Ok, here’s the deal. I was sitting around one day recently, contemplating having some hamburgers for dinner, and feeling kind of “meh” about it, because I never get them right. They’re too big, they’re too small, they aren’t cooked right in the center, or if they are, they’re overcooked on the outside, they’re too thick, too thin, they shrink too much (some burger is made by mixing shaved ice in during the grind down process in order to increase volume; if that’s been done, the burger will shrink quite a bit when cooked as the water evaporates out.) Anyway, it just never works out. Burgers have been my cooking downfall forever. And I really don’t like those frozen patties much, either. So I thinks to meself, see, “can this be gotten around?” Well, as it turns out, yes, I figured out a way.
The result is fabulous.
So you need buns and some hamburger, and if you prefer cheeseburgers as I do, some of your favorite cheese(s… I used pepper jack and medium cheddar), plus whatever else you plan to drop on the burger after it’s cooked — pickles, catsup, etc. You’ll also need a skillet and I also suggest a small round spatula just to make things easier. Finally, you’ll need a glass or mug with an open inner diameter that’s the same as the hamburger bun.
So all you do, as the image pretty much shows, is add anything you want to the raw burger itself (onions, croutons, salt, pepper, whatever), then pile the burger in the pan to a depth that’ll get you the thickness you prefer, no matter what that is — thick, thin, just do it.
Cook it until it’s as cooked as you like it. Rare, well done, again, doesn’t matter, cook it as you like it, turning it often so it all cooks at the same rate. That’s important!
Cheeseburgers: Once it’s almost ready, throw your cheese on. Let the cheese melt — goes faster if you put the lid on the skillet, but that’s up to you. Just remember that while the cheese is melting, the burger continues to cook — and once the cheese is on, you can’t turn the burger in the pan any longer, so this is best done late in the process.
When the cheese has melted or the burger is in the state of “doneness” you prefer, use the open lip of the glass or mug to cut out a perfect circular burger of the exact size that fits your preferences (see? No more shrunken burgers!), use the round spatula to get it/them out, and pop ‘em on the bun, condiments and seasoning to taste, and there you go. Throw some fries on there and you have the quintessential bad-for-you but oh-so-good meal.
This does leave cooked, cheesy burger around where you cut the round sections out. Which you can use later in sloppy joes, snack on as is, etc. It’s great, the odds of wasting the remnants are just about zero because it’s just really, really tasty.
So there you go. I know it sounds a little odd, but seriously — it’s a better way to make a burger. Pretty much no matter how you like ‘em. Thick, thin, well done, rare, it all comes out great.