Burger Recipes That'll Make You King Of The Cookout

Burgers are a classic menu item that never go out of style. Burgers can appeal to a range of tastes, whether you're an Angus beef aficionado, eat plant-based burgers, or prefer a chicken patty. The varieties only add to the strength of a burger, especially when your at-home dinners are missing a dose of inspiration. Our recipe experts explored copycat versions of fast food favorites and social media sensations in the name of good taste. And our best burger recipes show there's so much more than just a simple beef patty between a bun. Even the classic combos seek out balance between salt, fat, smoke, and sweet. 

You might have a favorite burger chain or prefer to grill at home. Either way, we captured some of the best flavors and "secret" sauces through dedicated trial and error. Casual cooks might appreciate a five-ingredient White Castle recipe. Or others might be willing to experiment with a breakfast donut burger for brunch. At least one of these burger recipes is likely to please even the most selective of grill captains. 

Donut breakfast burgers might become a new classic

This burger recipe is likely the unhealthiest recipe on the list. What the donut breakfast burger lacks in health points, it makes up for by combining the classic combinations of sweet, savory, and salty. Versions of this take on a breakfast sandwich meets burger meets sugar bomb are all over Instagram. A donut with chocolate icing and covered in sprinkles is surprisingly a great addition to a burger flavor profile. Pro tip: Use a yeasted donut instead of a cake donut to help hold this glorious concoction together. Add in crispy bacon, sharp cheddar, and a runny fried egg for an "over-the-top" and balanced burger. You can also mix up the meat blend by replacing beef with pork or chicken for a breakfast vibe. It's hot, messy, and delicious. Social media might have created this burger sensation, but we perfected this at-home recipe.

Put a twist on the "regular" with a turkey burger

Turkey burgers are match made in heaven on grilling days. Turkey burgers are an easy alternative to the beef burger for anyone watching their health. Ground turkey is technically a healthier option because it is lower in saturated fat than ground beef, but it still has plenty of protein. That said, even turkey comes in percentages of fat, ranging from 1 percent to 10 percent, so be sure to check the labels. Turkey burgers are also beloved for their light flavor with the ability to complement a range of spices and ingredients. Grilling a quick turkey burger is an obvious crowd pleaser. Not confident (or patient) enough for the grill? Home chefs will find the ground meat is also adaptable to a pan, griddle, and broiler. The "quick" element of this recipe will have you breaking out the cast-iron skillet to speed up the cooking process before searing. 

Make a 5-ingredient White Castle burger at home

White Castle's famous sliders are one of the more unique burgers in the fast food world. The burgers are iconic for being small sliders with five hole punches in the patty. We created a copycat 5-ingredient White Castle recipe mimicking the fast food favorite for a couple reasons. The chain isn't as accessible as other brands. Despite opening in 1921, it has fewer than 400 locations that can be only found in 13 states. The sliders are sold in the frozen food section of grocery stores, but we wanted to create a version that's just as good as the real thing. The key to the simple sliders is purchasing 80 percent lean meat and 20 percent fat beef. Another hack is rehydrating dried onions and simmering the patties in the juices. The simmer is how home chefs can get away without the typical barrage of seasonings. You won't even have to flip the patty, just like in the restaurant. Just don't forget the pickles.

In-N-Out's burger isn't so secret thanks to this copycat recipe

The In-N-Out Double-Double burger is a fast food legend for all the right reasons. The all-beef patties are never frozen, and are topped with American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, and the famous secret sauce. Tired of waiting in a drive-thru line that wraps around the block? Our Copycat In-N-Out Burger won't leave you racing out the door for the secret menu. To replicate the taste of the brand's 100 percent USDA ground chuck, our recipe uses 85/15 beef for the patties. A healthy amount of salt on the thin patties will help create a crisp exterior. Thankfully, perfecting the secret sauce might not be as hard as you think. Turns out the In-N-Out sauce is similar to Thousand Island dressing but with a bit of pickle relish. This copycat might make the current contender for best fast food hamburger protective of its standing. 

Arguably the best burger you'll ever cook

Home chefs and global brands alike lay claim to having the best burger recipe. Depending on who you ask, what makes the perfect burger is widely debated. Designing the right amount of sweet, savory, and smoky is the key to our version of the best burger you've never tasted – yet. In reality, how can you go wrong with this classic combo? This recipe is all about finding the perfect balance. Even if it means throwing in unexpected flavors. First, the patty is made from a combination of ground chuck, round, and sirloin. Then ingredients include paprika for smokiness, garlic powder for a bite, and strawberry jam for a sweet tang. You can even add a bit of cayenne pepper if you like your burger to bite back.

A smash burger for this copycat Shake Shack Shackburger

Shake Shack hasn't quite reached the U.S. takeover it planned on, but it certainly gained a reputation for its tasty burgers. Replicating Shake Shack's Shackburger required a bit of sleuthing to determine its special blend of ground beef. Thankfully, Angus beef isn't a specific cut. It's a breed of cow. We determined the ground beef can easily be bought at the store and replicated at home. Burgers in the shape of a perfect "puck" are then smashed on the pan. The chain boasts its own "secret" sauce complete with ketchup, mayonnaise, garlic, and a splash of dill pickles. Shake Shack's signature burger results in a double patty with plenty of melted cheese. 

Cook the perfect Five Guys burger at home

Five Guys burgers are so popular, perhaps in no small part to the brand's specific ingredients. We've been able to crack the formula. This recipe calls for a mix of chuck and sirloin. You might even be able to get the same Schweid and Sons brand from your local grocery store. Five Guys doesn't even add spices to its mix. It's a simple option for a last-minute burger night. This is a classic smash-burger recipe. If you have stainless steel counters at home, this recipe will be even more authentic to the restaurant's process. Otherwise, a bit of a cool down goes a long way to keep these burgers intact when cooking.