This old-fashioned burger recipe has been our go-to hamburger for years!! It combines a juicy beef patty with breadcrumbs and onion and is cooked how you like it! Add some traditional toppings and a toasted bun for a burger that has earned its place in the hearts of food lovers everywhere as an undeniable classic.
I love a great take-out burger on occasion but more often than not, homemade is so much better! This simple burger recipe definitely satisfies my burger cravings.
If you love all kinds of burgers, then you've got to try this Sweet and Salty Burger. You might think it sounds bizarre, just like I did before I actually tried it, but it's truly delicious.
My smoked hamburger patties recipe inspired this burger recipe! Serve up all your burgers with your favorite sides. We love these air fryer bacon-wrapped onion rings or frozen sweet potato fries in the air fryer.
Why You Will Love The Best Homemade Burger Recipe
- Customize your burger with your favorite toppings like cheese, lettuce, pickles, and onions.
- A blend of just the right amount of seasoning ensures that every bite is packed with flavor.
- Perfect for cooking a burger on the grill for a perfect summer cookout or indoors in a skillet.
- You don't need to be an expert chef to make this delicious burger.
Here's a look at the key ingredients that go into making the perfect old-fashioned burger.
- Ground Beef: For a truly flavorful, tender, and juicy burger, go for ground beef with a fat content of around 20%.
- Small Onion: White, yellow, and red onions will all work so use your favorite.
- Large Egg: Helps to hold the burger together and adds flavor.
- Breadcrumbs: Your favorite brand or flavor will work and don't forget about panko!
- Dijon or Yellow Mustard: For a bit of spice in your burger patty.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a little savory and smoky flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Fresh minced garlic will work in a pinch but with burgers, I always prefer to use garlic powder because you can taste garlic everywhere.
- Hamburger Buns - The perfect old-fashioned burger requires a soft, sturdy, and slightly toasted hamburger bun, usually with sesame seeds on top, that can hold all the toppings without falling apart.
What do you put on top of a plain burger?
The sky is the limit! Layer your burger with crisp lettuce and juicy tomato slices. Use pickle slices for a tangy crunch, and of course, don't forget the cheddar cheese or American cheese for that gooey, melty bite.
For the perfect finishing touch, spread a generous layer of mayonnaise on the bun, or mix it up with your favorite sauce.
PRO TIP: Remember, the combination of toppings is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to switch things up according to your taste.
- Sauces: You can add some ketchup, mustard, onion ketchup, bacon aioli, and honey mustard mayo.
- Toppings: We love relish, tomato, lettuce, onion, and pickles.
- Cheese: Use your favorite but American Cheese and Cheddar Cheese are traditional!
See the recipe card below for the exact quantities of each ingredient.
Substitutions and Variations
Don't have the correct ingredients on hand? Or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this burger recipe.
- Ground Beef: You can also use ground turkey or ground chicken for leaner burger meat. It also works great to use a combination of ground meats.
- Spicy: Add a bit of chili pepper flakes, diced jalapeno pepper, our jalapeno powder, smoked jalapeno powder, or chipotle powder to the hamburger mixture for a bit of heat.
How to Make the Best Homemade Burger
Here's a look at the steps in making old-fashioned burgers at home. Be sure to read through all the instructions in the recipe card before getting started.
- Beat the egg in a large bowl and add the bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion, mustard, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and beef.
- Mix the meat mixture together and shape the mixture into four three-quarter-inch thick patties.
- Place the burger patties in a preheated pan over medium heat.
- Cook the burgers for about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside.
- Place the old-fashioned patties on hamburger buns and add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Hint: Choose a beef-to-fat ratio of 80/20 and do not press down on the patties while cooking to ensure a juicy and delicious burger.
If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy our jalapeno cheeseburgers with spicy mayo.
Leftovers: After cooling, wrap each burger in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place in a resealable container or resealable bag for up to 3 days in the fridge or three months in the freezer. If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Make Ahead: You can easily make burger patties in advance. Combine the ingredients and form the patties. Place a sheet of parchment paper between each patty to prevent them from sticking together. Store the prepared patties in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 days in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook them.
Reheat: You can reheat on the stovetop or in an oven or microwave. To reheat on the stovetop cook the burger patties in a skillet on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through. If you prefer to reheat in the oven, place the burger on a baking sheet, heating for about 10-15 minutes in a 350-degree F oven, or until it reaches your desired temperature.
What to Serve with Burgers
When enjoying an Old Fashioned Burger, you'll want to consider the perfect sides.
- Milk shakes and sodas are classic beverages served with old-fashioned hamburgers!! Check out our salted caramel milkshake and our boozy caramel apple milkshake.
- Classic sides include French fries, sweet potato fries, grandma's coleslaw, onion rings, or jalapeno coleslaw!!
- Other ideas include a side salad, bell pepper salad, potato chips, corn on the cob, sauteed zucchini, potato salad, or mac and cheese.
- Don't forget a tasty dipping sauce for your burger or fries! We love chipotle mayo, Big Mac sauce, or creamy buffalo sauce.
- Use beef with an 80/20 ratio of beef to fat to make burgers. It makes the juiciest and most flavorful burgers.
- Make sure your burgers are all shaped about the same size so they cook evenly.
- Resist the urge to press down on your burgers while cooking as it only releases the juices and dries out the meat.
- Create a small indent in the center with your knuckle about a half inch deep to keep the burgers from shrinking as much and keep them flat.
- Do not over-mix your burger mixture as it creates harder or denser burgers.
- Form your patties slightly wider than your buns to compensate for some burger shrinkage.
- Store your beef and patties in the fridge until just before cooking to help retain the fat and flavor, making for a better burger.
- Always allow the burger to rest for a couple of minutes before eating to allow the juices to redistribute, ensuring a delicious, juicy bite.
- Choose soft, yet sturdy or crusty buns that can hold all the toppings without falling apart.
Add one large egg and a quarter cup of breadcrumbs for every pound of ground meat.
To prevent shrinking, don't press down on the patties while cooking, as this will squeeze out juices and cause the burger to contract and you'll end up with a dry burger. Form your patties slightly wider than your buns and create a small indent in the center with your knuckle before cooking to keep the burgers from shrinking too much and keep them flat.
50s-style hamburgers focused on simplicity and nostalgia, using basic seasonings and straightforward cooking methods. In contrast, modern hamburger recipes often experiment with unique toppings, sauces, and burger blends, incorporating exotic flavors and sometimes healthier alternatives. As a result, contemporary burgers tend to be more complex in taste and presentation than their old-fashioned 50s-style counterparts.
Turn your grill on to medium-high, and once hot, scrape it with a sturdy grill brush. Grab a bunch of paper towels and soak them in vegetable oil until the paper towel is really wet. Using some long-handled tongs, rub the paper towel all over the clean grate. The oil is going to burn off first so be careful. Keep soaking your paper towels in oil and rubbing them on your grates. When your grates become black and shiny they are ready for you to start grilling!
If you have a meat thermometer and use it for steaks, I suggest using one for your burgers too. I have included approximate cooking times as well to give you a rough idea of how long to cook each side. But as a general rule of thumb, Medium-Rare: 125 to 130 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes per side; Medium: 135 to 140 degrees, 3 to 4 minutes per side; Medium-Well: 145 to 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes per side; and, Well-Done: 160 degrees and up, 5 minutes and per side
More Burger Recipes
Do you like burgers? Here are some recipes you may also like to try.
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Old Fashioned Burgers
- rimmed baking sheet or platter
- In a large bowl beat egg (if using). Add bread crumbs (if using), garlic powder, onion, mustard, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and beef.
- Mix until just incorporated.
- Shape into four ¾ inch thick patties. Refrigerate covered in plastic wrap until ready to cook.
- Place burger patties on a preheated grill, on medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside.
- Fry in a preheated pan on medium. Cook for about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside.
- Bake the burgers on 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, flipping at about the 8 minute mark or half way through cooking.
Build Your Burger
- Place on hamburger buns and add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
This post was originally published August 2019 and has been updated with new images and content.