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Cooking burgers inside - how do you do it?

In my mind, burgers need to be cooked on a grill, whether it be charcoal, gas, whatever. On a rare cold and rainy day in AZ this weekend, I had to resort to the Calphalon One grill pan on my electric stove (*tear) with a light coating of grape seed oil. I keep burgers simple - chopped onion, a few cloves of minced garlic, s&p, and a couple of heavy dashes of worcheshire.

So, when you don't have access to a grill, how do you do cook burgers?

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    1. re: Antilope

      I agree. A cast iron skillet is the next best thing to grilling. Hamburgers and steaks both come out with a wonderful crust. My GF grill sits in the cabinet. A novelty at best. Great for a dorm room but not something I need in my kitchen.

    2. Haven't you ever heard of the George Foreman Grill? (I kid...I kid...)
      For me, without access to an outdoor grill, I wouldn't cook a burger. But I'm the sort who stands out in the freezing weather if the temperature goes above 32 to grill outside. If I have to cook inside, it would be sloppy joes or meatball subs or taco burgers.
      I'm sure a cast-iron skillet would do a passable job, but I'm too picky about burgers.

      5 Replies
        1. re: millygirl

          My neighbors think I'm nuts and they might be right, but I have no problem lighting my Weber when it is 10°F, for a burger in January.

          I do have a cast iron grill pan, but that is reserved for emergencies.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            Agree with you K. If you look out Jfood back door you see two things - (1) the Weber and (2) the shovel to stand in front of the Weber. It's fun to watch the snowflakes melt as they hit the top of the grill, knowing there is food inside.

            1. re: jfood

              I have had neighbors call or come over in January and ask if they can throw a burger or steak on when I am done. I love the look of desperation and jealousy.

              A burger emergency= too windy to light or keep a flame going. Gas grills are not allowed at my house.

              1. re: Kelli2006

                Agreed. In fact, the lower the temp, the better it tastes. Nothing beats a grilled steak or burger in the dead of Canadian winter.

      1. i usually use a cast iron skillet. if i am doing a bunch, sometimes i put them under the broiler. mine are simpler than yours, just salt and pepper.

        1. Fry in skillet on med. till almost done, put on cheese, place bun on top and put top on skillet to kinda steam the bread and melt the cheese. Yum!

          1. Jfood in New England here and there is no temperature that is too cold not to go outside and strike up the grill for a burger. But, if he had to cook inside, he would use a methid from the 1960's where you some worcheshire (sic) sauce and a dab of butter in a pan and cook stove top until medium rare. Since he was alreadytesting the exhaust fan, jfood would have made some fried onions in a separate pan. Then some good old fashioned American cheese on a roll with the burger and onions. And lets no forget the Heinz (only) ketchup.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jfood

              Perfection...be still my heart!

              1. re: jfood

                It's written Worcestershire and pronounced Wooster! (trust me I'm a Brit)

                1. re: jfood

                  This sounds like a great idea - I had never heard that one before. Among the various methods mentioned, I've also learned I'm a complete wimp and should have trekked out to community grill (my condo situation bans the use of personal grills on patios) and fired up the burgers.

                2. I (almost) never have access to a grill - NYC apartment living - I make 4 oz hamburgers - salt, pepper and a small pat of butter in the middle, cooked on a very hot grill pan. Delicious.

                  1. To minimize the grease splatter from your grill pan, I like to sear my burgers on both sides in the grill pan then finish the burgers in the oven. I would still prefer my burgers on a grill outside, but it gets dark so early I can't even see what I am cooking.


                    6 Replies
                    1. re: eatmyfood

                      how long do they spend in the oven, and at what temp?

                      azhotdish, you totally read my mind by starting this discussion...thanks!

                      1. re: rose water

                        In the broiler, quickly, after they've been marinated in anything that looks good.

                      2. re: eatmyfood

                        I do the same. To answer other peoples' questions, I give them a good, solid sear on the grill pan, and then finish with about 3-4 minutes in the oven on high heat, 425 or so.

                        I figured it out as a method when I realized that on your average grill, you've got the direct heat from the flame plus the surrounding heat to bake them (assuming you close the lid on your grill). So, we get both of those by starting on the stove and finishing in the oven.

                        1. re: katecm

                          When I make larger burgers I sear them in a cast pan and finish them in the oven just like that. It is a great method. A tip with the larger patties is to make a hole in the center with your finger as you are forming the patty. This keeps it flat while it is cooking, as opposed to puffing up in the center, and will not give you the temptation to press them down with a spatula, losing nice juices.

                          I also like to make sliders a la White Manna in Hackensack, NJ. In that case I use a golf ball sized lump of ground beef (seasoned with salt only)- they hit the hot griddle as a ball, and then sliced onions are strewn on top. Near the very beginning of the cooking process they are squashed down with a spatula (the meat is pretty much raw at that point) and the onions become impregnated into the resulting patty. Flip 'em in a few minutes and serve on a potato roll, dinner sized.

                          1. re: TongoRad

                            Just saw White Manna last night on food network. I will be making a trip over that way in a couple of weeks.

                            1. re: roro1831

                              As simple as it seems, there is nothing like eating them at the source. I can get close at home, but it is never exactly the same.

                              It is definitely a classic joint and well worth the trip. FWIW- the 'doubles' are not two patties, just double the amount of meat. I enjoy them better than the singles because there is a better meat to bun ratio.

                      3. I don't know if you can still call it a "burger" per se, but if forced to cook one indoors I do it a la my grandmother. Heat a pan, add the tiniest bit of oil. To that, I add 1 or 2 halved and thinly sliced onions. Without stirring, put the salted+peppered burgers on top of the onion mound, scoop some onions on top, lower heat a bit, cover and cook (turning once) until done. You can also add mushrooms...

                        It's definitely not a grilled burger, more like steamed, but they're really good on a very soft roll with ketchup... or mounded on top of mashed potatoes!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: missfunkysoul

                          I had to resort to this just the other night and did it the way my mom used to when we were kids and would have hamburger patties with pork and beans.
                          Cast iron skillet, a little butter and cook the burgers till med rare then add onions and mushrooms, cook until they are tender. I must say that it was quite tasty and remonded me of when I was a kid and the hamburger and pork and beans were a treat.

                        2. I also use a broiler pan, I make the patties extra thick and big. They get crispy on the outside without drying out on the inside. Only ground chuck. I'll be digging the grill out from the two feet of snow soon.

                          1. I can grill year-around in Florida, but a few winter days I need my fix of cheeseburgers, open-faced, on toast with a MOUNTAIN of carmelized onions. I start the sliced sweet onions with a little butter and olive oil and Worcestershire in a cast iron skillet until about half the moisture cooks off, then I make little nests for the tarragon burgers and let the beef fat supplement the oil. Finished product, with melted havarti under cover the last 2 minutes, is fit for a king. Or at least for me in a megalomaniacal feeding frenzy.

                            1. I use a cast-iron skillet in the broiler. First, I heat the broiler with the skillet inside. I place the burgers in the skillet, cook for 4 minutes, turn over and cook for another 3 minutes. (we like our burgers rare). You get a nice crust this way.

                              1. I like using our electric griddle or my cast iron griddle inside. The electric griddle is awesome for making sliders, as we did tonight. :)