Jim’s Famous A.1. Hamburger Recipe

Try this juicy, grilled A.1. hamburger recipe seasoned with fresh rosemary and topped with all the fixings!

Side view of a hamburger with toppings.
Lori Rice

Most summer grilling is done for large groups and as such is not too fancy - burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and the occasional kabob. For this recipe, I've borrowed a tip from my good friend Jim Honniball - a way to dress up a simple hamburger.

Everybody should have a friend like Jim. He can swim a mile, bike thirty, and still have the energy to cook up a batch of his legendary hamburgers for his friends.

Jim learned to cook from his mom and loves nothing more than to see everyone's delighted faces as they bite into something delicious he's prepared.

Especially satisfying after a hard day of body-boarding and surfing are his hamburgers which are seasoned with fresh rosemary from the garden and A.1. sauce.

A Tip for Grilling Burgers Indoors

At the time of this writing, I did not have a grill. So, to simulate the high-heat grilling environment, I bought a heavy-duty, cast iron grill pan from Williams-Sonoma for the task.

They also sell Calphalon pans (for about five times the price). But the Calphalon simply cannot hold the high heat that cast iron can to match the heat of a real grill.

Eventually, the high heat will warp the Calphalon pan. The brand I picked up was Lodge for less than $25. They also carry Le Creuset for somewhat more.

Side view of a hamburger with toppings.
Lori Rice

A.1. Burger Swaps and Subs

  • What is A.1. sauce? It's a type of steak sauce found in America. If you don't have any, you can easily substitute Worcestershire sauce, HP, or any other kind of steak sauce.
  • Instead of A.1. sauce, try onion soup mix or Thousand Island dressing for seasoning.
  • What to spice up your burgers? Mix in some sambal, Tapatio, or your favorite hot sauce, you'd like!
  • Don't like rosemary? Sub another hearty herb. Thyme, oregano, garlic chives, tarragon, or even basil are good options.

The Best Ground Beef for Burgers

Lean ground beef may be healthier, but the best burgers have a little fat in them. The high heat of the grill tends to dry out your meat. So, a little fat keeps your burgers juicy and moist. We recommend an 80/20 mix of ground chuck or sirloin, which means 80% lean beef and 20% fat.

Here's a little primer on How to Grill the Best Burgers!

More Mouthwatering Burger Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Jim’s Famous A.1. Hamburger Recipe

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings

Safety tip: Try to get your hamburger meat from a butcher who grinds their own, that way you know where the meat came from. Bacteria loves raw hamburger. So, once you have some in your fridge, eat it up quickly—no more than a day or two at the most after you've bought it or defrosted it.


  • For the Burger:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons A.1. sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, perhaps half a teaspoon each
  • For Serving:
  • 3 to 4 hamburger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced avocado
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard


  1. Make the burger mixture:

    Mix the rosemary and A.1. sauce into the hamburger meat, distributing evenly. Add salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste.

    Ground beef and ingredients to make an A1 burger.

    Lori Rice

  2. Form the hamburger patties:

    With your hands, divide the meat into 3 or 4 parts and form into patties.

    If the meat is low-fat, you may want to add some olive oil to the mixture. Or after the patties are formed, rub some oil over them before cooking.

    Forming hamburger patties to make a famous burger.
    Lori Rice
    Four burger patties on a plate.
    Lori Rice
  3. Grill the hamburger patties:

    Place on a hot grill or grill pan. If you are indoors with a grill pan, be sure to use your stove fan. If on a grill pan, lower the heat to medium high.

    Grill on one side until you can see the juice begin to run at the surface. Flip over and grill on the other side, again until you can see some juice coming through.

    Grilling burgers to make a famous burger.
    Lori Rice
    Grilling burgers to make a famous burger.
    Lori Rice
  4. Grill the buns:

    If you wish, brown the buns on the hot grill surface. Onions can be either served fresh with the hamburger or sauteed in a little olive oil.

  5. Serve burgers:

    Serve burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, mayo, ketchup, and or mustard. (For a low-carb or gluten-free version, skip the bun.)

    Adding toppings to an A1 burger.
    Lori Rice
    A famous burger topped with avocado on a plate.
    Lori Rice