How to Grill Burgers On Charcoal? – A Brief Guide


Are you a fan of barbecue during summertime and wondering how to grill burgers on charcoal? Juicy burgers are one of the most delicious food items to try at any time of the year, especially when the weather is hot. However, you may be one of those people who still don’t know the cooking process and can’t prepare delicious burgers for family and friends.

I will tell you whatever I know about grilling burgers on charcoal; I believe it will come in handy. Now keep reading to know more!

Required Ingredients (For serving 3 people)

Burgers On Charcoal
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Cooking Instructions

Grill Burgers On Charcoal Cooking Instructions
Image credit: Jaron

Here are the directions for cooking. Try to follow the sequence to get the best result:

  • Get a medium-sized bowl, and mix up Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt with ground beef properly.
  • Make the patties, the thickness should be ideally ¾ of an inch.
  • Keep the formed patties in the refrigerator for about half an hour or until they are ready to be grilled. (info extracted from

 Adding Hamburger Seasoning

Ingredients (good for 4 pounds of ground beef):

  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of minced dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a jar and thoroughly mix them by stirring or shaking.
  • Seal the jar tightly with a lid, and it can be stored for approximately a year.
  • When you’re prepared to start cooking, add 1-2 tablespoons of this seasoning per pound of ground beef.

Instructions for BBQ Classic Hamburgers on Charcoal

Instructions for BBQ Classic Hamburgers on Charcoal

Now let’s get to the main topic of discussion: How to BBQ classic hamburgers on charcoal? Here’re the directions for you:

  • As mentioned earlier, it’s necessary to form your patties in advance and refrigerate them to maintain their shape during grilling. Try to get a patty thickness of approximately ¾ of an inch for the best results.
  • Begin by lighting a batch of charcoal using your preferred method. Set up a two-zone fire by piling the coals on one side of the grill. If you use a charcoal chimney starter, once the coals are lit, pour them to one side of the grill. After the coals are in the grill, place the cooking grids in the upper position and preheat for at least 10 minutes to ensure they’re hot enough for cooking.
  • Position the patties on the grill over the lit coals, allowing them to cook for about 2 minutes until grill marks appear.
  • Gently flip the patties and cook for an additional 2 minutes until grill marks form on the other side.
  • While it might be a common practice, avoid pressing the patties down with a spatula. Doing so will cause them to lose moisture and reduce the juiciness of the burgers.
  • Once both sides have grill marks, move the patties away from direct heat to the indirect heat zone. Let the patties cook in this area for a few minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. It is recommended to cook all burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F.
  • For medium-rare burgers, grill for 2-3 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 135°F to 140°F.
  • For medium burgers, grill for 3-4 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 145°F to 150°F.
  • For well-done burgers, grill for 5-6 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F.

    Duration for Grilling Burgers

  • Medium-rare: 6–7 minutes total
  • Medium: 7–8 minutes total
  • Medium-well: 9 minutes total
  • Well-done: 10 minutes total

     Internal Temperature for Burgers

  • Medium-rare: 130°–135°F
  • Medium: 140°–145°F
  • Medium-well: 150°–155°F
  • Well-done: 160°F

(Info extracted from

Open or Closed?

When grilling burgers on charcoal, the rule is straightforward: If the burger is ¾ inch thick or thinner, grill it with the lid open. However, if it’s thicker than ¾ inch, then go ahead and cover the grill with the lid.


BBQ Classic Hamburgers

To craft the ultimate cheeseburgers, because who can resist a good cheeseburger, add a slice of cheese to the burgers once you flip them and then cover the grill for the final minute of cooking.

American cheese is the classic choice, known for its unmatched meltability, but you can get creative and use cheddar for a sharper flavor, or opt for pepper Jack, Swiss, Muenster, or any cheese that tantalizes your taste buds. By keeping the grill covered, the trapped heat will ensure the cheese melts quickly and evenly, resulting in a perfectly gooey topping by the time the burgers are fully cooked.

Equally crucial is not neglecting your hamburger buns (we don’t want them stuck in their plastic bag). Show some love to the buns by placing them on the hot grill for a few minutes, creating a delightful charred and toasty texture. And to elevate the burger experience, don’t forget to dress the buns with a special burger sauce. A classic favorite includes mayo, ketchup, a touch of relish, and a splash of Worcestershire. But feel free to get creative and embark on your own condiment adventures.

Alternative Options

If you’re not in the mood for grilling beef patties, there are plenty of alternatives to explore: chicken burgers, turkey burgers, and even salmon burgers! You can also try using dark meat poultry, fatty fish, ground pork, lamb shoulder, or for a vegetarian option, black beans and quinoa for a veggie burger.

When preparing poultry or seafood patties, ensure they are cooked completely through, as medium-rare is not suitable for chicken or fish burgers. Apart from that, the same rules apply to these alternatives as with any beef burger.

Nutritional Value

Ground Beef Type Lean Percentage Weight (before cooking) Calories (approx.)
Typical Burger 80% 6 ounces 435 calories
Extra-Lean 96% 6 ounces 195 calories
Lean 85% 6 ounces 360 calories

(According to Shari barnes, a cooking expert)


According to some studies, grilled burgers may increase the risk of developing cancer! So, we should limit our consumption of burgers and not get carried away by the taste.

(info extracted from

Frequently Asked Questions

how long to cook burgers on charcoal grill

What type of charcoal should I use for grilling burgers?

You can use either briquettes or lump charcoal. Briquettes are more consistent and burn longer, while lump charcoal offers a natural, smokier flavor.

How do I light the charcoal?

There are several methods. You can use a charcoal chimney starter, lighter fluid, or natural fire starters. Avoid using gasoline or other harmful chemicals.

How do I set up a two-zone fire for grilling burgers?

Pile the lit coals on one side of the grill, leaving the other side with no direct coals. This provides both direct and indirect heat zones for cooking.

How long should I preheat the grill?

Preheat the grill with the lid on for about 10-15 minutes until the coals are hot and covered with ash.

How do I prevent the burgers from sticking to the grill grates?

Brush the grill grates with vegetable oil or use a non-stick cooking spray before placing the burgers on them.

What is the ideal patty thickness for grilling?

Aim for approximately ¾ inch thick patties for even cooking and juiciness.

How long should I grill the burgers?

Cooking times may vary depending on the heat and patty thickness. Generally, grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side for medium doneness.

How can I tell if the burgers are done?

Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For medium burgers, the temperature should be around 160°F (71°C).

When should I add cheese to the burgers?

Add a slice of cheese during the last minute of grilling, covering the burgers to melt the cheese effectively.

How do I toast the burger buns on the grill?

Place the buns, cut side down, on the grill for about 1 minute until they develop a light toasty texture.

Any tips for keeping the burgers juicy?

Avoid pressing down on the patties with a spatula while cooking, as it can cause the juices to escape.


In many family BBQs, hamburgers are the main item. I believe that my article will help you felicitate your family and friends by serving high-quality grilled hamburgers on special occasions. Just follow our instructions and get the desired results.

Helen Knight
Helen Knight

I'm passionate about cooking and making simple, delicious recipes that you can always feel confident feeding to friends and family. My goals for you are to have fun in the kitchen, learn new things, and create beautiful dishes. I have a lot of experience using kitchen appliances, so making great food is my passion and my favorite thing to share with others. I prioritize food safety in all of my meals. Check out my blog SKI, for helpful tips and tricks to improve your own cooking skills. Let's explore the world of food together!

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