Make Burgers In A Cast-Iron Skillet

Mar 28, 2012 11:01 am

Expert Josh Ozersky's easy technique revealed

cast iron skillet burger
Photo: Mark Shaw
Using Josh Ozersky's "drop, pop and smush" method, you'll never scrape the best part of the burger off your cast iron skillet again.
 
Photo: Mark Shaw
Photo: Mark Shaw
Ah, the finished product.
 

When the weather turns cold and grilling season is all but a distant memory, turn to the cast-iron pan to keep the burger times rolling. It would be a shame to let our Bacon Blue Cheese Burger recipe stagnate for even a moment. Or, hell, do it up in the summer! There's no shame in cooking burgers indoors year-round.

Lacking in knowledge on the proper cast-iron skillet burger technique myself, I turned to hamburger expert Josh Ozersky for his sage, carnivorous wisdom on the mighty meat patty (which made me think I should make sage meat patties).

Says Ozersky:

  1. Grease the skillet with a little bit of butter or beef fat before you cook the burger. All the better.    
  2. Use the "drop, pop and smush" method: Take a flattened meatball, salt it aggressively on both sides, drop it and almost as soon as you drop it, flip it and press it down. That initial drop cauterizes the meat, which keeps it from sticking.
  3. Cook the burger 80% of the time on one side. I don't flip the burger until it's almost done. You max out the crustiness that way. 
  4. Hamburgers over 4 ounces receive diminishing returns. The best flavor is the crusty, salty surface. 
  5. Have the cheese and bun, whether toasted or not, ready to go when the burger is.  

Those tips will definitely get me through this irritating spring frost, during which birds will probably re-nest in my barbecue. Plus, my cast-iron skillet just happens to be handy from a winter of searing things.

Follow Josh Ozerky on Twitter at @OzerskyTV, and don't miss his book The Hamburger: A History.

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