Strange how sometimes the simplest things get screwed up so badly. We've all had burgers at a friends/family/neighbors house and it's often either a dried out meatball half the diameter of the bun or it's frozen patties that are dense/dry...and concave. Levels of char are all over the place.
The devil is in the details as they say.
So what are your keys to the perfect burger?
Not too big, not too small...between 5-6 oz. is perfect imo (5.3 oz. is 1/3#).
80/20 chuck is my go-to...not much leaner than that imo. Never frozen.
Make the patties by hand and don't over-handle/compress the meat.
Make the patties slightly bigger diameter than the buns and make them flat with a very slight dimple in the middle.
High heat grill*...medium to medium-well (true medium-well still has a tiny sliver of pink in the middle). Char should be mostly just the grill marks.
Season with salt and pepper while on the grill (after you flip it)...no garlic powder or Dales/etc.
Only flip once...and don't compress with the spatula. If you need to compress it you didn't make the patties right to begin with (that's what the dimple is for).
Cheese (usually non-smoked Provolone for me) goes on the instant they come off the grill (not a big deal but I NEVER want liquified cheese on my burger).
* - seared on a flattop or in an iron skillet is good too.
Then for me...the order in which you stack it makes a huge difference. Starting from the bottom bun and building upwards:
light layer of mayo...real mayo
shredded lettuce with diced onions mixed in (mixture lightly seasoned with salt/pepper)
Thin tomato slice(s) (lightly seasoned w/ salt/pepper)
sometimes mustard depending on my mood
I guess I never realized I'm so anal about burgers.
Can't wait for dinner.