You can make a very tasty burger using nothing but salt and pepper, but adding other seasonings to ground beef opens up worlds of possibilities. The spices, sauces, herbs, and other flavorings pictured below range in taste from the understated (red wine) to the bold (chile sauce). Just how much to add will depend on your tastes; below you’ll find our suggested amounts to use for one pound of beef (enough for two thick burgers). See our Guide to Building the Perfect Burger »



Pound an oil-cured filet and mix it well into the beef for briny flavor.

Dijon Mustard

A teaspoon brightens the flavor of cooked beef with mellow spiciness.

Dried Mushrooms

A few dried porcinis that have been ground in a spice grinder give patties a deeper meatiness.


An egg enriches the flavor of beef and helps to keep the burger moist as it cooks.

Herbed Bread Crumbs

A tablespoon of herbed bread crumbs helps bind the ground meat and adds a toasty flavor.


Half of a small, coarsely grated onion gives sweet notes and juiciness to burgers.

Onion Soup Mix

A few pinches of this powdered mixture of beef bouillon and dried onion enhance a burger’s meaty depth.

Red Wine

A few tablespoons of a dry, tannic red wine infuse burgers with peppery notes.

Sesame Oil

A drizzle of this East Asian staple adds a nutty essence.


A teaspoon or so of this Asian-style garlic chile sauce imparts a subtle heat and sweetness.

Steak Sauce

A tablespoon of sweet and tangy A1, a condiment made with tomatoes, vinegar, and dried fruit, intensifies a burger’s beefiness.

Worcestershire Sauce

A few dashes of this sweet-tart sauce lend tang and depth.


A teaspoon of finely chopped capers gives burgers a pleasing, concentrated saltiness.