Your meat is ready to go. Your fixins and toppings are all picked out. The only thing left on the agenda before you get to devour them is to actually cook them. We love grilled burgers as much as every single one of you reading this, but there are other options that require less prep time, are better suited to cooking a single burger and aren’t affected by the weather. Who knows, you might even like the final product better than the grilled counterpart.
If you have a meat thermometer, now is the time to get it out. If you don’t, you should consider investing in one because it will make you more accurate. Adjust the cooking times below based on your preference, but here’s what you’re looking for in the temperature department.
What you’ll need: A grill with fuel source, grill brush, oil, paper towel, tongs, spatula
How you do it: If you didn’t clean your grill after the last time you used it (Shame on you!), take care of that now. Preheat your grill to high. Dip the paper towel in the oil, grab it with the tongs and oil the grill to create a nonstick surface for your burger. Put the burgers on the grill, but leave enough space to move them around in case of flare ups. Leave it alone until side on the flame is browned, which will be about 4-5 minutes for medium-rare. Flip and repeat for the other side. If you’re adding cheese, do it with like a minute left. Rest the meat prior to serving.
Optional: Instead of priming your grill with oil, try using some excess fat. If you’re using a charcoal grill (it’s really the best), use a Chimney Starter instead of lighter fluid.
What you’ll need: Shallow pan or skillet, spatula
How you do it: Preheat the pan or skillet on high heat. (Now would also be a good time to turn on your exhaust fan if you have one.) As soon as the pan starts smoking a little it’s ready for the meat. Gently place your burgers in the pan and enjoy the sizzle noise for a few seconds before you step back and wait. Yes, wait. Don’t touch the burgers. Let one side of the burger get a nice crisp, about 3-5 minutes, and then flip. Repeat for the other side. If you’re using cheese, put it on top with about a minute left and cover the pan until the cheese melts.
Optional: If you want different temperature burgers, tent individual burgers for cheesing with aluminum foil instead of covering the entire pan. If you have cast iron, use it.
What you’ll need: Broiler, broiling pan or sheet tray with lip, foil, sturdy spatula
How you do it: Set your broiler rack a few inches below the heat source and preheat to high. Line the tray or pan with foil. Add meat. Broil until you have a quality browning on the top, which should be about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers–this is where the spatula comes in–and broil for around an additional 3 mins. Depending on your equipment, that should give you a nice medium-rare interior, but adjust cooking times to your preference. Top with cheese and broil again until melted.
Optional: Instead of sliced cheese, try topping it with a mixture of shredded cheese and diced onion.
What you’ll need: Large skillet or pan with cover, cooling rack, water
How you do it: Put the rack in the pan. Add water to the pan until it’s just below the rack. It’s a burger, not a submarine, so you don’t want it in the water. Kick the burner up to high until it hits a nice boil. Reduce the heat to medium/medium-high–you want it to keep the boil and the steam–and add your burgers to the rack. Cover the pan and let steam for 7-10 minutes. Top burgers with cheese (be careful because, you know, hot steam). Cover pan again and steam for additional 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Optional: Steam your buns and some onions too.