HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 5, 2009 02:09 PM

Steamed Cheeseburgers: Make-at-Home Version - from the Land of Steady Habits!

The steamed cheeseburger is a Connecticut specialty. And here in the land of steady habits, it's definitely a love or hate thing. But having grown up with them, I've got nothing but love for a steamer.

So, inspired by Mark's post, I am making my own steamed cheeseburger for dinner tonight, on buttered toast. I meant to make a side dish, but truthfully, I'm starving and my makeshift steamer box is boiling as I speak.


Will be back later to tell you how this little venture came out. I'll start by telling you I did *NOT* use cleaned out cat food cans as my steamer boxes (I washed and washed, yet they still kinda smelled like cat food!). I instead used heart-shaped ramekins I usually use for custard. 80/20 ground chuck, Sriracha on top of the meat (who says a steamer can't be sexy?!), and McAdam Sharp is steaming away in my bamboo basket.

Wish me luck!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Go get-em K.

    We have faith in ya.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, jfood. :)

      I am so excited to tell you about my little experiment! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

      First, let me tell you that many people are put off by steamed cheeseburgers because I have always heard, even from my uncle who made them at his restaurant back in the day, that you cannot make them rare. WRONG! Perhaps you cannot make them rare if you use traditional steamer accoutrements; however, using a handy bamboo basket and a deeper ramekin, RARE bliss can be yours! My ramekins are about 2 inches deep versus traditional steamer dishes, which are much more shallow.

      Once the water boiled, I let the contents steam for approximately 15 minutes total.

      Wait till you see! Pictured below:
      - McAdam Sharp is cheddar of choice for a steamed cheeseburger. This is what we used in the restaurant (years ago) and what I've seen used locally. The bonus for me is I can get McAdam Sharp at the discount supermarket (PriceRite) for about $1.49 for an 8-oz. block. NICE!
      - Full Steam Ahead! My chuck, coated with Sriracha, and cheese await a little sauna time in the steamer.
      - After - the steamed contents are ready to be plated. Of course, the hamburger fat/juices are strained away
      - Plated - here is my delicious burger, ready to eat, atop buttered toast

      4 Replies
      1. re: kattyeyes

        Last, but not least, can you see why this was love at first bite for me? Check out my juicy, rare steamed cheeseburger! I may never eat one outside my own kitchen again!

        1. re: kattyeyes

          What do you know. These looks terrific kattyeyes! I will try this, I have a nice big bamboo steamer, and would love to get more use out of it. My dh will love these fat burgers, and we all love the med rare burger.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Hot damn! Dems look finger lickin' good! Double up my lipitor and here I come!

          2. re: kattyeyes

            It does look delicious! Nice touch on the heart-ramekins.

            So, I hope I'm not crossing over into blasphemy since I know this is a regional specialty and, therefore, must be prepared a certain specific way in order to achieve the ideal, but is it possible to do steamed bison burgers using this technique? (Asks the gal who has 1/6th of a bison in her deep-freeze.)


          3. Oh my that looks divine!

            1. Kattyeyes, I've never had one of these (West coaster) but I've wanted to since I saw them on some food show. Does the burger and cheese readily come out of the ramekins? Since you are using a deeper ramekin do you think putting the cheese directly on the burger would work as well?

              2 Replies
              1. re: just_M

                Yes, the burger and cheese come out without issue. The burger cooks away from the edges, so that's a cinch, and since the cheese is all melted, it just slides right out. :) You need not prep the ramekins with butter or oil.

                You won't want to put the cheese directly on the burger because all the juices/fat cook off the burger and you'll need to drain them away. Having separate compartments for meat and cheese keep everything neat and orderly (no additional burger fat getting mixed up in the cheese). Hope you enjoy!

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  Thanks, can't wait to try them out.

              2. Wow, now I can make them at home, yippie! I showed Mr. Bushwick the lovely photos and tried to explain to him the subtle juicy deliciousness of a steamed cheeseburger and he was less than impressed, (he's from Brooklyn, what do they know.) Now I can prove to him that they're great. Thanks!
                Oh, no cat food cans either, I also have ramekins.