I love homemade hamburgers, the kind that are studded with a custom blend of onions and spices. The kind of burger Eddie Murphy describes in his Green Pepper burger skit. The kind of burger that reminds you of home and that no frozen patty or fast food place could ever compete with.Oh don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good burger and fries from a locally run burger joint now and then. I also enjoy upscale, all meat patties made by a quality restaurant that knows meat. But homemade hamburgers, well, they’re in a class of their own, don’t you think?
I make homemade hamburger patties like my mom used to make, with plenty of tasty additions. Like mom, I use a blend of pork and beef, because as mom will tell you, juicy burgers need a little fat. I also add spices, eggs and oats or bread crumbs, just like mom used to do.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lg ground pork
- 1/2 a small onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp Cajun Seasoning*
- 1/4 BBQ sauce
- Add ground meat to large bowl.
- Add onion, garlic, oats, egg, seasoning and BBQ sauce.
- Mix gently until well blended, but avoid squishing meat pieces.
- Shape into 8, quarter pound patties approximately 1/2 inch thick and a little wider than your hambuger buns. (Remember your patties will shrink on the BBQ.)
- Make an indentation in the center of each patty so it doesn't turn into a round ball and the center cooks as well as the outside.
- Lay patties on a platter. If making ahead of time, cover and place in fridge. This actually helps set the patties, but it is not necessary.
- Remove from fridge let rest while BBQ heats to 450°F. Be sure grill is clean and lightly oiled.
- Place patties on hot BBQ grill. Let it sear on one side without moving, rotating or squishing for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip burger and grill for another 2-3 minutes (again, no squishing or moving). Sprinkle finished side with your favorite salt and pepper seasoning (we like Montreal Steak Spice). Reduce heat and finish cooking patty to desired doneness. Use a thermometer inserted through the side of the burger to test for doneness - 125°F is rare, 150°F is medium well and 160°F is well done. (Bacteria are killed at 140°F, but to ensure every part of the burger reaches that temp, food safety experts recommend 160°F). It's your call.
- Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before digging in.
- * Alternative to cajun seasoning 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- You can freeze patties by laying on tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze while on tray then transfer to freezer bag.
Here’s my patties all ready to go. About 1/2 inch thick, wider than my burger buns with an indentation in the middle. If you want, you can flash freeze the patties like this and then transfer them to a freezer bag.
My teenage son does a great job at the barbeque. He has the patience and desire to make juicy tender burgers. He’s learned that he needs high heat to start and to resist all temptation to move, squish, poke or prod the patties. He just lets them do their thing until they’re ready to flip. Then he waits patiently for other side to get done. The only thing he does is add a touch of Montreal Steak spice. Seriously, he has way more patience at the BBQ than I do!
Then he brings ’em in and the rest is up to us. Here are some of our favorite homemade toppings and accompaniments:
My homemade hamburgers are like many of my homemade dishes, always slightly different. When you make things repeatedly, having learned from someone by your side, rather than from a recipe book, you get a feel for the process. So please use the recipe above as a guideline, not a rule. Make the recipe yours by adding or subtracting favorite spices and flavors. If you love burgers, then practicing with all sorts of variations will be a tasty treat. And if things happen to go horribly wrong, which I really can’t imagine, make a batch of hamburger soup!
I’d love to see your homemade hamburgers and hear your favorite spice combos and ways to dress your burgers. Drop me a line or post a photo on Instagram. Add #getgettys so I can drool over it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.