The Great American Hamburger

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 35m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

Two things make this hamburger unique. A light brushing with melted butter, which adds a touch of sweetness and richness. And grilled Vidalia onions, which make a great burger even better. This recipe has been adapted by Steven Raichlen from his book titled the Barbecue Bible.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck or ground sirloin
  • Four 1/2-inch-thick slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Accompaniments:
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 4 slices cheddar, Swiss or Roquefort cheese, about 4 ounces total
  • Iceburg lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • Thinly sliced ripe tomatoes
  • Drained sliced dill pickles or sweet pickles
  • Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish


Prepare the barbecue to high heat. Brush and oil the grate. Gently pat the meat into 4 patties, each about 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. (Burgers can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead. Transfer to a platter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Brush both sides of the onion slices with butter. Season with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.

Brush the tops of the burgers with a little melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the burgers butter-side down on the grill. Cook 4 minutes. Brush the tops of the burgers with a little more melted butter and season with more salt and pepper. Turn the burgers over and continue grilling until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare.

Brush the buns with melted butter and toast them on the grill, cut-side down, for 30-60 seconds. Place the burgers and onion slices on the buns, adding the garnish and condiments of your choice.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Workman Publishing. All rights reserved.

RecID 4185

nutrition information per serving

498 calories; 26g total fat; 85mg cholesterol; 366mg sodium; 24g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 39g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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