The Ultimate Guide to Cooking a Burger in a Cast Iron Skillet

May 30, 2023

Burgers on a skillet

Originally published August 2022. Updated May 2023.

When you’re in the mood to enjoy a burger, your first thought might be to fire up a grill. However, you can cook a great burger right on the stovetop! In fact, cooking your burger on the stove can be better than cooking on a grill, offering a delicious sear and deep flavor.

cast iron skillet lets you test out a few techniques you wouldn’t be able to achieve on a grill. It’s also faster, simpler and more convenient. In this article, you’ll discover why this method is worth giving a go at your next cookout.


Hungry for more? From grill tools and accessories to cast iron cookware, we’ve got everything you need to make the perfect burger, every time.

Shop Our Outdoor Cookware


Before we delve into the burger cooking process, let’s talk about the benefits of using a cast iron skillet. Cast iron provides exceptional heat retention and distribution, which gives you more even cooking and a beautiful sear.


Before you begin, it’s essential to select the right cast iron skillet. Look for a high-quality skillet that is pre-seasoned or seasoned for nonstick properties. We’re a little biased, but we have a great selection of cast iron skillets, from Lodge and Staub to Le Creuset and more.

Once you’ve found the cast iron skillet that’s perfect for you, check out our tips for caring for and cleaning your cast iron to ensure it lasts a lifetime.

How to Prepare Your Burgers

The key to a juicy burger starts with the patty. For best results and flavor, use freshly ground meat from your local butcher or grind your own, but store-bought ground beef will work just as well. Look for a mixture of ground chuck and sirloin for a perfect balance of fat and flavor. And don’t forget to season the patties generously with salt and pepper on both sides before cooking.

When preparing your burgers, you can make thin, crispy smashed burgers or thick, juicy classic burgers. Smashed burgers use less meat, have a lot of flavor and make it easy to load up on toppings. Meanwhile, classic, thicker burgers have a richer taste and more tender texture.

For smashed burgers, you just need ¼-lb. portions rolled into a rough sphere. For classic burgers, form ⅓–½-lb. amounts of meat into a disk roughly 4 inches wide. To ensure your cast iron burger stays flat after cooking, use your finger to put a slight indent in each burger, or use a burger press.

Preheating and Seasoning Your Cast Iron Skillet

Before you start cooking, you’ll want to preheat your cast iron skillet on medium-high heat for a few minutes. Once heated, lightly coat the skillet with a high smoke point oil, like vegetable or canola. This helps prevent the patties from sticking and will enhance their sear.

How to Get the Perfect Sear

This is where a cast iron pan really shines.

Just heat a little bit of vegetable oil in your skillet on medium heat and place your seasoned patties in the pan, making sure not to overcrowd them. Allow them to cook undisturbed for a few minutes to develop a caramelized crust. Using a turner, flip the patties only once to avoid losing juices. Cook for a few additional minutes until the desired level of doneness is reached.

Here’s a breakdown of different burger doneness based on internal temperature:

  • Rare: 120–125°F
  • Medium Rare: 130–135°F
  • Medium: 140–145°F
  • Medium Well: 150–155°F
  • Well Done: 160–165°F


While the classic combo of salt and pepper is always a hit, don’t be afraid to get creative with your burger flavors!

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat or incorporate your favorite herbs and spices into the patties. We have a range of gourmet spices and seasoning blends to take your burgers to the next level.


To complement your cast iron burger, select a high-quality bun that can hold up to the juiciness. We love brioche for this reason.

Pro Tip: Toast the bun in the skillet for added flavor and texture.

As for toppings, the choices are endless. From traditional cheese and lettuce to more unique twists like caramelized onions and blue cheese, let your imagination run wild.

Here are some of our favorite recipes:

cast iron burger recipes

Cheddar and Bacon Stuffed Grilled Burgers

This triumph of flavor begins with impeccably seasoned, juicy ground beef. But, hold onto your apron—sliced through the center of each patty is a luscious combination of sharp cheddar cheese and smoky bacon.

Get the Cheddar and Bacon Stuffed Grilled Burgers recipe!

cast iron burger recipes

Freshly Ground Sirloin Burgers Stuffed with Cheddar

Painstakingly selected for its exceptional quality and marbling, sirloin boasts a tantalizing balance of richness and tenderness. A superior base that sets the stage for a velvety pool of cheddar concealed within.

Get the Freshly Ground Sirloin Burgers Stuffed with Cheddar recipe!

cast iron burger recipes

Stilton-Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Red Onions

This twist on the revered hamburger is so successful that you may decide to skip the usual toasted bun and squirt of ketchup. If you like blue cheese, there’s no greater combination than a perfectly seasoned patty enveloping a luscious filling of Stilton cheese, renowned for its creamy texture and distinctive, robust flavor.

Get the Stilton-Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Red Onions recipe!

SERVING Your Burgers

Once your patties are cooked to perfection, remove them from the skillet and let them rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat, ensuring you get a moist, flavorful burger. Serve your burgers with your preferred condiments, side dishes and enjoy!


Hungry for more? From grill tools and accessories to cast iron cookware, we’ve got everything you need to make the perfect burger, every time.

Shop Our Outdoor Cookware

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