WGN’s Dean Richards is gearing up for summer and cooking burgers!

Stuffed Cheeseburgers


  • 2 lbs. ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste.  
  • 1/2 lb.  Cheese of choice (finely grated.)  I loved cheddar but blue cheese, swiss, provolone are also great.   
  • 6  Hamburger Buns  (brioche is great.) 


  • Combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix together well.
  • Roll the beef into 6 balls. Split each beef ball in half and flatten out to your preferred patty size. Place about 2-3 tablespoons cheese in the center of one patty, then top with the other patty and seal the edges by pinching and smoothing with your fingers.
  • Gently press flat, double-checking there are no openings for the cheese to escape when the burgers cook.
  • Cook on a grill or skillet over medium-high heat  (usually about 3 minutes per side)

Toast the buns and serve with your desired burger toppings

Burger Condiments

  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Pickle Chips
  • Mayo
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • BBQ Sauce

Use an 80/20 Mix of Ground Beef

Keep the meat cold and shape the patties as quickly as possible.

Don’t Over-Mix the Ground Beef

Make your burgers about 1-inch thick at the edges, and one inch larger than the bun.  

Press an indentation in the center of the patties, usually about the size of a thumbprint or a tablespoon. This prevents the burger from puffing up in the center.

For rare burgers, cook for 4 minutes total (125°F internal)
For medium-rare burgers, cook for 5 minutes total (135°F internal)
For medium burgers, cook for 6 to 7 minutes total (145°F internal)
For well-done burgers, cook for 8 to 9 minutes total (160 °F internal)

The USDA recommends cooking ground meats to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
Use an instant-read thermometer to be safe.  

Chicago-style Italian Beef Burgers


  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/3 cup Chicago-Style Giardiniera, well-drained, plus more for topping
  • 1 green pepper, roasted until soft.  Peel off charred skin.  
  • 3/4 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning (recipe below or it’s also sold in stores.)
  • (optional)  4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 buns
  • For the Italian Seasoning:
    • 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
    • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • pinch dried thyme
    • pinch celery seed


  1. For the Italian Seasoning: combine all ingredients in a jar or small bowl.
  2. Preheat grill on high heat for at least 10 minutes to 400-450 degrees  

Add ground beef, well-drained giardiniera, and 3/4 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning to a large bowl then mix with your hands to combine and shape into 4 patties. 

Turn heat down to medium-high, add patties to the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes a side with the lid closed, or until burgers reach your preferred level of doneness.

Place cheese slices on top then close grill lid until melted. 

Transfer cheeseburgers onto buns then top with more giardiniera.  Slice roasted green peppers into strips and add.   More: Dean cooks Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

Lipton Onion Soup Mix Smash Burger


  • 2 pounds ground beef,   85/15 or 80/20 percent fat mix
  • ½teaspoon neutral oil, like canola, or a pat of unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • 8 slices cheese (optional)
  • 8 soft hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • Lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and condiments, as desired


Add oil or butter to a large cast-iron pan,  griddle or stainless-steel skillet and place over medium heat. Mix the beef with the mayo,  onion soup mix, salt and pepper.  

Gently divide ground beef into 8 small balls, 4 ounces each. 

Increase heat under skillet or griddle to high. Put half the “balls” into the skillet with plenty of distance between them and, using a stiff metal spatula, press down on each one to form a thin burger that is around 4 inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook without moving until patties have achieved a deep, burnished crust, a little less than 2 minutes. Use the spatula to scrape free and carefully turn burgers over. If using cheese, lay slices on meat. 

Continue to cook until meat is cooked through, approximately a minute or so longer.  

Remove burgers from skillet, place on buns and top as desired. Repeat process with remaining burgers. 

Some people serve two hamburgers on a single bun.