How Do I Cook A Hamburger

Reverse-searing is my new favorite method for medium-rare steaks so I’d assume it can be useful with burgers too. One thing, though, that I haven’t seen mentioned here yet is the temperature of the meat. It’s less likely with ground meat, but if the meat is too cold it’ll sear on the outside but won’t cook evenly. It should be st room temperature before cooking.

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One of the ten tips is that the meat should be cold, because when you handle the meat, the colder it is, the less fat will end up on your hands.

That said, I think you’re right. Just handle the meat as little as possible, and then pop into oven. How much fat can the meat lose? Not much.

The starting temp of the meat doesn’t really matter when you reverse sear since you’re bringing it up so slowly in the oven. No need to bring it to room temp.

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I find that recipes from Kenji can sometimes be overly fussy but he is maniacal about testing so i can trust that by carefully reading his methods and recipe I’ll certainly learn something. Even if what i learn is the technique /method to then adapt to my own ingredient preferences. (For example I have been making veggie burgers for more than a decade, but his intense method and technique in the veg burger article he wrote taught me some new tricks)

A good burger, like a good steak, is 90+% about the meat and not about technique. The standard is 80/20 chuck but I’ve seen some grocery store ground beef that’s not even close to that. I suspect they use beef rounds instead of the pricier chuck. I’ve been buying patties which are a blend of chuck, short ribs and brisket packed by Pat LaFrieda. They are a game changer. As far as cooking method, I preheat a cast iron griddle in a Weber gas grill with the top down as hot as it will get, between 600-700F but if I don’t want to cook outside I cook them in a frying pan, they’re equally good.

Although slightly off topic, cast iron has been mentioned several times in this thread, this literally happened to me last night. (Last night was a steak but night before was turkey burgers!!)


I tried the flip-a-lot method & my results were the usual: too much overdone on the outside, nearly raw on the inside.

Ya know, I think there is such a thing as a too-hot pan. I use a cast iron. The pan was very hot. I think if I make the heat a little lower, I can do this.

Reverse sear gave the best result, although next time I’ll reduce the time in the oven, and try to reduce the heat to 200 (my oven isn’t the greatest, so I had it on 250. I took it out after 5 minutes and let it sit, while I heated up the pan. I think it overcooked while it waited).

Even with the overdoing, the result had a nice tender quality, and not that awful overdone meat crust effect.


A foolproof method is to cook a raw hamburger sous vide then simply sear it in a hot pan. Works great.

Although foolproof I have moved away from SV for a burger. Yes I can nail down a level of doneness to a tee but I find the texture different than when seared at high temp from start to finish. Maybe it has to do with how the fat melts


Sounds interesting, but I’m not going to buy a sous vide just for hamburgers. Or for any other reason. I’ll just stick with the reverse sear in the oven.

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Explains a lot. I think that there is such a thing as a too hot pan.

You pretty much hit the nail on the head for me with SV. When I see people suggesting SV for any meat or steak options I just can’t get over the thought of the texture difference between a grilled or direct heat source vs. boil-n-bag. Yuck!!!

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I actually don’t find the texture difference to be that noticeable (or off-putting) with burgers - I think it’s because they don’t need to stay in the bath very long (steaks and other cuts are a different story). Since I like burgers quite rare, and with a heavy sear, I usually set the sous vide at 120 or even 115, and leave them in no longer than 45 mins. Beef fat has barely begun to melt at that temp, so no significant rendering is happening. I let the sear bring them up to 130-135 internal so whatever fat renders does so during the sear, just like a direct-grilled burger.

Absolutely. If the outside of your burger is burning before the inside is to your liking, then you need to turn the heat down. You never mentioned what temp you are cooking your burgers at, but if I do mine on the stove, I do it on a cast iron round griddle on medium. Heat up the griddle, throw on the burgers, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. I make thick patties, so if you’re making thinner ones, just do less time. Cast iron holds heat better than a regular skillet.

Not a huge fan of SV for steaks and burgers, since you can accomplish essentially the same thing in the oven with a reverse sear. Also not a fan of SV steaks that are weirdly overtender.

Holy cow your pan fucked your shit up though!


That’s a nice crust on that burger!!

Thanks and it was medium to medium rare inside

Perfect metaphor for the Giant’s season?


I was going to ask if these are they same mitts Manning wears while playing…:rofl:

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