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How to Grill Burgers: Chef’s Secret to the Juiciest Patties — Perfect for 4th of July

It wouldn’t be a barbecue without burgers — for me, they’ll always win out over hot dogs. And I’m constantly brainstorming how to build my dream burger, calculating that perfect ratio of lettuce leaves, tomato slices, onion rounds and condiments stacked and slathered on top. But really, the perfect burger starts with the perfectly charred beef patty — and preparing one is easier than you think. Here’s how to grill burgers that will delight your guests, especially for your July 4th festivities!

The secret to a juicy grilled burger

A moist and delicious burger wouldn’t be possible without the right meat-to-fat ratio, which makes sure the patty doesn’t dry out on the grill. Butcher shop owner Paul Vaccari notes that his most popular request for burger meat is 80/20 ground chuck. “That [80 percent meat, 20 percent fat ratio] is what produces that juicy, flavorful burger people look for,” Vaccari says. This combination is perfect for high-heat, shorter cooking methods like grilling.

How to prevent burgers from sticking to the grill

A burger sticking and falling apart on the grill is a cooking nightmare. Luckily, you can avoid it by following this simple suggestion from chef and cookbook author Adam Perry Lang. “After you form your patty, dab it with a paper towel and make sure it’s as dry as possible. Season it, then put a very thin coat of canola oil,” he says. This quick step helps the burgers slide off the grates with ease when it’s time to turn and remove them.

Our test kitchen’s go-to grilled burgers recipe

Now that you know how to grill burgers to yummy perfection, you can try our recipe for Burgers with Lime Mayo. Feel free to add your favorite cheese on top of the patties just before they come off the grill; or place it inside of the meat to create stuffed burgers. Yum!

Burgers with Lime Mayo

A burger with lime mayo as part of a guide on how to grill burgers

Green tabasco is the zesty secret in these juicy patties.


  • 2 lbs. ground beef like 80/20 ground chuck
  • 1 tsp. green Tabasco
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. lime juice
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 3 leaves romaine, torn
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Ketchup, pickle chips and sliced red onion (optional)


  • Active: 40 mins
  • Total time: 2 hrs. + grill-prep time
  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. Line rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. In bowl, mix beef, Tabasco sauce, paprika, onion powder and salt; shape into 6 patties. Transfer to baking sheet. Cover; chill. In bowl, mix mayonnaise and juice.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high. Remove burgers from fridge 30 minutes before cooking; cook, flipping once, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare or until patties reach your desired level of doneness. Spread cut side of roll bottoms with mayonnaise mixture; top with lettuce, tomato then burgers. If desired, add ketchup, pickles and onion. Add roll tops.
  3. Bonus: Learn how to reheat burgers so they taste like they just came off the grill!

Perfect drink pairing for mouthwatering burgers

A burger is plenty good on its own, but it’s even better when paired with the right drink — more specifically, wine. to toast to the July 4th holiday, summer or whatever! At under $20, Double Black Red Blend by 1924 is a budget-friendly option. It features plum, dark chocolate, toasted marshmallow and allspice flavors that pair especially well with charbroiled bacon cheeseburgers.

1924 Double Black Red Blend
courtesy of 1924 Wines

Keep reading for more grilling tips and recipes!

How to Grill Ribs So They’re Finger-Licking Tender + Delicious for Your July 4th Cookout

‘The Internet’s Grandma’ Babs Costello Shares the 8 Genius BBQ Hacks She Swears By! (EXCLUSIVE)

How to Grill Corn on the Cob: Chef’s Trick for Perfectly Charred, Juicy Kernels

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