sure they have reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F. If you’re cooking turkey burgers, they should be cooked to 165 °F.
Per these standards, you should aim for a burger that’s medium-well to well done. Ground meat is different from steak consumption.
Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill
You can use either grill for this recipe. For burgers, I prefer a charcoal grill. It adds an additional element of flavor, but I personally use a gas grill most often. They are just so convenient, there’s less clean up, and they preheat very quickly.
What Type of Buns to Use
Brioche buns are my favorite. They toast up well and I like to oil the top just a touch with butter or olive oil. Any bun you like will work just fine.
What Type of Cheese to Use
You can use any cheese you like. Here are some options.
- White Cheddar
- Monterey Jack
- Blue Cheese
Additional Toppings and Add-Ons
- Grilled Mushrooms
- Grilled Onions
- Pico De Gallo
- Onion Rings
Leftover Burgers/How to Reheat
Burgers don’t make good leftovers because once the burger is cooked and has hardened/congealed over time, it isn’t as moist as it was when you first cooked it.
The fat just doesn’t move the same way and the texture is both moisture and heat sensitive. I try to avoid leftover burgers, but if you have some, the best way to reheat them is to avoid the microwave.
For flavor, heat the burger in a pan along with a little butter or oil to combat how dry they are. You can even saute onions along with it to try to re-introduce additional flavor.
How to Use Turkey Burgers
Turkey burgers are grilled on 400-450 degrees for 12 minutes total until the burgers reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.
How to Use Frozen Burgers
Frozen burgers are cooked at 450 degrees for up to 20 minutes total. Be sure the burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 °F. Flip repeatedly to ensure even cooking.
It’s typically easier to season frozen burgers while on the grill, after they have cooked for a few minutes and softened.
More Grilling Recipes
Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon
Grilled Cedar Plank Shrimp
Grilled Asparagus in Foil
Traeger Smoked Chicken Breast
More BBQ and Cookout Recipes
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Southern Baked Beans
Southern Potato Salad
Southern Soul Food Baked Mac and Cheese
Easy Spaghetti Salad
Southern Macaroni Salad
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
How to Grill Chicken Wings
More Burger Recipes
Air Fryer Cheeseburgers
Keto Cheeseburger Casserole
Mushroom Swiss Burgers
Air Fryer Frozen Burgers
Steak Stir Fry
Pair these with my Air Fryer French Fries or Roasted Ranch Potatoes.
How to Grill the Best Juicy Burgers
- 1 pound 80/20 ground chuck beef or 4 pre-made patties
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Homemade Burger Rub (See notes for substitution)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar or sweetener
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika Regular paprika is fine if you wish.
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Optional
- 4 slices cheese Any cheese you prefer.
- 4 brioche buns
- Drizzle olive oil onto the grill grates to prevent sticking. I like to use a cooking brush or towels.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat/450 degrees.
- Season the ground beef with liquid smoke, Worcestershire, olive oil, and the burger seasoning. Form 4 burger patties. Be careful not to overwork the mixture. This will result in burgers that crumble.
- Ensure your meat is cold prior to grilling. If necessary, place the seasoned and formed burgers into the fridge to cool until you are ready to grill. If you grill the burgers at room temperature, this will result in dry burgers that will likely fall apart.
- Place the burgers onto the grill, but don't press down. This squeezes the fat from the burger and dries them out. Feel free to flip the burgers repeatedly to ensure even cooking.
- Total cook time will vary based on how done you like your burgers. You can also use a meat thermometer to gauge: 4 minutes, 125 degrees rare5 minutes, 135 degrees medium rare6 minutes, 145 degrees for medium7 minutes, 155 degrees for medium-well9 minutes, 160 degrees for well done.
- A minute prior to removing the burgers from the grill, top each burger with a slice of cheese (if preferred). Cook for an additional minute. You can add buns here for toasted buns.
- Allow the burgers to rest and cool for 10 minutes. Serve on buns.
- I use the pre-made burgers from Butcher Box, the meat is 100% grass-finished and grass-fed.
- Make sure your grill grates are clean prior to grilling. Leftover residue will lead to sticking.
- If you don’t want to make a Homemade Burger Rub, feel free to use 2 tablespoons of your favorite rub.
- Liquid smoke is added for additional grilled flavor. Omit if you wish. There is no substitute.
- I also like to add a little oil to the burgers. This just provides another precaution, to prevent sticking. The oil also helps with getting those perfect grill marks on the patty.
- Prior to shaping the patties (if not using pre-made), Take a look at your buns and shape the patties so that they are larger than the actual bun you will be using.
- According to the USDA, hamburgers should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Use a food thermometer to be sure they have reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F. If you’re cooking turkey burgers, they should be cooked to 165 °F.
Friday 6th of May 2022
I love the homemade rub it adds the perfect flavor. Brandi explains everything so well. I love all her recipes and this one is going on repeat this summer.
Thursday 12th of May 2022
I'm glad to hear it will be on repeat!
Sunday 25th of July 2021
Followed these tips for a family barbecue today, and the burgers came out SO well!! Not a dry burger at the cookout. Going to be sending this post to friends - the instructions are unmatched - so clear and thorough!!
Tuesday 3rd of August 2021
Thank you for sharing the post!