If you’re looking for the very best hamburger to grill at your next backyard barbecue, look no further. A Meatloaf Burger combines the home-cooked comfort of meatloaf with your favorite summer mainstay. With this simple recipe, you can make up a Meatloaf Burger batch ahead of time and store in the freezer until you’re ready to heat up the grill. Once you try a delicious, juicy Meatloaf Burger loaded with onion, parsley, crackers and more you’ll never want to eat a plain old hamburger again.
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A Summer Food Staple
When you think of summer, how many of you immediately think of backyard barbecues with juicy hamburgers, heaping bowls of salads and side dishes, desserts and other picnic fare? I know I sure do.
Growing up, one of my favorite summer meals has always been my parents’ hamburgers using a recipe passed down to them by my grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa always made their hamburgers by adding onions, eggs, saltines and parsley to their ground beef just like you would a meatloaf. I thought all hamburgers were made this way until one day our friends started raving about how delicious our hamburgers were. Apparently many people just use a regular plain beef patty when they make hamburgers.
Baked Meatloaf Patties or Grilled Meatloaf Burgers
Although Meatloaf Burgers can be baked in the oven, fried in a pan or barbecued on a gas grill, my Dad’s real specialty is cooking them on a tripod grill over an open fire. He says there’s an art to it, but I think it helps that Mom makes him wear an Ove Glove to hold the chains steady when he’s raising and lowering the grill.
It’s really hard to beat the flavor of a delicious meal cooked over an open fire, especially a Meatloaf Burger made by my Dad. I honestly think my Dad would cook every meal over an open fire in the summer if he could figure out how. (Did you see the picture of my Grandpa? I think it’s genetic!)
Use A Hamburger Press
The other trick to making a great Meatloaf Burger is to use a non-stick hamburger press to keep each Meatloaf Burger uniform in shape and size. We also like to use patty paper to prevent the beef from sticking to the hamburger press and to keep each Meatloaf Burger separated until we’re ready to grill. Patty paper is essentially wax paper, but it’s already cut into small squares so it’s convenient and ready to use whenever you have a craving for a Meatloaf Burger.
Meatloaf Burgers Recipe
Here is the recipe for meatloaf burgers that was passed down from my grandparents. I know you’ll love them so much, you’ll never go back to boring hamburger patties again.
Meatloaf Burger: A Recipe for the Best Grilled Hamburger
- 3 pounds Ground Beef
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup Parsley Dried or Fresh
- 1 sleeve Saltine Crackers approx. 37 crackers
- 1 3/4 cup Onion Chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
- In a large bowl combine ground beef, eggs, parsley, saltine crackers, onion, pepper, salt and garlic powder.
- Use about 1/4 pound of beef and roll it into a large ball. Put a patty paper on the bottom of the hamburger press, then place the ball of meat on the center of the paper.
- Cover the ball with another square of patty paper.
- Then lower the lid of the hamburger press and push down until it forms a nice round Meatloaf Burger patty.
- Place the Meatloaf Burger patties side by side on a large baking sheet. Keep the patty paper between the Meatloaf Burgers to separate them.
- You can either grill the Meatloaf Burgers immediately or freeze them on the baking sheet to enjoy another day. Once each Meatloaf Burger is frozen solid, you can transfer them from the cookie sheet into a large resealable freezer bag. Frozen Meatloaf Burgers do not need to be thawed before grilling.
How To Serve A Great Meatloaf Burger
A freshly grilled Meatloaf Burger should be served on a bun and topped with cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayo and any other favorite condiments. Sliced tomato, onions and lettuce also add some great flavor to your Meatloaf Burger.
We enjoyed our Meatloaf Burgers with Easy Macaroni Salad. A Meatloaf Burger would also be great served alongside Baked Cauliflower Poppers, Creamy Garlic Parmesan Quinoa with Sun Dried Tomatoes or Roasted Potato and Onion Wedges.
By the way, if you love meatloaf, you may also like Sweet Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf.
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Originally published June 2014. Updated June 2018.