Best German Hamburger Recipe – Oma's Buletten (Frikadellen)

Not only are these hamburgers easy, but they taste like real German hamburgers, especially when made with the Kaiser roll instead of bread crumbs.

Depending on which part of Germany you're from, these are either called buletten or frikadellen. Usually, they are fried; however, they can be done on the BBQ, grilled, or broiled.

Prep Time

5 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes

Total Time

20 minutes


Makes 6 patties


  • 1 stale Kaiser roll or bread roll
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water or milk, warm
  • 5 tbsp (70 g) butter or (75 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp (16 g) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1⅓ lb (605 g) ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp (6 g) salt
  • ½ tsp (1 g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) mustard
  • ½ cup (75 g) breadcrumbs


    1. Slice the Kaiser roll and place into a small bowl. Pour the warm water or milk over the sliced roll. Set aside.

    2. Heat 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the onions for several minutes over medium-high heat until they’re translucent. Stir in the parsley and set aside.

    3. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, eggs, salt, pepper, and mustard.

    4. Squeeze the liquid from the sliced roll and crumble it into the meat mixture. Add the sautéed onions and parsley mixture.

    5. Mix everything together gently with your hands. Add extra breadcrumbs if the mixture is too moist and won’t hold together.

    6. Form six one-inch-thick patties. Put the remaining breadcrumbs onto a plate. Roll each patty into the breadcrumbs so that all the sides are covered.

    7. In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter and cook patties on each side for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and continue frying for about 8 minutes, turning them occasionally. Remove the lid at the end to evaporate the liquid. The internal temperature should be 160°F (70°C).

    8. Serve.


  • Add ¼ cup ketchup, BBQ sauce, or mustard to meat mixture
  • Add ½ cup cubed cheese (cheddar) to the meat mixture
  • Try different seasonings to find your favorite. I like using "Montreal Steak Spice." (I know .... it's not German!)
  • Personally, I prefer using lean ground beef. If you wish, you can use a regular grind and/or a mixture of beef, pork, or veal.
  • You can easily double and triple the recipe.
  • These can also be grilled on a BBQ for about 6 minutes per side or until done.

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10.20.2023 revision update