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Basic Hamburger

June 15, 2012
by Shannon Hepburn

Basic Hamburger
  • 1½ pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
  • 4 slices cheese (optional)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split & toasted, if desired
  1. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a ¾-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. This divot prevents the burger from retracting and cooking up into a round ball. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over. Brush the burgers with the oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey. Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare (3 minutes if topping with cheese; see step 3) or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side.
  3. Add the cheese, if using, to the tops of the burgers during the last minute of cooking and close the grill cover, or tent the burgers with aluminum foil to melt the cheese.
  4. Serves 4