21 Juicy Burger Recipes for Your July 4th Cookout

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A great burger with a charred crust and a juicy, savory interior is a cornerstone of summer's best cookouts. It doesn't hurt that it's also one of those crowd-pleasing foods that's easy to make in bulk. Unfortunately, a lot of impromptu burgers wind up dry, flavorless, overcooked, and all-around lackluster. I should know—I've had my fair share. Luckily, we've put in the legwork, testing the very best ways to shape and cook your patties to ensure optimal success. From vegan and vegetarian options to the meatiest, cheesiest, over-the-top-iest burgers of your dreams, we've got 21 recipes to make this July 4th one for the history books.

Mornay and Mushroom Duxelles Burger With Crispy Shallots

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Rather than slicing our mushrooms for this burger, we chop them up for an intensely flavorful duxelles. Then, both mushrooms and burger get a generous pour of Mornay sauce—that's French for a creamy, absurdly rich Gruyère-loaded béchamel. We serve them beneath a shower of crispy fried shallots for some contrasting crunch.

Get the recipe for Mornay and Mushroom Duxelles Burger With Crispy Shallots »

Mini Grilled Gyro Burgers With Tzatziki and Pickled Peperoncini

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

If you love gyros, then these mini burgers will be right up your alley. A mixture of lamb, beef, garlic, onion, and oregano delivers that classic Greek flavor, while some bacon fat in the mix ensures extra-juicy patties. They get a cooling dollop of homemade yogurt-based tzatziki, followed by some pickled pepperoncini for some tangy heat.

Get the recipe for Mini Grilled Gyro Burgers With Tzatziki and Pickled Peperoncini »

Smashed Reuben Burgers

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

There's no real reason to mess with the classic Reuben—it's a pretty perfect sandwich. But that doesn't mean magic won't happen when it's reimagined as a hamburger. This smashed burger is best served on some nice Jewish rye bread, smothered in sauerkraut, melted Swiss, and our homemade, better-than-the-bottle Russian dressing.

Get the recipe for Smashed Reuben Burgers »

Cemita Burger With Refried Beans, Chipotle Mayo, Avocado, and Oaxacan Cheese

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

The classic cemita—Mexico's perfectly balanced, delightfully meaty sandwich—and the best American-style burger collide in this spicy-cheesy-herbacious mix of refried beans, papalo, chipotles in adobo, avocado, shredded Oaxacan cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a swipe of mayo, all over a good old-fashioned all-beef burger. It's kind of perfect.

Get the recipe for Cemita Burger With Refried Beans, Chipotle Mayo, Avocado, and Oaxacan Cheese »

Amatriciana Burgers With Tomato-Onion Jam, Bacon, and Pecorino Romano Crisps

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Amatriciana, the Roman sauce of onions, guanciale (cured pork jowl), and tomatoes, is deconstructed for a rich burger packed with Italian flavors. It starts with freshly ground beef chuck patties, cooked to a nice medium-rare and topped with a spicy tomato-onion jam. Then comes some crisp slices of bacon, and finally some Pecorino Romano cheese crisps. Make sure to grab some focaccia bread for the bun!

Get the recipe for Amatriciana Burgers With Tomato-Onion Jam, Bacon, and Pecorino Romano Crisps »

Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

There's something about the way the caviar of the South (as pimento cheese is affectionately, if misleadingly, known) melts into a rich, oozy coating, its acidity and punch of pimento flavor accenting a thick and juicy grilled burger in a way that regular cheese just can't. Add some pickled jalapeño peppers in there in place of standard pickles and you've got yourself one hell of a fiery backyard treat.

Get the recipe for Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers »

Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers

Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

These black bean burgers have a complex, satisfying flavor and robustly meaty texture that even devout carnivores will love (seriously, try them with bacon on top). The mixture comes together in just 25 minutes and can be used to make patties for cooking either on the backyard grill or indoors in a skillet.

Get the recipe for Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers »

Sichuan Peppercorn Burgers With Chili-Ginger Mayo and Cucumber Pickles

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Inspired by beef momo seasoned with the tingly heat of Sichuan peppercorns, these burgers are spiked with a fragrant mixture of that spice, plus cumin, star anise, fennel, chili flakes, and brown sugar. A tangy chili mayo with plenty of fresh ginger and cucumber pickles round it out.

Get the recipe for Sichuan Peppercorn Burgers With Chili-Ginger Mayo and Cucumber Pickles »

Grilled Mozzarella-Stuffed Italian Sausage Burgers With Vinegar Peppers

[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

For an Italian-inspired burger, homemade Italian sausage is formed into patties and stuffed with nuggets of mozzarella cheese. Then, the burgers are heavily pepper-crusted on the rims and finished with a dollop of creamy ricotta, red sauce, and fresh basil. Roasted vinegar peppers top it all off.

Get the recipe for Grilled Mozzarella-Stuffed Italian Sausage Burgers With Vinegar Peppers »

The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Bacon, bacon, BACON! To make the ultimate bacon cheeseburger, cook your beef in bacon fat and top with a bacon fat mayonnaise, onions caramelized in bacon fat, and a crisp bacon weave topping. Even the buns are toasted in bacon fat.

Get the recipe for The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburgers »

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Combine two great July 4th foods—Buffalo hot wings and burgers. For real Buffalo flavor, the ground chicken is mixed melted butter and hot sauce, and the cooked burger is topped with thick blue cheese and chopped celery.

Get the recipe for Spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers »

Poutine Burger (Burgers with Fried Potatoes, Cheese Curds, and Gravy)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

There are only three elements that make up a perfect plate of poutine. First is really good fries, and this burger is topped with thin, matchstick, super crispy ones. Next is a meat broth-based homemade gravy and finally fresh, creamy cheese curds. Raw onions add a crunchy bite and help cut through some of the richness.

Get the recipe for Poutine Burger (Burgers with Fried Potatoes, Cheese Curds, and Gravy) »

Hot and Smoky Cheeseburgers with Bacon and Pickled Cherry Pepper Relish

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

This flavorful burger is topped with a homemade smoky and tangy bacon and cherry pepper relish. Crisp bacon slices, sliced American cheese, and a fat slice of grilled onion complete the combo.

Get the recipe for Hot and Smoky Cheeseburgers with Bacon and Pickled Cherry Pepper Relish »

Juicy Turkey Burgers With Sriracha Mayo and Charred Scallions

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[Photograph: Yasmin Fahr]

These quick and tender turkey burgers are packed with flavor, including a topping of charred scallions and a flavor-packed sriracha mayo. The trick to their great, juicy texture if using thigh meat (though breast can be used in its place if you don't eat dark meat).

Get the recipe for Juicy Turkey Burgers With Sriracha Mayo and Charred Scallions »

Home-Ground Bison Burgers

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A lean bison burger, when cooked properly, is perfectly tender and moist and makes for an interesting change from the norm. For the best burgers, you'll want to grind your own bison meat. It's not as hard as it sounds—remember to keep everything ice cold, and don't handle the meat too much.

Get the recipe for Home-Ground Bison Burgers »

Surf N' Turf Burger (Grilled Burger with Lobster and Bacon)

Surf N'Turf Burger

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

There's not really much to making a perfect Surf N' Turf burger. All you need is some impeccably good beef and lobster and absolutely perfect execution. Easy, right? Follow this recipe, and you'll be surfing and turfing in no time.

Get the recipe for Surf N' Turf Burger (Grilled Burger with Lobster and Bacon) »

Cuban Fritas (Seasoned Cheeseburgers with Shoestring Potatoes and Spicy Sauce)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The frita is a classic regional American burger created by Cuban immigrants in South Florida, and this version starts with a pork and beef patty that's grilled and served with a spicy, creamy sauce and few more vegetables. The crisp shoestring potatoes that are the hallmark of a traditional frita are piled on top.

Get the recipe for Cuban Fritas (Seasoned Cheeseburgers with Shoestring Potatoes and Spicy Sauce) »

Burgers with Creamy Feta Sauce and Tomato-Cucumber Relish

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Beefy burgers are topped with a thick and creamy Greek yogurt and feta sauce, along with diced cucumbers and tomatoes and sliced onions. Salting and draining the diced veggies helps keep your burger from getting soggy.

Get the recipe for Burgers with Creamy Feta Sauce and Tomato-Cucumber Relish »

Homemade Vegan Burgers That Don't Suck

Vegan Burgers (That Don't Suck)

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Beans, nuts, grains, and sauteed and roasted vegetables all lend meaty texture and big flavor to these vegan burgers that do anything but suck. If you're not vegan, add a melty slice of cheese.

Get the recipe for Homemade Vegan Burgers That Don't Suck »

Sweet Barbecue Kim-cheese Burgers

Sweet Barbecue Kim-cheese Burgers

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

It just makes sense that if kimchi tastes great with cheese, and cheese tastes great on burgers, then kimchi tastes great on a cheeseburger. It's certainly true with this juicy burger, which is glazed with a sweet soy reduction, topped with cheese, kimchi, and quick pickled carrots and cucumbers.

Get the recipe for Sweet Barbecue Kim-cheese Burgers »

The Best Lamb Burgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Funky, minerally, sweet, and dripping with juice, lamb is flavorful enough on its own that you don't need to add anything to it to have a great burger experience. This recipe uses shoulder meat that's fresh ground using a grinder or food processor. Finish it off with feta, sliced red onion, and homemade mayo.

Get the recipe for The Best Lamb Burgers »