Homemade Burger King Whopper-Style Cheeseburgers Recipe

What Whoppers would taste like in heaven. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Why It Works

  • Cooking the thin patties through mostly from one side gives maximum crust development and browning while still leaving it nice and juicy.
  • Placing the shredded lettuce and other toppings underneath the burger patty makes for a more structurally-sound sandwich by providing a stable base and a medium for juices to get absorbed.
  • Slicing onions pole to pole gives them milder, sweeter flavor and prevents them from pulling out of the burger as you eat.

We've taken the classic flame-grilled flavor of the Whopper, complete with the exact ratio of toppings and beef, and upgraded it with better ingredients, better layering, and better technique to form a burger that's truly fit for The King.

Recipe Facts



Active: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 pound fresh ground beef chuck

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 slices yellow American cheese

  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns

  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 4 tablespoons ketchup

  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced from pole to pole

  • 16 crinkle-cut dill pickles, such as Vlasic

  • 8 slices ripe beefsteak tomato


  1. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  2. While grill preheats, divide ground beef into 4 even balls. Press them into thin, even patties about 1/2 inch wider than diameter of the buns.

  3. Season patties generously with salt and pepper and place directly over hot side of grill. Cover and cook until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Rotate patties 90 degrees and continue cooking until well-charred on first side and juices are beginning to bubble up through the top of the patties, about 2 minutes longer.

  4. Carefullly flip patties and top each with a slice of American cheese. Immediately transfer the patties to the coolest part of the grill. Toast burger buns over direct heat until nicely browned. Transfer buns to a serving platter.

  5. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise and 1/2 tablespoon ketchup on each bottom and top bun. Layer lettuce, onions, pickles, and tomato on top of each bottom bun.

  6. Return burger patties to hot side of the grill for 30 seconds to reheat, then place on top of bottom buns. Close sandwiches with top buns and serve immediately.

Special equipment

grill (see our charcoal or gas grill recommendations)

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
815 Calories
40g Fat
50g Carbs
64g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 815
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 189mg 63%
Sodium 1867mg 81%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 64g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 521mg 40%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 1001mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)