Looking for a burger recipe that's way beyond basic? Chef John's here for you.

By Carl Hanson
May 27, 2021

Be ready for grilling season this summer with Chef John's very best burger recipes. With these grill-ready recipes, Chef John puts his unique twist on the steak burger, gives meatloaf a makeover, takes teriyaki to new heights, and works his loco moco magic. You'll also get recipes for his incredible homemade hamburger buns and classic burger condiments!

Chef John's Grilled Bacon Meatloaf Burger

This burger combines three foods we love — burgers, bacon, and meatloaf sandwiches — into one incredible burger that's juicy, tender, and tasty. These burgers work great either pan-seared or cooked on the grill. Chef John serves his bacon meatloaf burger on a grilled bun with lettuce, tomato, and a smear of secret sauce (mayo, mustard, and ketchup).

Chef John explains the genius behind the recipe: "I love meatloaf, but not as much as I love meatloaf sandwiches," he says. "I'll make a meatloaf just for the leftovers. I'll fry the cold slice in a buttered pan until hot and crusty, and enjoy it on toast with ketchup. This recipe is basically that, plus bacon, in burger form."

Chef John's Grilled Bacon Meatloaf Burgers
Photo by Chef John
| Credit: Chef John

Chef John's Loco Moco

Chef John's take on this Hawaiian comfort food classic puts the burger in a bowl, along with hot rice all smothered in a rich, brown gravy and crowned with a fried egg. "Just that sauce on the rice alone is worth making the dish," says Chef John. "But with the burger and the egg, it's really a quite substantial and extraordinarily tasty meal."

Chef John's Loco Moco
Loco Moco
| Credit: Chef John

Black and Blue Steak Burger

Why chop up perfectly good rib-eye and sirloin steaks to make burgers? "Why, for the extraordinary taste and texture, of course," says Chef John. "Most ground meat from the store is too fine, horribly overworked, and a little tough by the time you form it into patties." Chef John avoids those issues by taking a sharp knife to partially frozen quality meat. It's a classic steakhouse move, in fact. And what about Chef John's cheese choice? Blue. "The sharp, savory funkiness of blue cheese helps form a glorious crust as the meat sears into it." See how it's done:

Chef John's Teriyaki Burgers

The secret to Chef John's tasty teriyaki burgers is mixing his homemade teriyaki sauce right into the ground beef mixture, instead of merely using it as a condiment for topping the grilled patty. Chef John recommends cooking these over a medium-hot charcoal grill — or inside on a grill pan, which is a great alternative when you can't get outside. These burgers make great sliders, too. Try them on Chef John's Sweet Potato Buns topped with lettuce and tomato.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Your exceptional burger is even better on a homemade bun that's soft, supple, and light, has perfect texture and crumb, and is sturdy enough to stand up to a juicy grilled burger. "Not only are these going to be the perfect shape, they're going to taste way better than anything that comes out of a plastic bag," says Chef John. "The total time takes almost 4 hours, but the actual amount of work involved is maybe 10 minutes."

How are you doing on condiments? The burger isn't quite complete without Chef John's homemade versions of Ketchup, Mayonnaise, and Mustard. You might also like his Bread and Butter Pickles. Not to mention his amazing French fries.

Check out our complete collection of Chef John's Recipes.