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Old 08-17-2007, 12:43 PM   #1
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Burgers on Cast Iron Skillet

I live in NYC and sadly cannot have a grill. I have tried to make hamburgers a few times and the outsides usually get burned and insides are very red.

I am planning on making them tonight. Do you think I have the gas turned up to high on the stove? I should only flip the burgers once, correct?

Thanks again!

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Old 08-17-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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Yes, flip once...and you do probably have it turned up too high.

As you learn to get accustomed to your technique and flame, don't make your burgers too thick. You can always get to a point where you can cook a 1 inch thick burger, but why learn on burned dinners...take you time and start with something just about half an inch thick. Make sure it's firmly packed, but don't overwork the meat, either. Don't season the meat, I believe the salt will toughen it during the cooking process. I'm not opposed to seasoning the outside of the burger, once it's shaped.

Make sure the pan is hot. You should hear it sizzle when you place the burger on it. Watch it....when you start to see blood forming on the top, it's almost ready to flip, depending on how rare you like it. When you are satisfied with the amount of blood on top, flip it, but don't squish it. You'll force all the juices out of it. Put you cheese on now, right after you flip it, so the heat from the meat helps melt the cheese.

If you do a burger about half inch thick, and cook on medium to medium high, it should take about 3 minutes per side. It's not exact...but it's ball park.

good luck, and don't forget to tell us how it turned out.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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Also, it helps to cover the pan with a lid or foil. This traps the heat and increase the amount of heat available for cooking so that you are cooking all around the burger instead of just where the burger is touching the pan. As Vera said, start with thinner burgers, don't press on them, and keep your heat around medium or so.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keltin
Also, it helps to cover the pan with a lid or foil. This traps the heat and increase the amount of heat available for cooking so that you are cooking all around the burger instead of just where the burger is touching the pan. As Vera said, start with thinner burgers, don't press on them, and keep your heat around medium or so.
Agreed....sometimes, I'll even toss a couple of ice cubes in too...the steam gives the whole venture a wonderful texture.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Agreed....sometimes, I'll even toss a couple of ice cubes in too...the steam gives the whole venture a wonderful texture.
OH! I saw an episode of Dinner, Dives, and Drive-Ins (I think that was the name of the show) on FoodNetwork the other night where they made a burger, an when it was nearly done, then covered the patty, right on the “grill/griddle” (large indoor metal cooking surface like at Waffle House) with about 2 cups of cheese. Naturally, the cheese ran all down the side and made something of a pancake of cheese all around the burger....which was the desired effect.

When it was done (the cheese was getting dark and crunchy at the edges), they threw ice cubes all around it and covered it with a lid for a few seconds. This caused the cheese to lift off the grill easily. What a cool trick.

I never thought about using ice cubes for anything other than drinks before. Thanks for the great tip! I'll try that the next time I pan fry a burger!
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:32 PM   #6
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Try finishing your burger in the oven. Before you start heating your cast iron, preheat your oven to around 400 or so, and once you develop a nice crust on the first side of your burger, flip it, and then drop the whole pan down into the oven. This way you'll continue to develop a crust on the bottom of your burger, as well as continuing to heat the top and sides of your burger. This technique takes some getting used to, so you dont over- or undercook your food, but I think its the quickest and most reliable method to use.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:39 PM   #7
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I disagree about not seasoning the meat. I always season my meat before I make the patties and my burgers are never tough. I would not want a burger that only has salt on the outside and none on the inside. That would be seriously lacking to me.

Yes your heat was too high. Turn it down a bit and try again. I would shoot for a medium heat, but you need to play with it because your medium and my medium are not the same.
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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Your flame needs to be half way between medium and high.

If you sprinkle the bottom of your skillet with salt, it will help keep the burgers from sticking. I put my burgers in the skillet, then sprinkle the tops with S&P. When I turn them, I season the other side.

I cook the burgers with the lid on but slightly cracked. If you don't have a lid, foil will work fine. Covering the skillet also helps keep the grease from popping all over the place.

You can tell the burgers are done when you press on one with a spatula, and the juice comes out clear. Don't overcook them, or they will taste like hockey pucks.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:15 PM   #9
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I'm with GB! I like to add seasonings to the meat immediately prior to making patties. Season, patty, fry/grill whatever. I can't see any adverse effects.



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Old 08-17-2007, 09:36 PM   #10
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I dont season meat either, I throw patties in pan then salt and pepper and the sprinkle patties with a few drops of worchestershire when I flip burgers I do the same thing.
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