Classic Hamburgers

One of the first dishes my mother taught me how to cook when I was a kid was a hamburger. Growing up, my parents had always made hamburgers from scratch, seasoning fresh ground beef, molding the patties, and throwing them on either a charcoal grill or a hot skillet.

These classic hamburgers are based on how my mother taught me how to make them. What makes them different is the use of smoked sea salt, which gives it a barbeque flare without setting up an entire grill.

These classic hamburgers are very versatile and great for beginning cooks. There’s no need to use any special, expensive meat. Pick out what ground beef is available to you. Personally, I like to use grass fed ground beef that is 85% lean and 15% fat for health reasons, but the more fat the ground beef has, the more flavorful and juicy it is.

My mother taught me to always add Worcestershire sauce to enhance the flavor, and a few tablespoons of water to make it super juicy. She always taught me to never press down on a burger while it is cooking because this removes all of the juices that make it so tender.

Serve the burgers with classic hamburger buns and American cheese or dress them up with potato buns or brioche and Wisconsin cheddar or havarti cheese.


  • Simple and easy to make
  • 10 ingredients or less
  • Flavorful and juicy
  • Can be made in a skillet or grill pan
  • Smokey flavor

Types of Smoked Sea Salt to Use

When I got my first apartment and did not have the means to grill, I made use of smoked sea salts to give my tiny apartment barbeques some much needed smokiness.

Some flavored smoked salts that work well are Hickory Smoked Salt, Applewood Smoked Salt, Maple Smoked Salt, Mesquite Smoked Salt, and Alderwood Smoked Salt. They can be found in specialty culinary shops, some grocery stores, and online.

On days when I have time, I will bake my own hamburger buns in a large tray. Any unused buns are frozen.

Homemade hamburger buns with black sesame seeds


Pandesal Chicken Burgers

New York Pizza Dough

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Barbecue Sausage Pizza

Oven Roasted Delicata Squash

Sourdough Harvest Sub Rolls

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Classic Hamburgers with Cheese


Large skillet


Classic Hamburgers

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 People


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped or 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked sea salt and pepper to taste, or regular sea salt if you cannot find smoked salt
  • 1/4 head of lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • optional: your favorite sliced cheese
  • optional: ketchup and mayonnaise


  1. Place the ground beef, water, Worcestershire sauce, chopped garlic, sea salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, knead the ground beef with the ingredients until fully incorporated.

  2. Divide the ground meat into four even mounds. If you would like smaller burgers, divide the patties into six even mounds.

  3. Using your hands, mold each mount into a patty. Set each patty onto a clean plate.

  4. Heat two tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add each patty and cook the patties on medium to high heat for 5 minutes. When brown on one side, flip the patties over with a spatula and cook for another 5 minutes. Cook the patties for an extra minute if you would like the meat to be medium to well done. As you cook, do not push down on the patty with the spatula—this will make your hamburgers less juicy.

  5. When each patty is ready, turn off the heat and add a slice of cheese on top if desired. Allow the cheese to melt.

  6. Serve each hamburger on a hamburger bun with a slice of lettuce and tomato and a squeeze of ketchup and mayonnaise.

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