We investigated the relationship between the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and muscle strength through measurement of handgrip strength. We conducted a cross-sectional study of a population representative of older Korean from the 2014–2016 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A total of 2512 community-dwelling men and women aged 65 years and older were included. The BMR was calculated with the Singapore equation and handgrip strength was measured using a digital dynamometer. The patients were categorized into handgrip strength quartiles and a weighted one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for continuous variables and a weighted chi-squared test for categorical variables were performed. Pearson, Spearman correlation analysis, univariate, and multivariate linear regression were performed. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was also performed to determine the association between basal metabolic rate and handgrip strength quartiles after adjusting for confounding factors. The BMR increased according to handgrip strength quartile after adjusting for age, BMI, relative fat mass, comorbidity number, resistance exercise, aerobic physical activity, household income, educational level, smoking status, and alcohol ingestion in both sexes (p < 0.001). Handgrip strength has a positive association with the BMR in older Korean people. Therefore, muscle strength exercises should be considered for regulating the BMR in the older people.