Tips & Techniques Grilling Grill the Perfect Cheeseburger

The cheeseburger is an American culinary icon, and anyone who fires up a grill needs a recipe that honors that status. A good cheeseburger is a pleasure, but a great cheeseburger is an experience, and these tips will show you how to make the best.


Click here for our perfect cheeseburger recipe, and keep reading to learn how to pull it off yourself.

Choose the Best Meat & Make Good-Sized Patties

The fat-to-lean ratio of the meat is critical for a juicy burger; equal parts ground chuck and ground sirloin consistently deliver the best balance of flavor and fat. If you want a deeper, richer, beefier flavor, buy grass-fed beef. Gently shape the meat into patties just until they hold together, and make them thick enough so they will pick up a grill flavor without overcooking. They should weigh about 1/3 pound and measure 1 inch thick.

Prevent a “Swollen Belly” 

Make an indentation in the center of each patty with your thumb. This prevents the “swollen belly” syndrome: burgers that are not as juicy as they should be and are puffed up and smaller than you intended.

Cool Down the Patties & Heat up the Fire

Chill your patties in the refrigerator – a half hour is good, and an hour is even better – before you grill them. They will hold together better over the fire and cook more evenly. A burger picks up caramelized flavor when it hits a sizzling-hot grill, so start with a hot fire. You can always adjust the heat afterward.

Don’t Press Burgers & Do Toast Buns

Never press down on a burger with a spatula when it is on the grill. All that does is push out all the flavorful juices. Give the buns a quick toasting on the grill – this simple step will help boost the burgers’ quality by a mile.

Don’t Overdo the Condiments

Let the cheese and the burger shine. Try a little mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup, a tomato slice and thinly sliced onions; caramelize them if you have the time.