Yippee! We just finished dinner and it was a success! When I was growing up, my mom often made hamburgers for dinner and I loved them. But, I've never been able to make hamburgers as an adult that I just loved--until tonight.
My husband and I were talking the other day about how I should try and figure out how to make them well at home because I've been very disappointed with the hamburgers that we've had out lately (except for 5 Guys Burgers and Fries). So, tonight I set out to do that. I looked up "how to make great hamburgers on the stove" and found several great tips on a few sites. Here's the sum of those directions that worked for me.
#1 Use a cast iron pan and heat it up first. Cast iron can heat up dry, so it's okay to turn on the pan before you start cooking. Then, put a tablespoon or two in the pan and let it heat until it shimmers.
#2 Form your patties loosely. I'd always formed them pretty tightly before. 3/4" thick was what I read was best. Season lightly with salt and pepper or we use Montreal Steak/Hamburger seasoning.
#3 Cook the patties for 4 minutes on a side. Don't flip. Don't check. 4 minutes on the first side, then flip over. After 3 minutes, put a small pad of butter on the burgers and put a piece of cheese on top. Cover for the last minute with a lid. If you aren't putting cheese on them, just let them cook for 4 minutes without covering and then remove from the pan to serve.
#4 Don't cook more than 2 or 3 burgers at a time in your pan. I know I used to crowd the pan with 4 or 5 burgers at one time. Not any more!
I only used 80/20 hamburger, not even sirloin or 90/10. My family loved them! I loved them, too. I also loved that it only took me 30 minutes to get dinner on the table--which is a record for me. I served the burgers with lettuce, buns, pickles, and condiments. On the side, I served steamed asparagus drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.
I'm so excited to have actually made dinner in 30 minutes tonight and that my family loved it!
1. Using the Hamburger Montreal Seasoning helps a lot.
2. DON'T use preformed patties. They won't cook through in time. In fact, they'll be totally red in side! One of the keys is to have a loosely formed patty from fully defrosted ground beef.