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Ground beef (Recipe: burgers)


If there's really a hamburger heaven, please save a seat for me.

I'm an unapologetic burger lover.

I love them all: the fat ones and the flat ones, sit-down or drive-through, blue cheese or Swiss cheese, buns with seeds or no buns at all. Slather on some ketchup -- that's all I ask.

Ground beef always has a home in The Perfect Pantry, not just for burgers, but for stuffed zucchini with brown rice, beef enchiladas, horseradish meatloaf, puffy tacos, Persian meat patties, Argentinean empanadas, Beijing sauce noodles, Thai meatballs and Greek meatballs and spaghetti and meatballs.

Did you know that there's a difference between ground beef and hamburger? According to the US Department of Agriculture, beef fat may be added to hamburger, but not to ground beef, whether the meat is ground and packaged at a USDA-inspected plant or in your local market (as is often the case). A maximum of 30 percent fat by weight is allowed in either hamburger or ground beef. Both can have seasonings, but no added water, phosphates, extenders, or binders.

For most cooking, like stews and stuffings, I buy the leanest ground beef I can find, as lean as 93/7 (which has 7 percent fat). For burgers, a fattier mix like 80/20 will produce a juicier burger. Follow your heart, or your cardiologist's dictates, to decide how much fat is fine for you.

It's the perfect time to enjoy a burger. Go ahead. Indulge.

I'll save a seat for you, right next to me, in hamburger heaven.

Who can resist a juicy cheeseburger?

How to cook a frozen burger

I was too embarrassed to write a recipe for how to cook a burger. Really, you know how, don't you? Then I decided to follow the instructions that came with my Roseda Steakburgers. I was skeptical; I'd never grilled burgers straight from the freezer before. I'd never gone flip, flip, flip before. But the burgers we made were so delicious that I had to share the instructions with you (notes in parentheses indicate where we deviated a bit, as you knew we would).

Take the burgers straight from your freezer to the grill. (Note: the burgers were a generous half-inch thick.)

Preheat your grill (gas or charcoal) on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

3,3,3,2,2,1: Cook your burger for three minutes, flip, and cook for another three minutes, and then flip and cook for another three. Flip two more times, cooking for two minutes on each side. And then finish it off by cooking for one more minute. This should give you a medium-well to well-done burger. (After following those directions on the first batch, and coming up with a very well-done burger, we tried 3,3,3,2, and achieved medium-rare to medium. If you're making a cheeseburger, add your cheese in the last 30-45 seconds.)

Hold the ketchup: There's no reason to add anything but salt and pepper. (I wouldn't think of holding the ketchup, or the cheese. We didn't salt and pepper the burgers, either; they were quite flavorful as is, and we're not really big on salting our food. And there's salt in the ketchup.)

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Rotini with spicy meat sauce
Lydia's own meat sauce
Chipotle meatloaf
Beef stir fry with bitter melon
Peruvian spicy string beans
Tex-Mex penne

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Maybe their directions were to comply with FDA guidelines on cooking beef? I'm with you, medium-rare is best, especially if you have good beef.

I'm a huge burger fan too!! Gourmet burgers, fast food burgers, burgers grilled at home - I love them all (although they're hardly recognizable as being the same thing!). Your "young random generators" look like they're really enjoying theirs! :-)

I'm a big burger fan, too. Have never cooked them from frozen and found the cook and flip concept quite interesting. The "young random generators" look like they are really enjoying their food. The last picture of just the hamburger was so realistic that I felt like I could just take a bite and enjoy! How cool would that be!
Anyway thanks again for a wonderful post.

Lydia, great to meet you at BlogHer!

As the summer has progressed, I am more interested in eating burgers that are well thought out - no more frozen beef patties from the big box store, I will seek out smaller portions of excellent beef for my burger. And I agree with you, burgers are not complete without cheese and ketchup - I also add mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Ah, the perfect burger....thanks for the cooking instructions, I am going to try those tomorrow at our Sunday night BBQ.


What an awesome thing to give away! I'm heading over to their site now to browse around.

We really love burgers as well and have a cookout planned for tomorrow. The weather has finally turned beautiful and we're going to take full advantage. :)

They look delicious. I sometimes do burgers the old time way with egg, spice, and breadcrumbs worked into ground round. That's also good.

mmmmmm.....beef (in my best Homer Simpson voice)....there really isn't anything better than a well made beef burger.
Well, strike that. What I meant to say was, there isn't anything better than a well "cooked" burger, made from top quality beef.
Really, it's "summer" in a bun for sure.

Oh, yum! What a handsome and lucky fella eating that delicious-looking hamburger. *sigh* I'm hungry now.


Pick me; pick me; I love a good burger especially on the grill in summertime. Mmmmm, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

OK, This is something I can deal with. The last beef patties I grilled were stuffed with herbs from the garden and celery salt (just a bit).

Beef . . . it's what's for dinner. We have a fantastic family butcher in town where we buy our meat. They will fresh grind beef for you. It makes an awesome burger. Earlier this summer I found a recipe for espresso rubbed burgers. Now they were awesome. Talk about combining my favorite foods - coffee and beef. It's heaven!

Mmmmmm..summer burgers, all beef and no guilty feelings. I'll pass on the ketchup and add mustard and thinly sliced onion.

I'm generally indifferent about red meat in anything but "ground beef" form and the occasional roast... but, oh... my beloved burger!

I go with the classics... mustard, ketchup, mayo, tomato, and a little onion. Mmmmm...

This sounds like a great give-away. I've been meaning to make a trip to a local rancher for a while now and this is a good reminder. The burgers look great although I'd never heard of the grill-straight-from-frozen thing before either. Glad to hear it worked out!

I do my burgers a number of different ways--never quite the same twice. Some would argue its more meatloafy than burgers given how much other "stuff" I mix in. *shrugs* The hit the spot just the same. ;-)

Hey u know what ... I have never made a burger in my life, and just the other day, I was telling my hub that *maybe* I'll make him a really nice burger for dinner one day, and his eyes lit up in happiness... heh ...

Oh, there is nothing like a good hamburger. We make them at least once a week in the summer and once or twice during
the winter. I love to add things to my meat mixture. Sometimes even the cheese
goes in. I have never made them straight
from the freezer. Will have to try

I made the best and most juciest burger ever! I used some A-1 peppercorn flavor in it and it was so juicy!

I am a huge fan of putting bacon and guacamole on my burgers.
Yum! Great post!

I love my George Foreman Grill. Don't laugh. It allows me to make yummy burgers all year round. I even like horseradish sauce on them sometimes.

Mmmmm...they look delish. I love a good burger. Since I'm a terrible griller I cook burgers slowly is in a cast iron skillet in a little olive oil. YUM.

I love the Recipe of the Week: 52 Burgers book. The best so far was one stuffed with blue cheese and topped with caramelized onions. Yum!

These burgers look fantastic. I hope I win some!

My mouth is watering looking at those pictures. Every so often I get such a hankering for a big, greasy bacon cheese burger.

I was undecided as to what to have for dinner, but now I know. Burgers and fresh corn from our local farm.

Thanks again for the inspiration.


Your random number generator and burger tester staff is quite adorable.

At our house we always eat burgers with my husband's special sauce: ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and horseradish mixed to taste. Delicious stuff.

There's nothing like the scent of grilling burgers and those flares up that let you know you have a fat filled, juicy burger coming!

Wow, do those burgers look fabulous! Your grandsons are so cute - you can see that they are loving those burgers! Isn't it funny how people add very different things to their burgers? I love to add cheese, onion, tomato, and ketchup - lots of ketchup ! Thanks for the opportunity to win the Roseda Summer Cookout Kit and give your grandsons an extra hug from your Perfect Pantry fans!

Hamburger heaven indeed. Nothing like grilled ground beef!

Burgers! Love them - especially on my new grill!

You know, I rarely eat beef, unless I'm eating it out - because what I make at home always seems to have the consistency of shoe leather. But, having read your "recipe" and savored the photos, I'm seriously thinking about "beefing up."

OK, I'm de-lurking in hopes of winning delicious burgers, but I do love your site and have even made a couple of things with great success - the tex-mex pasta was a big hit. So, pick me please?

Those burger pics are making me salivate! I think I'll fire up the grill tomorrow. I have been dressing my burgers with some gorgonzola and caramelized onions lately--- delicious!!

Thanks for all the ground beef recipes, my husband loves all things ground beef.

Mmmm. In my opinion there is nothing like a juicy burger fresh off the grill. I alternate between liking bacon and cheddar on mine, or making blue cheese burgers, or swiss with mushroom.

Great to find some good ground beef recipes! My in-laws always bring us lots of beef from their farm and I never know how to be creative with it. Thanks!

To paraphrase a familiar commercial,"Burgers, it's whats for dinner". That burger looks so good, I think we're having our version tomorrow for dinner. We call them 'Messy' burgers, probably because by the time we put the toppings on, they're a little on the messy side to eat.

That's quite the burger! I'm a burger lover too. My new favorite topping is a roasted poblano. mmm!

Those look so juicy and delicious!

I personally love having a fried egg as a topping (weird? maybe, but oh so good) on my burgers. It's definitely a treat, not an everyday burger.

I have been missing a good burger for a long time now...

my favorite burger:
beef patty, pepper jack cheese, guacamole, roasted poblano peppers, and ketchup on a soft wheat bun. swoon. :)

I love, love, love a good burger. I like mine pretty basic - old fashioned Texas-style. They must be oozing juices(and medium to medium rare). I'm not much of a burger snob - I'll eat most any, save McDonald's. But my favorites of all are big and juicy and have some love in them, with a big side of good, greasy hand-cut fries. Yum!

A burger just isn't a burger in my book without ketchup!

I love burgers too! The flip flip flip I would never have tried. And my 3 year old daughter would never have a burger without ketchup (me either). I have to watch or she will eat ketchup with a spoon!

the Roseda burger (3,3,3,2,2,1) was actually one of the best burgers i've ever had!

btw, Lydia........you mentioned the addition of the all important fruit spread (aka ketchup), but not the roll.......please tell us more about the roll that the Roseda burger was served on.

thanks again!
carlotta mondatta

Hi Lydia!
I love beef burgers, but I am a mustard girl through and through... sometimes (gasp!) I don't even use ketchup! Avocado slices also make me happy on a burger :)

There is nothing better than a great burger. My husband asks for them about 2x a week. My fav is traditional - burger, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and a good dollop of "special sauce" i.e. 1000 island dressing. An occasional burger with blue cheese, grilled onions, and mushrooms. A couple favorites made by others include In-and-Out Burger and Shake Shack in NYC.

I love the addition of the "gourmet" burger to most upscale restaurant menus these days. I had one recently that was served with bacon, mushrooms and brie on a buttery brioche (with fries drizzled with truffle oil).

If I'm making them at home, I keep it traditional: cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, and mustard. A sesame seed bun is a must.

What a great giveaway!! great blog too!

We love burgers of every kind... beef is the best (medium rare with blue cheese, sauted onions and bacon is my favorite...) but we have been experimenting with other ways to do burgers. Last night we did asian pork burgers with ground pork and chinese five spice mixed in... a lovely sauce of hosin and soy sauce and other spices on top... yum!!!

I've been thinking of trying grass-fed beef, and I've been looking for a small supplier to buy from. Plus, I'm in Baltimore, so Roseda is fairly local to me. Bonus!

Lydia, that by far is the best looking burger that I have ever seen. So my favorite way to make them is just like you did, I want one now.

I could eat burgers for breakfast lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, my husband won't let me. The ones featured on this post look esp. delicious.

These burgers look delicious. I like mine with blue cheese. Thanks for sharing.

I've been reading your blog for a couple of months and enjoy all of your pantry tips.

Those burgers look like they were enjoyed by everyone! I'd love to try them out with my two taste-testers, so please enter me in the drawing!

Thank goodness; there's at least one more no-mustard hamburger-eater in the universe! I'm glad you tested how to cook them less than well-done, especially since they're starting from frozen.

i have to tell you this story. jai just landed from india - a lifelong vegetarian - to the middle of kansas. he was famished and walked into a burger place. he looked at the options and asked for just the bun and the tomato and lettuce - no burger.

the confounded guy at the counter did some calculations on his machine and arrived at the grand total of 26 cents. he took the price of what an extra burger (the meat) would have cost and deducted it from the total to arrive at what he rest would cost. j was so embarrassed to pay 26 cents, he said, "may i have two of those?" and he paid 52 cents. lol.

Oh, wow, those photos would make a burger fan of me if I wasn't already one. Those are the best looking burgers I think I've ever seen - I thoroughly agree with cooking them only to a medium.

Great photos Lydia! are they your boys? THey're sure enjoying themselves:)
I want your burger!

Seems I'm always hosting giveaways on my blog, so I'd sure love to win one for once!


I always have ground beef around, Lydia, since Joao loves it - I use it to make spaghetti alla bolognese for him. :)

That photo makes me want to lick the screen.

That burger looks awesome.

How cute. The hamburger looks amazing too!

I swear my husband could eat a cheeseburger every meal for the rest of his life and be perfectly happy.

What about the buns? The buns look delicious too. I'm always having trouble finding good buns. Yum.

Lydia, I just knew we were kindred spirits. :-) I am such the burger fan, too -- there's almost nothing I enjoy more than a fat, juicy burger. I love the blue cheese-and-bacon combo as a topping, as well as the bacon-sharp cheddar-avocado option. I did have the most amazing burger, though, at Redhead in Solon, Iowa, just before I moved -- it was made with sauteed onions and mushrooms stuffed in the middle, then topped with (I think) blue cheese. It. Was. Amazing.

Hi Lydia,
I live in rainy Scotland but on the rare occasion that the sun pays us a visit, I like to flame grill my burgers on the barbeque. I like mine cooked medium-well and served in a fresh baker's roll (a bun, to you!) with crisp iceberg lettuce and (here comes the fancy bit!) a dressing of dijon mustard mayonaise with finely diced capers and anchovy fillets! Give it a try it's delicious!

I am a veggie/chicken gal. My in-laws? Meat meat and meat.

Of all the meals I have cooked for them, the one they enjoyed most was when I followed alton browns advice and fresh chopped chuck steak in my cuisinart, added a nice bunch oif salt and grilled it, serving it with home made fries.

So my best toppings? Love, work and hope.

hi, i'm just another burger lover...sharing my burgers with ya:

enjoy! ;)

I just starting eating burgers again a few years ago (vegetarian for almost 25 years). I'm a bit picky about what kind I will eat. I love a turkey burger smothered with onons, provolone, lettuce & pickles. I also loved the burger I had at Johnny Rockets, lol. It was awesome! Thanks for the chance Lydia!

What cute kids! Love, love, love hamburgers. Would rather have one than a steak. Great site, btw. Perhaps I'll send a pantry picture.

i love a great burger and lately i just don't have them as much because you can't always trust where the meat is from or how it's been handled.

mmm... i want a burger right now with blue cheese and sauteed mushrooms...

Lydia, I am usually a boring turkey burger lover, but those look absolutely yummy. My kids love the beef, so I give it to them. I like to mix a package of dry onion soup mix in with the meat--I mix it in with my ground turkey as well. The burgers have a really great oniony taste which goes great when you top them with a good, hearty Cheddar.

Wow, those look really good. And I'll try to ignore the ketchup I see. It makes me gag.

I like my burgers with Muenster cheese, peanut butter, avocado, carmelised onions, tomato, lettuce, and horseradish mustard. Mmm. It's mouthgasmic. And I'm actually having burgers tonight. :]

As a family member, I take myself out of the running for a free burger; but definitely save one for me on my next visit. They look great!!

I'm so glad you said you wouldn't think of holding the ketchup.

Oh yeah, a drawing....I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I hate to admit it but a really good burger is one of my all time favorite indulgences and these sound amazing! I can feel my name being picked up out of a hat already!

I'm positively salivating...

They sound like they are really delicious and would be so good bbq'd for our kids and grands when they visit. Yum!

Burger with just a bit of ketchup is our favorite way to 'dress it up'.

I love burgers! My favorite is to top with avocado and some really sharp cheddar cheese! yumm...

What adorable kids and great looking burgers! I wanna be one of them!
Look at that melted, dripping cheese. Darn lucky kids!
Count us in for the giveaway, yeah! We love free stuff. Keeping our fingers crossed....

Oh man, those look delicious!

Mmmm... burgers. I like mine with mayo, onion, and tomato. I'm going to check out the Roseda website. I'm looking for a good source for grass-fed beef. Thanks!

Burgers! i have a little hibachi grill that could produce the greatest burgers. Yum! Maybe I'll grill this weekend...

I haven;t been doing a whole lot of cooking lately what with working full time and having an infant in the house, but this post made me want to go home and cook burgers for dinner!

Thanks for getting my cooking juices flowing again!


You cannot beat a juicy,cheesy burger to end the summer!

OH BOY....BURGERS! I have to tell you a little story about being in Hawaii for a vacation, the last night there were fireworks we watched from the balcony, AND, we ordered burgers & fries from room service (my most favorite meal in the world)...that was many years ago, in the late 90's, the cost was $40 bucks and I still remember it all....that being said, where do you think is the best burger in RI?

PS...I love a thick burger, with LTM and a thick slice of raw white onion, on a roll from BJ's that is a square roll that can handle all of the mess...oh yeah, I like to add a little Hinze Ketchup (I hear that's the special sauce from Burger King)...sometimes, I like to add horseradish sauce instead, and almost always, some sort of cheese...add worsechire sauce and steak seasoning before grilling...don't forget some potato wedges and a good cold beer!

Man you know how to photograph a burger! I'm not normally the burger lover like my husband is but these even appeal to me. I'm intrigued by their cooking instructions and might have to give those a try! Thanks.

Should your find our your gas grill doesn't haven enough gas to cook the burgers, we love to cook ours in a skillet on the stove. We love ground sirloin. Make sure the skillet is very hot so that it sears the flavors in the burgers. Don't flip them the first time until they are very brown. Add the cheese (sharp cheddar) at the last 1 or 2 minutes of cooking time and put a lid on them. The cheese melts fabulously. Always toast your buns buttered on a griddle at medium low heat. Tasty!!!

My boyfriend just started grilling a few days ago! He'd love a few burgers to toss on there...

What a great give away! All we eat is grass fed beef and we are lucky enough to have been able to find a local farmer! Can't ever have too much though!!! That burger looks great!

So many interesting and inventive burgers! This entry closes the giveaway. Our "random generator" will pick the winner tomorrow, and I'll post tomorrow evening. Thank you everyone, and thank you, Roseda Farm!

I've always been too nervous to try to really experiment with meat - but my husband would be thrilled if I branched out! This would be a great way to do it.. yummy :-)


Thank You for the very informative post. I have a quick question. What kind of bun is it that's shown in the burger photo in this post? I"ve been looking for this kind of bun for a long time. It doesn't quite look like a potato bun, nor is it the most common kind of regular bun found groceries, it seems.


Mohammed, it's a potato bun.

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