Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Hamburgers

There’s one thing that separates a tasty burger from a phenomenal one. It’s not the condiments, or even the type of beef used. It’s the juiciness factor.

Vertical image of a hamburger with two tomato slices and lettuce on a blue plate, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

It’s that pop of flavor that bursts in your mouth when a patty is grilled just right and allowed to rest for just the right amount of time.

And when it comes to a patty that’s mixed with a flavorful collection of spices and herbs, the longer these ingredients sit together before serving, the better.

Vertical close-up image of a sandwich with a fluffy bun, lettuce slices, a meat patty, and lettuce on a blue plate next to a sprig of rosemary.

The rosemary and garlic are a delectable combination, but I added a few pinches of cayenne to kick up the heat factor, along with some basil and finely minced onion. Another secret that makes this meal a family favorite is that I don’t add seasonings on top of the patty, but instead fold them into the ground beef.

Think about it. What usually happens to salt, pepper, or any other dry ingredient you sprinkle on top of a raw patty? Inevitably, most of it sticks on the grates and stays there. But if you fold those tasty bits right into the meat, they’re locked in for good.

Vertical image of two burgers on blue plates next to a white towel.

You’ll want to take your time mixing in the seasonings to make sure that everything is fully incorporated.

We chose garlic and rosemary because they combine well. However, your imagination is the only limit to what you could fold into yours. My rule of thumb is to pick your favorite herb and mix it with something spicy like cayenne, chili powder, or horseradish.

If you want a milder spice, you can try coriander or cumin. Pick either onion or garlic to add a flavorful allium to the mix, then fold away.

Vertical image of a burger with two tomato slices, a meat patty, and a leaf of lettuce on a light blue plate.

Grilling also helps to lock in the flavor because a good portion of the patty is seared immediately on contact. That means that your grill needs to be well oiled and smoking hot before you put the patty down.

Miss any of these steps, and you’ll end up with more beef on the slats then on your fluffy brioche bun.

Make sure not to move the patty around once you’ve set it in place on the grate. The movement will interfere with that initial sear.

Vertical image of a neat sandwich with a fluffy bun, fresh tomato slices, a meat patty, and lettuce on a blue plate.

I like my burgers pure – just a lettuce leaf and maybe a juicy tomato on top. Once you’ve seasoned the beef to perfection, I don’t think you need to add much more. But if you’re not using brioche buns, spread a little unsalted butter on your regular bun right before serving.

You can thank me later.

And if you’re all about the condiments, I would hesitate to add a squirt of homemade ketchup and a smear of homemade mayonnaise to the mix.

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Horizontal close-up image of a sandwich with a golden fluffy bun, two slices of tomatoes, a meat patty, and a leaf of lettuce on a blue plate.

Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Hamburgers


  • Author: Katherine and Eddie D’Costa
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 34 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x

Description

Rosemary and garlic fill this chuck patty with vibrant flavor. Tucked in between a buttery brioche bun, this burger is decked out with lettuce and plump Roma tomatoes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck beef (80% lean)
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary 
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 ripe Roma tomato, sliced

Instructions

To Form Patties:

  1. In a large bowl, gently break up ground chuck.
  2. Fold in yellow onions, garlic, rosemary, basil, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Add Kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Divide beef into 4 equal patties. Roll each beef portion from hand to hand to form ball, then lightly flatten with your fingertips to form ¾-inch-thick patties.
  5. Gently press the center of each patty down with your fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch thick, creating slight depression. Set aside on a platter.

To Grill and Assemble:

  1. Using a gas grill, turn burner to high heat and preheat for 15 minutes.
  2. Clean grill grate with a lightly oiled rag.
  3. Grill brioche buns for 15-20 seconds, then set aside on a plate.
  4. Gently place patties on grill. Don’t press them down.
  5. Grill for 4 minutes, until well browned on first side.
  6. Using a steel spatula, gently flip patties and continue to grill for another 3 minutes for rare, 3 1/2 minutes for medium-rare, and 4 minutes for medium. 
  7. Transfer burgers to a plate. Rest for 5-7 minutes before assembling.
  8. Layer lettuce, burger, and sliced tomato between each brioche bun. 
  9. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Burger

Keywords: beef, burger, rosemary, garlic, grill

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep Ground Beef

Horizontal image of raw ground beef with salt and pepper seasonings on top in a wooden bowl.

With a chef’s knife, mince the yellow onions and garlic. Strip the leaves from the rosemary stem and chop them.

In a large bowl, gently break up the ground chuck.

Fold in the onions, garlic, rosemary, basil, and cayenne pepper. You can wear disposable gloves and use your hands to mix the ingredients into the beef thoroughly.

Add Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well.

Step 2 – Make Patties

Horizontal image of four raw meat patties on a dark cutting board with imprints in the center of each one.

Divide beef into 4 equal patties by rolling each beef portion into a ball. Then, using your fingertips, flatten each portion to about 3/4 of an inch thick.

Gently press the center of each down with your fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch thick, creating slight depression. Set aside on a platter.

Step 3 – Grill

Horizontal image of a seasoned meat patty being grilled.

Using a gas grill, turn the burner to high heat and let it heat up for 15 minutes. Using a lightly oiled rag, clean the grill grate. Any cooking oil will do.

Grill the brioche buns for 15-20 seconds, then remove them with tongs and set aside on a plate. You can toast both sides, or just the inside of the buns.

Gently place the burgers on the grill, with the depression facing up. Don’t press them down.

Grill for 4 minutes, or until well browned on the first side.

Using a steel spatula, gently flip the patties and continue to grill. If you like your burgers rare, continue to cook for 3 minutes. Grill the second side for 3 1/2 minutes for medium-rare, or 4 minutes for medium. If you like your burgers well done, keep them on a little longer.

Transfer the burgers to a clean platter, and set aside to rest for 5-7 minutes before assembling. If you build the burgers too quickly, the juices from the meat will saturate the bun.

Step 4 – Build and Serve

Horizontal image of two blue plates with burgers that have tomatoes, lettuce, and meat patties on a wooden surface next to a bulb of garlic.

Layer a lettuce leaf, burger, and sliced tomato between the top and bottom portions of each brioche bun. You can add your favorite condiments, if you like.

Serve immediately.

How Do you Build your Burgers?

In my family, some of us love to stack our burgers high to the sky with extra toppings and condiments. Others believe in the simplicity of a beautifully cooked burger that’s perfectly seasoned and served on its own.

Because this patty has tons of flavor packed in, you may want to bypass adding anything extra. As for me, any time I can sneak in an extra veggie for the kids, I will.

Horizontal close-up image of a sandwich with a golden fluffy bun, two slices of tomatoes, a meat patty, and a leaf of lettuce on a blue plate.

How did you dress your burgers? Did you go with the lettuce and tomatoes that I like to add, or just a touch of ketchup or mustard? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to rate the recipe after you try it. We love your feedback.

Still craving more burger goodness? Check out these Foodal favorites:

Photos by Katherine and Eddie D’Costa, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on April 19, 2010. Last updated: May 31, 2020 at 15:20 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Eddie & Katherine D'Costa

Eddie and Katherine D’Costa are a married professional chef and journalist duo from Atlanta, where they cook up a variety of international dishes, tested for the home cook. Katherine holds an MA in journalism from Northeastern University and Eddie’s professional experience spans 20 years working with Wolfgang Puck, Jean George Vongerichten, and Todd English.

3 thoughts on “Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Hamburgers”

  1. Wow homemade ketchup? I’ve NEVER had that. I really want to try it though. Is it really better than the store bought stuff?

    Reply
  2. I made this burger yesterday with my first grass-fed beef purchase, and can I just say, THANK YOU, from a person with absolutely no experience or knowledge on how to cook meat. It was delicious.

    Reply

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