The Perfect Grass-Fed Beef Burger

Happy Fourth of July to my American readers!  I hope your day is filled with family fun and good food.  What’s more American than hamburgers on the grill?

We purchase grass-fed beef (a quarter cow at a time) from a local family-run farm.  Not only do we love the nutritional value of grass-fed beef, but we also love supporting a local family farm.  Alas, our farmer is no longer able to sell his beef so we will have to find a new supplier.

Cooking with grass-fed beef is a little different than cooking with grain-fed.  Grass-fed beef has less fat, so it cooks more quickly and can be dry and tough if overcooked.  It has taken me some trial and error, but I am finally getting the hang of cooking with it.  In general, you need to cook grass-fed beef at a lower temperature.  When browning ground beef, I put the stove on medium and add some olive oil to the pan.  To grill steaks, I sear both sides directly over the coals, then move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking.  Grass-fed steaks are juicier and more flavorful if served rare to medium rare (this is something my husband is still getting used to as he grew up on well done meat).

If you are interesting in learning more about cooking with grass-fed beef, I found this web site helpful:  Another great resource is The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook by Shannon Hayes.

Now, back to those hamburgers!  Home-grilled burgers are so easy and so delicious, I wonder why I don’t make them more often.  This time I added grilled onions – yum!  I use a charcoal grill, so my instructions only address charcoal grills.  If you use a gas grill, adjust as appropriate.

Perfect Grass-Fed Beef Burgers

(click here to print)

  • 1 pound ground grass-fed beef
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½-inch thick onion slices (sweet onions would be great; optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Cheddar cheese, sliced
  • Hamburger buns
  • Burger fixin’s

Place the ground beef in a bowl.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and salt and pepper.  Toss lightly with two forks until well combined.

Form the meat mixture into patties.  I generally do 6 ounce patties for my husband and I and a 4 ounce patty for my daughter.  Divide it however you like.  After forming the patties, press down lightly in the center to make a depression.  This helps the burgers cook evenly.

Press down the center of the patties a bit

If you are using the onion slices, brush them with olive oil on both sides.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stick a wooden skewer through each onion slice so they do not fall apart while cooking.

Onion Slices

Split the hamburger buns.  I like to spray each cut side with a little olive oil spray to help them brown.

When the coals are ready, spread them out over half the grill.  Place the onions and hamburger patties on a clean grill over the hot charcoals.  Do not put the cover on the grill.  Cook the burgers for two minutes and then flip the patties.  Cook another two minutes.  Continue cooking for two minutes a side until they are done to your liking.  Last time I cooked these I ended up doing 4 minutes total per side.  Turn the onion slices over periodically.

When the burgers are cooked to your liking move them to the cooler side of the grill.  If the onions are not cooked completely, leave them over the hot coals.  Place the cheddar slices on the patties.  Put the hamburger buns cut-side down over the hot coals.  Cover the grill and cook until the buns are browned, only a minute or two.

To serve, remove the skewers from the onion slices, and place the onions on top of the hamburger patties.  Add your favorite fixin’s and enjoy!

Serves 3 – 4



Filed under Cooking

2 responses to “The Perfect Grass-Fed Beef Burger

  1. We would really like to start purchasing our beef from a local farm, Karen, especially now with all the worries of beef. We don’t even like to eat it that much anymore. Your burgers look wonderful! I did not know that you need to cook grass-fed beef differently. Thank you for the resources and the inspiration!

    • Karen

      Elaine, we didn’t eat beef much before we began purchasing our grass-fed beef. We’ve really been enjoying having it!

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