Stovetop Double-Stack Cheeseburgers

Quick and EasyBurger

Want a great burger cooked on the stovetop? These double-stacked cheeseburgers are what your cravings desire: thin, tender patties, melty cheese, and a generous amount of secret sauce. Don't forget a napkin!

Photography Credit: Nick Evans

In the summertime, I like nothing more than grilling some burgers outside with friends and family, but you shouldn’t have to wait for warmer weather to get your burger fix in.

These stovetop burgers can be made any time of the year, and I love them so much that I crave them even when the grill is an option!

Fast Food Burgers at Home

THE BEST STOVETOP BURGERS

These burgers are very different from my standard grilled burger. When I grill a burger, I keep the patties thicker and really let the grill do its thing. These stovetop burgers are closer to what many Americans think of as a fast food burger, except the absolute best version of that!

The signature quality of these burgers is a thinner patty that cooks in a ripping hot skillet in just a few minutes. You can do either a double burger or a single (I make the singles slightly thicker), and obviously you need cheese.

The resulting burger is pretty close to many popular fast casual burger joints (think In-N-Out or Smashburger), but you can make it at home!

Stove Top Cheeseburger Recipe

HOW TO MAKE EVEN-SIZED PATTIES

To make sure you get evenly-sized patties, I recommend actually weighing the ground beef. Ultimately, it’s up to you what size you make the patties, but here are my rough guidelines:

  • If I’m making a single burger, the smallest I’ll go on my patty is four ounces (think quarter pounder). Usually, I’ll add a bit to that just to make the burger a bit thicker, so I shoot for a five- to six-ounce patty if I’m making a single.
  • If I’m making a double cheeseburger, I’ll go the opposite direction. I shoot for two very thin three-ounce patties. When sandwiched together with cheese, it isn’t much more beef than a single patty, but has a much different texture. Because of the thin patties and double cheese layer, it feels much more substantial when taking a bite.

How to Cook Burgers on the Stovetop

HOW TO COOK STOVETOP BURGERS

The trick to making these burgers is that you actually don’t shape the patties until the beef is cooking. That keeps the beef mixture light and not too compressed. It also makes for easier prep.

Once you have your beef portions weighed out (you can eyeball them if you want—but I’m a stickler for weighing them), set a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat and let it get hot. Add a drizzle of oil and then add the beef portions one at a time.

As soon as the beef hits the pan and starts to sizzle, cover it with a piece of foil and press it down with a second smaller pan or skillet to flatten it out. Once your burger is pressed, you can remove the foil and move on to the next one! You want an even, thin patty that ideally is larger than your bun, because the patty will shrink a good amount as it cooks.

Repeat with all your patties. You can probably fit four patties in one skillet at a time. Once all your patties are pressed, season them liberally with salt and pepper, and a bit of garlic powder, if you like.

Smaller double-sized patties will need to cook for two minutes, while larger, single-sized patties need to cook for three to four minutes. Then flip them and cheese them, and they will be ready for the table in another two to three minutes of cooking.

How to Cook Burgers on the Stovetop make the special sauce

THE SECRET SAUCE

I love a good burger sauce, and this one is about as good as it gets. You don’t need to overcomplicate this. It’s mayo, ketchup, and relish. Stir it up, and slather it.

Most people, in my experience, don’t use enough sauce. It should be messy!

STOVETOP BURGER VARIATIONS

I think this burger is pretty great in its classic form, but if you wanted to experiment, there is nothing wrong with that.

You could add bacon, mushrooms, or caramelized onions, or experiment with other cheeses. For my money, American cheese is as good as it gets on a burger like this, though!

MORE GREAT BURGERS TO TRY!

Stovetop Double-Stack Cheeseburgers Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 double cheeseburgers

Ingredients

For the easy burger sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish

For the burgers:

  • 20 to 24 ounces ground beef (90/10)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 to 8 slices American cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Fresh lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Red onion slices

Special equipment:

Method

1 Make the burger sauce: Stir together the burger sauce ingredients, and adjust the flavors to your liking. Some people like more ketchup or more relish.

How to Cook Burgers on the Stovetop make the special sauce

2 Make the burger patties: Measure out ground beef into eight 3-ounce patties (for double cheeseburgers) or four 5- to 6-ounce patties (for single burgers). Some people even prefer a single, thin 4-ounce patty.

Be gentle with the ground beef. Keep it in loose balls for now. Season the outside of the balls with salt and pepper.

3 Add the patties to the pan and press: Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the beef balls one at a time, pressing each one by covering it with foil and pressing down to flatten with a second small pan or skillet. Try to get the patty as even as possible. For double burgers, you are looking for a very thin patty. For single burgers, shoot for about 1/3-inch thick patty.

Repeat with pressing each of the patties in the pan, reusing the same piece of foil.

4 Cook the patties: Cook patties for 2 minutes for the thinner double patties, or 3 to 4 minutes for the thicker single patties. Flip, top with cheese, and cook until the cheese is melted, another 2 to 3 minutes.

The patties will shrink a bit as they cook. It’s okay to press on them a bit with your spatula to reshape them slightly, but try to keep a light touch, or you will push out all the juices.

Stove Top Cheeseburger Recipe make the burger pattiesHow to Cook Burgers on the Stovetop flip the burgersStovetop Burger Recipe stack the burgers and add cheese

4 Assemble the burgers: When your burger patties are cooked through and the cheese is very melted, smear the bottom bun with 1 to 2 tablespoons of burger sauce and top with lettuce. Add your burger patty (or patties) and top with sliced tomato and red onion.

Serve immediately!

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Nick Evans

Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.

More from Nick

5 Comments / Reviews

No ImageStovetop Double-Stack Cheeseburgers

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sue

    So good. my only question is how to do it without making my smoke alarm go off.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  2. D Wilson

    Great advice to weigh the meat to get even portions – I can’t wait to try the double patty version.

    For a change up on the burger secret sauce, try dijon mustard in place of ketchup and add that to mayo and sweet pickle relish. It’s the way they served us burgers in elementary school (a million years ago) and it is delicious.

  3. Dawn

    You inspired me, Nick. Seeing your gorgeous photo, I just had to make a cheeseburger last night! I didn’t have any buns, so I went to the King Arthur Flour web site, and used their Beautiful Burger Bun recipe. Excellent recipe and pretty easy to make within a couple of hours. Your cook times were perfect and we both enjoyed the most delicious medium rare burger that I have had for a long time. Thank you for the idea and the timings!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Stovetop Burgers with CheeseStovetop Double-Stack Cheeseburgers