5 Tips to Help You Cook a Burger on the Stove

You don’t need a grill to make burgers at home. Here's how you can make a burger indoors on the stove!

Four burgers two with melted cheese in a black cast iron skillet

Nick Evans

Do you dream of grilling cheesy burgers for friends and family on a perfectly preheated grill in a spacious backyard? Yeah, me too. But sometimes that’s just not the reality, is it? Maybe you don’t have a grill; maybe you live in a city; maybe it’s just raining! 

Don’t stuff your buns in the bin just because it’s overcast or, like, winter. Learn how to make a burger indoors on the stove instead. Here are 5 tips to help you get there!

Use a 90/10 Beef Mix for Burgers on the Stove.

The best beef mix for burgers on the grill is 80/20, but it’s better to go for a leaner 90/10 mix when you’re cooking burgers on the stove so you don’t get too much fat melting into the skillet. 

Use a Griddle or Cast Iron Skillet.

I prefer to use a large griddle when I’m making indoor burgers, but I’ve also had great success with a plain ol’ cast iron skillet. Make sure to preheat it to get a nice even heat so you can make multiple burgers at once. 

Four ground beef balls with salt and pepper on a white plate

Nick Evans

Weigh the Burgers but Don’t Shape Them, Then Press Flat While Cooking.

I like to make stovetop burgers thinner and flatter than grilled burgers. If you are making single burgers, four ounces per burger is a nice size. If you are making double patties, opt for three ounces.

When you are portioning the burgers, don’t worry about shaping them into perfect patties, like you would if you were grilling the burgers. In fact, for burgers on the stove it’s best to flatten the burgers while they are cooking in the skillet!

Pressing a burger on a griddle with a cast iron pan

Nick Evans

Here’s what to do:

When your griddle or cast iron skillet is preheated to a nice, hot, even heat, add the three- or four-ounce portioned beef and press it flat with a metal spatula. Season the burger with some salt and pepper, then place a heavy pan on the burger to keep it pressed flat while it cooks. This creates a nice crust and will give you that caramelized texture and flavor!

Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip, and cook for 2 minutes more.

TIP: If you have a hood over your stove, crank it as high as possible as soon as those burgers hit the skillet. There will likely be some smoke produced when you press your burgers flat.

Wipe Down the Skillet Between Burgers.

If you are cooking multiple burgers, clean your skillet or griddle between cooking batches to help prevent excess burning and smoking. No need to completely clean the surface in the sink; just scrape away any burger bits, then wipe the surface down quickly before going onto round two. 

Stainless steel bowl on a burger to melt the cheese

Nick Evans

Melt the Cheese Under a Metal Bowl.

As soon as your burger is cooked and you remove it from the skillet, sprinkle a little cheese on top of the burger then cover it with a metal bowl. This will catch the steam coming off the burger and quickly melt the cheese without it melting all over your skillet.

Ta-da! Burgers made indoors.