Without referencing any grievances about the state of ground beef, the key to a perfect cheeseburger comes straight from the butcher. Serve with homemade buns for the love of all things sacred. It would be a shame to serve something this beautiful on anything less.


  • pounds freshly ground chuck, (at least 80% lean, a.k.a. 80/20)
  • tablespoon onion powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices deli-counter American cheese
  • large burger buns, preferably homemade, toasted if desired


    1. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, onion powder, salt, and pepper until just combined. Do not overmix, or your patties will be tough.
    2. Divide into six portions and form patties, without pressing too hard. They should be uniform in thickness. Smooth out any cracks using your fingers. Make these right before you grill them, so they stay at room temperature.
    3. Preheat your grill, grill pan or cast-iron skillet to high heat and add burger patties. If using a grill, cover with the lid.
    4. Cook until the crust that forms on the bottom of the burger releases it from the pan or grate — about 2 minutes. Gently test, but don’t flip it until it gets to this point. When burgers lift up easily, flip, add two slices of cheese to each, close the lid if using a grill, and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes for medium to medium-rare.
    5. Remove burgers with a sturdy metal spatula and transfer them to a plate. Allow to rest for several minutes, then transfer to buns.
    6. Garnish as desired and serve immediately


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