Secret to Ultimate Cheeseburgers: Mix Cheese into the Patty Itself!

To get serious about your cheeseburgers, don't simply slap a slice of cheese on top. We've found that mixing shredded or crumbled cheese directly into the raw beef before forming the patties adds more flavor.

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Mixing cheese directly into the raw beef before forming patties guaranteed cheesy flavor in every bite. Dimpling the patties before throwing them on the grill prevented domed, dry-edged burgers.

Grilled Burgers by America's Test Kitchen

Serves 4
Start to Finish: 25 minutes

Whatever you do, don't press on the burgers while they're on the grill -- they'll release their juice and end up dry and crumbly. For those who like their burgers well done, poking a hole in the center of the patty before cooking helps the burger cook through without becoming dry. In addition to serving burgers with the usual accompaniments of buns, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, consider some more unusual toppings such as mango salsa, guacamole, or flavored mayonnaise.

Vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds (80 percent lean) ground beef
1 cup shredded cheddar, Swiss, or Jack or crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

To avoid domed, football-shaped burgers with dry, crumbly edges, make a depression in the middle of the patty. …

1. Turn all the burners to high, close the lid, and heat the grill until very hot, about 15 minutes. Clean and oil the grill. Leave all the burners on high.

2. Meanwhile, spread the meat out over a large plate, sprinkle with the cheese, salt, and pepper, and gently toss the meat with your hands to incorporate the seasonings. Divide the meat into 4 portions and, with cupped hands, toss each portion of meat back and forth from hand to hand to shape it into a loose ball. Using your hands, flatten the balls into 1-inch-thick patties. Press the center of each patty down with your fingertips to form an indentation about 1/4 inch deep. Rub each burger with 1 teaspoon oil.

3. Grill the burgers indentation-side up, covered, until well seared on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue to grill to the desired doneness, 2 to 5 minutes.

4. Transfer the burgers to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Charcoal Grilling Method: Build a medium-hot single-level fire and grill the burgers as described in step 3, leaving the grill uncovered.

This recipe was originally published in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. If you love to cook, we invite you to check out our newest books and Kindle editions on Amazon.