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Picnic Burgers

Picnic Burgers

Download the recipe PDF. View the YouTube video. View the Printer Friendly version.

I also tried this recipe using beef chuck I ground myself at home. Here is the video:

View the YouTube video

Makes 4, adjust the volume proportionately.
By Dennis W. Viau

If there are hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill at a picnic, I’ll go for the hot dogs. It’s not that I especially like hot dogs; it’s just that most hamburgers are nothing more than simple plain beef patties that are cooked. At least hot dogs have added seasoning. When I make hamburgers, I dress up my patties by adding additional flavors to give them some zing.


1 pound (454g) lean ground beef
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
A few gratings of fresh ground black pepper
4 to 8 slices American cheese
Onion deli rolls (rather than plain hamburger buns)


Combine the ground beef, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Grind some black pepper into the bowl and add the bread crumbs. Mix well. You can pinch off a small portion of meat and shape it into a small patty to fry and taste for salt if you prefer.

Divide the mixture into four equal parts to make four quarter-pounder hamburgers. Shape each patty larger than the width of the bun, as the meat will shrink when it cooks. (I don’t like a thick patty.)

Butter the buns and toast on a barbecue grill or in a skillet. Remove and set aside. (This step can be done in advance of the picnic. Keep wrapped so that they don’t dry out.)

Grill (or fry) the hamburger patties until almost well done, about 155°F (68°C)—the USDA recommends 160°F (70°C). Check with an instant-read digital thermometer if you have one.

Place the cooked patty on the bun and add a slice of American cheese. If you like extra cheese you can put a second slice under the hamburger patty. Garnish with condiments or toppings as desired, but I like them with just the cheese—the seasoning makes them good enough to enjoy.