HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

How do you like your burger cooked?

Not temperature, but technique.

Grilled?
-Coal
-Wood
-Gas

Griddled?

Pan-fried?

Steam-fried?

Deep-fried?

Broiled?

Cast-iron skillet

Something else?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
        1. re: scubadoo97

          It's my most used method lately as well.
          It's also my favorite way to cook a steak.

      1. Ideally I like a fat patty grilled over coal to medium rare, but I enjoy a griddled thin patty too. And I won't say no to just about any burger that isn't overcooked.

        1. Meat packed loosely into a ball, then dropped onto a screaming hot cast iron griddle and smashed flat. Sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt and ground pepper. Flipped when that gorgeous crust forms on the bottom. Removed while not red, but still juicy. It's important to smash the edges of the patty really flat so that they get particularly crispy and delicious.

          1. Primarily, grilled over gas. Secondarily, seared in a CI skillet, turn and finish in hot oven.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  .....oh I thought you wrote I invented the Internet and I was going to say although so many think I'm a man- I am for sure NOT Al Gore :)))

                2. re: iL Divo

                  Its Friday and I needed a good laugh...Thanks :-)

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    Ding ding ding! Burgers are one of those things I leave to others to cook. Medium rare, please.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        No good reason, I suppose. Burgers and fries are more of a treat for me, and I'm not a fan of deep-frying at home. I love chicken fried steak, too, but have only made it at home once.

                        ETA: I don't grill, either. Had a really bad experience with it in my late 20s. I'm sure the incident is still on file with the Chicago Fire Department:)

                        1. re: KrumTx

                          Thats a shame about the bad grill experience, definetely one of the easiest and least messy ways to cook a burger.

                          1. re: Tom34

                            and some of us live in urban condos and cannot have grills.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              We're heading to NYC in a few days to petsit for friends. I always have to remind myself that grilling is out. We do it so much I tend to take it for granted. But MORE than worth the trade off :)

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                No doubt there are cases where grilling is not feasible. I am just saying that grilling alleviates the indoor grease spatter/smell & smoke, that's all.

                                1. re: Tom34

                                  At the time, I was living with roommates in a brownstone in Chicago.

                                  Years later, I have a home with a backyard. I should try it again. Need to buy a fire extinguisher, though:)

                                  1. re: KrumTx

                                    We love to grill....both over lump charcoal in a Big Green Egg & also on the gas grill for quick last minute cooks. Food tastes much better when the house doesn't smell from cooking it.

                                    Key is to keep the grill away from the house. Most siding products don't do well with the heat that comes out the back of a grill.

                    1. Smashed on a hot cast iron pan. Medium rare.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: redips

                        I do like a good smashburger. You get a lot more crusty exterior with the increased surface area.

                      2. Grilled, over a charcoal and oak fire.

                        1. Grilled over charcoal is my favorite but I have to settle for gas here at home. Also don't like it over wood but that's hard to get.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: juliejulez

                            Oops should have said *do* like it over wood.

                          2. In order of preference:

                            1. By someone else
                            2. Grilled. gas, coal wood doesn't matter
                            3. Grill pan
                            4. CI skillet

                            1 Reply
                            1. Grilled over charcoal with mesquite, smoky under the Weber lid with good cheese after the flip. Medium rare.
                              L-T-O on a toasted bun, with Heinz.

                              1. well done
                                broiled served on bun with onion,relish, and ketchup
                                no cheese

                                second
                                grilled with wood

                                1. Medium rare, freshly ground at a 5 star hotel, Off a room service cart on a towel to protect the frette linens, in bed while watching a movie with little jars of condiments to dip the crisp fries in, and a nice red.

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. Grilled over wood coals. Nothing finer.

                                      1. Wood or Charcoal grilled is my preference

                                        1. Hot cast iron skillet and caramelized on the outside, juicy and rare to medium rare on the inside. A pinch of salt. Served on a large toasted bun with at least 4 ounces of super thinly sliced either white or purple onion. Dill spears on the side.

                                          1. Primarily I like my burger grilled over a charcoal and hardwood fire.

                                            If I'm not grilling, then I prefer to pan-fried the burger in my old black skillet, and then I like to deglaze the pan with onions and a splash of beer.

                                            Some day soon I'll deep-fry a burger, and give it the Monte Cristo treatment.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: deet13

                                              When I cook in the CI (stovetop and then oven) I put onions slices around the burger. When the meat is done, the onions are great to go on the burger.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Yes! Those onions fried in beef fat are terrific.

                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                  love a method that adds extra flavor

                                            2. wood, campfire with a few foil wrapped potatoes in the coals to go with.

                                              gas grill @ home

                                              A recent steam fried burger with blue cheese was pretty remarkable.

                                              1. 1200 degree sear over lump charcoal in a BGE....Med Rare.

                                                1. Grilled over charcoal
                                                  Cast iron with onion embedded
                                                  Thin patty on a flat top

                                                  1. first choice: wood grilled (or as we used to call it bbq'd)
                                                    second choice: cast iron pan with salt on the pan
                                                    third choice: broiled

                                                    either way, thick and juicy, med rare

                                                    1. Grilled, coal.

                                                      I like blackened burgers a lot too.

                                                      1. Grilled with a smoky flavor. NO crust, just cheese. Griddled is OK: cook medium-rare, cheese on top, cover with bowl to melt cheese.

                                                        Of course, roasted green chile is a must: Heat that on the grill or griddle with the burger.

                                                        1. reading all this right now makes me want a big ole hairy Juicy Lucy

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                            That thought hit me last night after reading this thread and I thawed some vacuum sealed custom blend before bed. Formed, seasoned and about to go on the fire. As good as &#& and certainly more predictable :-)

                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                              jealous here. I gotta get motivated and do as you did.

                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                I'm sometimes surprised that it appears that not that many CHs grind their own meat. It doesn't seem like it's a price issue with most. That grinder was the best $50 I EVER spent.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I found that even using the cheapest possible cuts at the store, the top grade ground was less than 2/3 the price. It must be a regional thing.

                                                                  1. re: travelerjjm

                                                                    Yeah, but the top grade of what. If you google "Boxed Beef Prices" you will see the wholesale bid cost of every cut of meat.

                                                                    The whole cuts are more $ because of the type & quality of the animal they come from. Most meat that gets ground is unsuitable for anything else. Now days a lot is also imported.

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    I have a heavy duty electric grinder but a hand one works fine as does the Kitchen Aid attachment which is also reasonable. I do beef & chicken and plan to do sausage in the future.

                                                                    I think so many people have grown accustomed to supermarket GB and like the convenience. .

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      I love grinding my own meat for burgers and sausage. It's very, very comforting to know exactly what I'm eating. :)

                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                        I'm far from a germophobe but knowing that our ground meat comes from a specific part of a single animal IS "comforting.

                                                                2. I prefer them broiled by my late mother. Our broiler is a little wonky so now we usually pan-fry them in the good old cast iron skillet (rare).

                                                                  1. The best is 5ozs of 85/15 angus grilled to medium over charcoal or wood.

                                                                    1. while steakhouses have many negatives, most do terrific burgers, and it's often prime beef, then cooked on a screaming hot grill. both smith & wollensky and morton's use prime beef.

                                                                      medium-rare, swiss, mushrooms and a giant martini, tyvm.

                                                                        1. Meatless- like those walnut olive lentil ones i like- grilled outside in the cali sunshine of the backyard, on the charcoal old school weber by my dad, thick onion slices on the grill next to it, adult beverages in hand.

                                                                          2nd choice:
                                                                          Grilled on gas by my best-friend-in-law on their nyc terrace, both of us wearing a ton of layers, scraping ice of the grill first, drinking hot mulled wine to keep warm

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                            Your dad lives/lived in Colombia? Cool.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              No, california- ugh. Must have picked up "cali" since i moved to the other coast...

                                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                Oh whew :) Sam lived in Cali so that's what I always think of.

                                                                          2. Grilled - coal...absolutely. Gas doesn't do it justice.

                                                                            Second choice: Whatever they do in a "better" restaurant. Is that an indoor grill?

                                                                            1. Charcoal broiled. Lots of Heinz ketchup (it's the only thing keeping me alive) raw onion and pickle on the side. Fries are optional.

                                                                              1. Griddled (i.e. on a flattop)
                                                                                Medium rare/pink in the center

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                  I'm with ya, DD. If I'm buying the burger I want to avoid the Flame-Broiled joints, though there used to be a pair of places in Northern CA (Kirk's, in Palo Alto and Los Gatos) where they were cooked in a sort of basket lowered over a bed of coals and came out huge and juicy. But the flavor I crave can be generated only by the patty's cuddling up to that hot surface. At home I'll use a pan, though I have to put the pan on the gas grill since the range vent fan died …

                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                    Will, the best approximation I've come to doing a griddled burger at home is to take 2 skillets that are about the same size but will nest...like a 9" skillet that fits into a 10" skillet.

                                                                                    My range is gas, so I turn on two burners and set a skillet on each one and get them screaming hot. I used the smashburger style of patty and just make a ball of burger meat that has been lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and a little granulated garlic and formed into a ball somewhere between 5-6 oz. When the big skillet is ready I put the burger ball(s) in and then take the smaller skillet and smash them down to burgers. I leave the small skillet on top, sometimes I even weight it down, and cook on the first side for about 2 minutes - still on fairly high heat - flip, put the little skillet back on top and cook on the 2nd side for about 2 minutes.

                                                                                    The super hot, 2 skillet method, develops a nice crustiness on the meat and does a pretty swell job at containing all the grease and splattering that seems to go hand in hand with cooking ground meat at high temps.

                                                                                    Flattop is the way to go for burger cooking. Nothing compares in my book :-)

                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                      Love the method but, too much clean up!

                                                                                    2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                      Kirk's in Palo Alto was the best!
                                                                                      There was another near where we lived in Campbell that missed the mark and I've never been able to figure out why.

                                                                                      1. re: 512window

                                                                                        A lifetime ago, Kirks was the official place for a guy to take his date for a burger. It had the proper burger-sizzling ambience, the sounds, the smell, the action. And of course generous burgers - a double if you want - and choices of embellishments. I understand it's moved at least once since those days, but I do hope they've kept the burger magic intact.

                                                                                  2. old school diner flat top in bacon grease.

                                                                                    charcoal for hand formed home-made.

                                                                                    gas only in a restaurant that does a lot of grilling.

                                                                                    1. One of two ways

                                                                                      - grilled (prefer over charcoal, but we use propane at home for convenience)

                                                                                      - cast iron pan with onions, cooked hot and fast

                                                                                      Either way, cooked barely through, still very juicy, maybe a hint of pink.

                                                                                      1. summer/fall -grilled over charcoal till medium rare,thinly sliced raw onions on brioche bun
                                                                                        winter/spring - seared in cast iron pan with caramelized onions till medium rare on kaiser roll

                                                                                        1. Why not temp? Depends on the mood, I prefer grilled, then fried in a cast iron skillet. All rare.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                            1. Pan fried in, of course, butter. Well done always. Keeps in the moisture. Eating under cooked ground meat is a poor health choice no matter how appetizing it is.

                                                                                              20 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: IrishButter

                                                                                                Anything other than a medium rare burger is just plain sad :) I've NEVER gotten sick from ground meat and now that I grind my own it's even less likely.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  I just don't like eating a rare burger-makes me ill just thinking about it

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Its a shame so many "non" hounds see a burger as just another meal. The right blend of fresh ground meat cooked M/R with lots of juice dripping out is something we look forward to days in advance. My skinny mini daughters won't eat a burger unless its bright red and dripping.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      It's a texture thing for me. I actually prefer my burges medium-well, but like my steaks medium, although I'm not turned off by a steak cooked to medium-rare, and would eat it. A medium-rare burger, though? Not a chance.

                                                                                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                        I agree on a raw under cooked "mushy" burger, but if you grind your own (keeps the water content down) and cook them right, they will be fully cooked (not mushy) but still red and juicy.

                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                          Never tried grinding my own. Might have to sometime!

                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                            Precisely! And once we did, we have rarely had a burger in a restaurant.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              Yeah, puts a whole new perspective on burgers.

                                                                                                          2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                            i'm very much a textural eater and some places the beef is ground too fine, or there isn't enough fat for the thing to keep together.

                                                                                                            i still prefer mr, but it's often a holy grail for me, since most come out over-cooked.

                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                              I bet burgers rank in the top 10 over cooked foods, both at restaurants and back yards. Leaning on them with a spatula is another problem.

                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                I like mine mooing. My kids complain that when I grill they come out undercooked. Wife and youngest will eat them rare, oldest daughter takes them and throws them in the microwave for 2 minutes to finish cooking---yechhh!

                                                                                                                Not only don't I ever lean on them with a spatula, I don't use one at all. I place them in a grill basket similar to the ones made for fish. i then can turn them over and remove from the grill without using a spatula.

                                                                                                                I use an older model of the attached picture (the pic is a fish model)

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                  My grandmother used to pan cooked them well done and then add water and cook them more. Terrible.

                                                                                                                  There is a method out there of flipping them every 15 seconds or so which is said to evenly cook & prevent drying. I never tried it but that basket would make it a lot easier I would think. .

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                    Flipping constantly might cook them evenly, but if they are flipped the first time before they have a chance to develop a crust they will leave a good bit of meat stuck to the grill and may actually fall apart.

                                                                                                                    For a good burger, put it on the cooking surface and leave it alone. Flip once at 1/2 the desited cooking time. Use your finger or thumb to test doneness, never squeeze down with a spatula or press.

                                                                                                                    I've seen short order cooks add a little water to the pan ala your grandmother or cover with a dome, but this is generally to melt cheese on a cheeseburger. BUT since cheeseburgers don't exist at the B home, I've never done it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                      Yes that is the short order cooks "secret" to melting cheese quickly. lol

                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                        I forget where I saw the constant flipping method, maybe Serious Eats. I agree that beyond being a pain in the ass to stand there and do, sticking would likely be a problem and eventually the patty would break apart. I was thinking your cage would help with that if someone were inclined to try it.

                                                                                                                        I use the finger press test for everything but that is a lightening rod subject on Chow.

                                                                                                                        I don't use cheese either but I am familiar with the flat top dome method to melt cheese.

                                                                                                                        My grandmother was English and cooked everything to death. I don't understand the water as the patty was deader than a door nail before she added it and cooked it even more. Fortunately my dad's mom was French and taught my mom how to cook.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                          The water also serves to loosen the patty for even removal from the pan (useful if overcooked and stuck)

                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                            Whenever I cook things like meat or chicken in a pan I always deglaze with water, reduce and save for future sauces.

                                                                                                        2. Grilled............
                                                                                                          First choice wood
                                                                                                          Second Charcoal
                                                                                                          Then gas if I'm in a hurry

                                                                                                          Today we had 8 inches of snow, so I used the gas grill

                                                                                                            1. Please don't criticize ppl who eat their burgers well done.
                                                                                                              Many ppl eat them that way for religious reasons,ie. keeping kosher

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                I've never heard that not well-done meat isn't kosher. http://www.chabad.org/library/article... seems to contradict you, "The reddish liquid that remains inside the meat after this procedure is not halachically considered blood; it is the meat's "juice," and is 100% kosher." Although I know that what's kosher with one rabbi isn't always kosher with another, I can't google any sources that think that not-well-done meat isn't kosher.

                                                                                                                It's fine to say it's a personal preference and leave it at that. No need to make up reasons for it. Anyway, I don't see anyone here criticizing people for eating well done burgers. Just people saying they don't like well done burgers. It's nothing personal.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                                  I AM NOT MAKING UP REASONS-
                                                                                                                  i respect chabad library article but there are other halachic resources as you stated

                                                                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                    some eat them well-done because they have challenged immune systems, but that halal thing is new to me. either the meat is up to spec or it's not.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                      halachic is not halal-halchic refers to Judaic law
                                                                                                                      halal is muslim law-which is permitted lawful

                                                                                                                    2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                      There seems to be a bit of confusion and misunderstanding......................

                                                                                                                      I am NOT a rabbi, but I used to be a kosher caterer and keep a kosher home.

                                                                                                                      Meat can be made kosher in two ways. It may be soaked and salted to remove the blood, or it can be broiled over direct flame/heat until well done and all the blood has been eliminated. The broiling method is the only way liver can me made kosher,

                                                                                                                      HOWEVER>>>>>>>>>ground beef (meat) must be soaked and salted before grinding. It cannot be made kosher by broiling.

                                                                                                                      Years ago housewives bought kosher meat from the butcher and did the soaking and salting themselves, So if meat could be broiled it samed lots of time, work and expense and well done kosher meat was the norm. Remembering that may lead to the misconception about well done hamburgers being the only kosher ones.

                                                                                                                      Since the mid 1980s local slaughter and butcher shops have disappeared. There are a few major kosher meat processors and meat arrives at the butcher shop not on the hoof but boxed in primal cuts that may have benn already soaked and salted at the processor/slaughterhouse. Kosher killed meat must be soaked and salted within 72 hours or it needs to be rewashed at set intervals. With the bulk of slaughtering taking place in places such as Postville, Iowa it became to risky to ship to NY and LA and Miami with a 72 hour clock running without soaking and salting first. Thus, except for liver, it is very hard to find kosher meat for sale in the USA today that had not been soaked and salted

                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                        thanx for the info-
                                                                                                                        here is also link to discussion i started on kosher board-
                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9629...

                                                                                                                  2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                    I don't criticize the well done meat eaters and assume when they say rare meat makes them ill isn't a criticism of me either.

                                                                                                                  3. 1.) Grilled over coal
                                                                                                                    2.) Grilled over gas
                                                                                                                    3.) Steam-fried? Is that the White Castle method? If so then yes, that is number 3. Love those lil buggers.

                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                      Heading to NYC tomorrow (weather permitting). There a WC in Queens IIRC. Mmmmm.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        The Gov has already declared a State of Emergency here in Jersey tomorrow. Don't know where you are flying into but double check your flight tonight/tomorrow we are expecting more heavy wet snow and ice.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                          Flying into Newark about 10PM. We hope :(

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            By 10pm you/Newark should be fine. It's very icy up there now but that's plenty of time for them to clean things up.

                                                                                                                            I'll remind Fourunder to pack some hot chocolate to warm you up upon your arrival, I'll also make sure he double checks his mapquest directions!

                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                              Thanks and you're funny! We're on our own tonight. Train from Newark to the city.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                I'm pretty sure you are an experienced traveler but in good faith I just have to say, keep your eye's open when navigating around Newark Airport and or the town if you need to change trains. Please.

                                                                                                                                Newark has a train shuttle service that should bring you to Penn Station Newark which will bring you directly into the City. Probably not more than 30-40mins from the time you get your bags you will be in NY Penn. (I"m pretty sure that's how it works I have never had the need to use their train shuttle service)

                                                                                                                                Be sure to post a late review tonight so we know you arrived safely! lol

                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                  you can take shuttle to Secaucus and take the train into Penn. Station-better than going to Newark

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                    Thanks, kids. We're taking the train from EWR to Penn St. and then cab to our apt.

                                                                                                                                    And I'll be cooking burgers in a skillet as they don't have grills in our friend's coop :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                        No, dammit :) But doesn't NYC have EVERYTHING??????

                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                          That's what they say....I am sure your friends have a good local butcher that will hook you up. Hope the weather cooperates during your stay....been rough lately.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                      Alive and well and eating chips with a martini :)

                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              I live in Queens, about 2 blocks from a White Castle. Come on over (if you can get through the ice)!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                We'll be there for almost two weeks. Gotta get better????

                                                                                                                          2. With an iron, but the residue is hell on my clothes

                                                                                                                            1. Since I eat alone mostly, firing up the Weber is a pain.

                                                                                                                              So, for a hamburger steak I use a medium-sized enameled cast iron frying pan and get it medium hot on a burner.

                                                                                                                              I pat out the steak and cover both sides with soy sauce, Chinese hot sesame oil and garlic powder. This is especially helpful if the meat is lacking in flavor.

                                                                                                                              Then I pan-fry until medium rare and make a quick pan sauce.

                                                                                                                              1. Anywhere but home. Seriously. I don't like cooking burgers at home. I love them made at a restaurant. Cooked on one of those flat griddle/grill thingys. Seared on the outside.Blue and juicy on the inside.

                                                                                                                                1. grilled all the way! gas is fine, medium

                                                                                                                                  1. grilled over wood, medium-rare!