Basic Burgers

bunless burger with pesto, goat cheese, and roasted peppers

It doesn’t take much to convince me to grill burgers. They’re perfect for weeknight meals, weekend barbecues, and even parties. I usually enjoy my burgers without a bun, unless I’ve splurged on gluten-free buns. But the longer I go without adding breads of any kind to my meals, the less I am inclined to add the bun. I make up for this lack with lots of interesting, and sometimes unusual, toppings.

It all starts with the basic burger, a recipe I think should be part of every cook’s repertoire. This bare-bones recipe results in a delicious burger every time. And, of course, modifying this recipe to suit your own taste and cravings is as easy as opening your pantry and adding different elements.

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Basic Burgers

bunless burger with pesto, goat cheese, and roasted peppers

By Kassia Krozser Published: May 12, 2013

  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 40 mins

This basic recipe makes getting delicious gluten-free burgers on the table fast and easy. And, of course, your imagination is the limit when it comes to toppings and sides!



  1. Form the ground beef into the desired number of patties, working the meat as little as possible. You want your burger to be about 3/4-inch thick. Using your fingers form an indentation, about two or so inches across into the center of each patty. This helps with cooking.
  2. Season liberally with salt, and sprinkle with pepper to taste. A good amount of salt here is key. Let the meat rest about 20 minutes while the seasonings absorb into the ground beef. If you’re making your burger patties ahead of time, cover and refrigerate the seasoned meat. Remove about 20 minutes before cooking to take the chill off the meat.
  3. Heat your grill, indoor or outdoor, to high. You want it about 425 degrees.
  4. Place the burgers on the grill and step away for about five minutes. Do not press on the burger and don’t flip it too early. You want a good sear on the meat, and you want it to cook to a medium done (about 160 degrees).
  5. If you’re grilling indoors, lightly oil your pan before cooking the burgers. Keep the heat high while grilling.
  6. Flip the burgers and cook for another three to four minutes.
  7. Add the cheese, and let it melt.
  8. Let the burgers rest a few minutes before serving.

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