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Get Your Grill On: Delicious Kid-Approved Burgers

Photo by © Anders Agnalt There’s probably no food more American than the humble hamburger. In honor of the upcoming Fourth-of-July-weekend barbecue bonanza, we thought we’d share one of our favorite burger recipes: flavorful and juicy, it’s kid-tested and gets two thumbs way up.

Our patties aren’t for purists, who typically want a burger that’s nothing more than lightly-seasoned-at-the-very-last-minute meat. But we say tasty is tasty! Sandwich these grillers in a soft, pillowy, buttery-sweet hamburger bun and your whole crew’s grins will pop like fireworks.

Kid-Approved Whatever’s-In-Your-Cupboard Burgers

Total time: 15 minutes prep/10 minutes cooking

Serves: 3–4


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire or soy sauce (or whatever!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, or a clove or two
  • Black pepper
  • 1 pound beef, 80% lean (90% lean can also be used—just note that the burgers will be a little less juicy)
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (crushed corn chips, crackers, or pretzels can also be used)
  • Salt
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Optional toppings: cheese, pickles, tomato, avocado/guacamole, onion, lettuce, mayo, mustard, and ketchup


  1. Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg until blended. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and a few grinds of black pepper. Note: Wait to add the salt until just before you start grilling, as adding it early can affect the meat’s texture and yield a denser burger.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the meat, onion, and bread crumbs, and then pour the egg mixture over the top.
  4. Mix the ingredients together until just combined, using your hands to pinch the meat rather than knead it. By doing this, you won’t overwork the meat, ensuring you’ll end up with tender, juicy burgers.
  5. Divide the meat into three or four balls of equal size (three for 1/3 pound burgers, four for 1/4 pound burgers). Gently flatten the balls into patties that are slightly wider than your hamburger buns.
  6. Use your thumb to create a shallow dimple in the center of each patty. Meat contracts when it cooks—making these shallow indentations will get you a flat, even, perfectly-cooked burger rather than a domed, raw-in-the-middle ball of meat.
  7. Oil your grill grate using a pair of tongs and a paper towel dipped in canola oil. Don’t use spray oil: it could cause the fire to flare up.
  8. Salt the outside of your burgers and then lay them on the grill with the dimples facing up. For medium-done burgers, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, and then flip the patties one time and cook another 4 to 5 minutes until browned on both sides. Cut one open to make sure it’s done to your liking or use a meat thermometer (ground meat should reach at least 155 degrees for safety purposes). If you’d like cheeseburgers, add slices of cheese on top of the burgers in the last minute or two of the cooking process, and cover the grill.
  9. Remove the burgers from the grill and place on hamburger buns. Note: You can quickly toast the buns by popping them in the oven or laying them on the grill, cut sides down, for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  10. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

3 More Tasty Ways to Burger

Turkey: Where’s the beef? Who cares! This Food Network bird burger gets raves.

Tuna: Tuna burgers are easy, affordable, and kid-friendly.

Veggie: Love the idea of going meatless, but afraid you’ll end up with another mushy patty or worse, something like a pasty hockey puck? Melissa Clark, a longtime food columnist for The New York Times, did the research on how to achieve the ultimate veggie burger so you don’t have to!

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