In a large bowl, lightly season ground meat with salt and pepper if you like (optional) and mix in gently with your hands. To shape the burgers, take about 1/8 of meat and form it into a meatball; then flatten it a between your hands until it's about 1/2 in. thick. Turn the patty on your palm while firming up its edges with the thumb and forefingers of your other hand (your goal is to get rid of a crumbly edge). Repeat with remaining meat. Let burgers rest at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for high heat (450° to 550°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above grate level only 2 to 4 seconds). Wipe grate with oiled paper towels.
Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper (especially if you chose not to season the meat in Step 1). Grill burgers 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, for rare*, topping with cheese during the final minute or two.
Transfer burgers to a plate. Clean grate with oiled paper towels. Toast buns on grill 1 minute and serve with burgers.
*For a medium to well-done burger, cook over medium-high heat (about 450°) for 10 minutes total; cut to check doneness.
Buy the right meat. Brisket has the perfect mix of lean and fat to make a juicy burger. For uniform texture, ask your butcher to grind it twice for you.
Don't overwork it. You really don't even need to add salt and pepper to the meat; all the action is in the toppings. Also, let the patties rest before cooking. Otherwise they'll be chewy.
Start with a clean cooking grate. Dirt makes food taste bad and makes it stick.
Cook it hot. Heat the grill to between 450° and 550°. Cold burgers on a cold grill are going to stick every time.
Create a nonstick cooking surface. When the cooking grate is hot, wipe it quickly and carefully with an oiled square of several folded paper towels.