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

Aug 3, 2022

Burgers on a skillet

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 on your stove can be better than cooking on a grill.  

A 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. Ready to get started? Follow these steps to achieve the perfect cast iron skillet burger. 

KEEP YOUR BURGER RECIPE SIMPLE

Of course, the big secret to a good burger is the meat. The classic favorite meat for a burger is ground chuck. A higher fat content will make your burger tastier and juicier, so make sure the meat has at least 25% fat.  

To season your patties, all you need is some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keeping it simple lets your burger flavor shine. However, you can always switch it up with another favorite recipe! 

DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF BURGER PATTY YOU WANT TO MAKE 

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 burgers have a richer taste and more tender texture.   

For smashed burgers, you just need ¼-pound portions rolled into a rough sphere. For classic burgers, form ⅓ to ½ pound 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. 

DEVELOP FLAVOR WITH A DEEP SEAR

This is where a cast iron pan really shines. The metal can retain high heat over an even surface, so it lets you sear your meat for the ultimate amount of flavor. Just heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat and place your burger in the pan.   

For smashed burgers, use a spatula to press the meat into a flat patty. Otherwise, just start monitoring the meat. It’ll be ready to remove from the stove when it has reached an internal temperature of 145°F.   

FINISH YOUR BURGER IN THE OVEN (OPTIONAL)

At this point, your burger is probably done. However, if you made an especially thick burger, the middle might be a bit too rare for your liking. Since cast iron skillets are oven safe, just pop your pan in a 300°F oven for a few minutes. Remember, you can always use a meat thermometer to check the burger for doneness. 

Once your burgers are cooked, all you have to do is assemble them. Most cast iron skillet recipes recommend putting a slice of cheese on the burger in the pan, so it can melt as it cooks. Burgers are best served immediately, so make sure you have plenty of toasted buns, ketchup, pickles and other toppings waiting for your perfect cast iron skillet burger. 

 

As you can see, cooking a burger in a cast iron skillet doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated. Following these steps makes it easy to get excellent results every time. If you’re interested in more great cooking tips, check out our cooking classes!  

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