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Basic Grilled Burger

makes 8 burgers

Be gentle when forming these burgers into patties, so they maintain a light texture. Tony Rosenfeld prefers thin patties, as they cook quickly and are easier to eat. If you prefer thicker burgers, just add a minute or two to the cooking times.

Read more about this recipe at the Washington Post.


3 pounds ground beef (chuck), preferably 85 percent lean
Olive oil, for forming the patties
2 teaspoons kosher salt


prep: 20 minutes
total: 20 minutes




1. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 to 5 seconds.

2. Divide the beef into 6-ounce portions. Lightly spritz some oil on your hands (this helps mold smooth patties). Form the beef into patties about 1/2-inch thick and 4 1/2 inches wide, gently pressing and spreading the beef while rotating it in your hands. Sprinkle each burger with a total 1/4 teaspoon salt on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours before grilling (you may need to reshape the burgers a bit after refrigeration).

3. When ready to grill, clean the grate well with a wire brush. Using an old dish towel, lightly oil the grate. On the gas grill, cook the burgers about 3 minutes, covered, without touching them, until the sides of the burgers start to darken and some juices rise to the top; the burgers should show good grill marks if you peek underneath. Flip the burgers and cook about 3 minutes without touching them, until they start to become firm to the touch.

4. To check doneness, pull one of the thicker burgers to a cooler side of the grill and make a slit in the center; it should be light pink for medium. Keep cooking, flipping one or two more times, to the desired degree of doneness, allowing a couple more minutes for well-done. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve immediately.

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