Seattle chef John Howie knows his way around beef. His John Howie Steak restaurant in Bellevue is one of the premier dining experiences in the area. And you can surely trust him to help you make the best burger for your next home cookout.

We had the pleasure of working with John Howie during a recent video project with Conner Homes. The local developer teamed with the famous Seattle chef on ‘Chef John Howie Signature Kitchens‘ in their Heron development in Kirkland. As part of the marketing for Heron, we created a pair of cooking videos with John Howie (here is the other).

To lay the foundation and step-by-step instructions for making the best burger for your backyard cookout, here is the video we created with John Howie and Conner Homes:

You simply start with a handmade burger patty. And honestly, if you’re short on time — just use a prepackaged burger patty (that’s my tip…not John Howie’s). And get your grill good and hot. John Howie says a charcoal grill will give your burger the best flavor.

Best Burger Baste Recipe


  • 1 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (Chef John Howie recommends Tamari “Gluten Free Soy Sauce” from San-J)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic


  1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer in a sauce pot over medium-high heat for two minutes.
  2. Cool, transfer and store refrigerated until needed.

* NOTE: This recipe yields one cup of the best burger baste.

best burger baste chef john howie seattle

Chef John Howie’s Roasted Onion Spread


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the ends off the onions and peel off the outer skin, cut the onion in half and break apart the layers, toss the onion pieces in the olive oil and place on a sheet tray.
  3. Place in the oven and roast until there is some charring and caramelization. Remove from the oven and chill.
  4. Mince the onion and mix all ingredients together until completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer and store refrigerated until needed.

* NOTE: This recipe yields 1 1/2 cups of roasted onion spread.

best burger recipe chef john howie

Cooking the Best Burger


  1. Preheat your grill to high heat.
  2. Grease your grill grate with olive oil.
  3. Baste one side of your burger with the best burger baste and place it on the grill with the basted side down and then immediately baste the other side of the burger.
  4. Put the lid on the grill and check the burger in about a minute (or so) and flip it over.
  5. Place a halved bun along the outer rim of the grill grate to toast it.
  6. Place a slice of cheese on top of the burger.
  7. Pull the burger off the grill once the cheese is melted.
  8. Put roasted onion spread on both sides of the bun.
  9. Place the burger on the bun and top with a thick slice of tomato, red onion, and a leaf of lettuce.
best burger recipe chef john howie

Again, you can reference the video above for step-by-step instructions on putting together the best burger for your next backyard cookout. As John Howie says in the video, “You’re going to love it!”

I’d love to hear what you think of this burger recipe. Please leave a comment below, especially if you added anything to make the best burger even better.

This is one of many cooking videos our Seattle video production company has created. And we’d love to help you with your next project. Please feel free to contact us by phone, email or text. Or you can also reach out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And check out more of our video production work on Vimeo and YouTube.