How to Cook Burgers on the Stove

LAST UPDATED: May 12, 2020 | PUBLISHED: May 06, 2020 | By:

Learn all my favorite tips and tricks for stovetop burgers – one of the easiest family-friendly dinners ever! Cooking juicy, decadent cast iron burgers on the stove is ultra fast and so simple.

A close up shot of a cast iron burger stacked with lettuce, red onions and cheese.

Burgers are some of the most popular American meals, with good reason. They are perfect for more than just entertaining – they are also hugely popular for family dinners. 

Check out my hot ham and cheese sliders, learn how to set up a burger bar, and don’t miss my tips for the very best juicy burgers. I’ve even got an ultimate burger guide to get you started!

Of course a traditional grilled burger is perfect for leisurely summertime barbecues, but sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible. Learning how to make burgers on your stovetop is so easy, and I’m going to show you how!

A close up shot of a cast iron burger stacked with lettuce, red onions and cheese.

Home cooks can make burgers that are just as good as restaurants, I promise! Once you’ve tried a few of these tips, I hope you’re confident enough to add these stovetop burgers to your meal planning rotation.

Why You’ll Love these Burgers

These burgers are juicy, decadent, and bursting with flavor! You can have them on the table for dinner in less than 15 minutes – and that includes prep time!

This burger recipe is easy to customize but it’s also perfect just as it is! You’ll find all of my favorite tips and tricks for creating a truly perfect burger right here. Read on to learn how!

I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there!

White plate with a cast iron burger stacked with lettuce, red onions and cheese.

Stovetop Burger Recipe Ingredients

  • Ground Chuck – 80/20 is ideal. Yes, it’s a high fat content, but you don’t eat burgers every day! Ground chuck is the most popular choice for burgers, but feel free to use whatever ground beef your family prefers!
  • Salt and Pepper – These simple seasonings add a lot of flavor. I use thick flakes fresh cracked peppered and sea salt. Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper- when you’re serving small portions, every bite counts! *Please note that I like to add salt after the burger patties are formed.
  • Garlic – minced – So much flavor – don’t skip it! I will generally cheat and buy the minced garlic jars from the produce section of the grocery store.
  • Egg yoke – This simple ingredient holds it all together! Because these burgers are so juicy, we need an egg to keep them from falling apart.
  • Olive oil – adds some extra binding and moisture to this burger.
  • Buns – Buns are so important – choose one that your family loves! Optional: add melted butter on top and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Toasting it and adding the sesame seeds really takes it up a notch, regardless of the kind of burger bun you choose!

You’ll also need a pat of butter – not to go in the burgers, but for the cast iron pan!

A wooden surface with the ingredients to make cast iron burgers on the stove.

How to Make Burgers on the Stove

It’s so easy! Your family is going to CRAVE these juicy burgers, and it’s so much fun to serve them for parties, too.

  1. In a large bowl, gently stir to combine ground meat, egg yoke, olive oil and garlic – we’re adding the salt after the patties are formed. Don’t overwork the meat– this is really important! 
  2. Form each burger patty carefully. To help ensure a flat burger that will cook evenly, you can press a thumbprint into the center of the burger.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet (or your favorite heavyweight pan) to medium-high heat.
  4. Add your pat of butter when the pan is hot- this will create an instantly brown and flavorful crust. A cast iron burger pan with a pat of butter starting to melt. 
  5. Place the patties in the pan when it’s hot. A stovetop burger in a cast iron pan.
  6. Cook for approximately four minutes, or until your burger begins to brown on the sides.A stovetop burger in a cast iron pan. A stovetop burger in a cast iron pan.
  7. Flip the burgers and cook the patties for a remaining 4-5 minutes to ensure a medium-well burger (which is what FDA recommends– of course you can cook for less time for a more medium-rare burger, and go up to 10-12 minutes for a well done burger patty.) A stovetop burger in a cast iron pan, steam rising.
  8. If you’re adding cheese to your burgers (because who wouldn’t?) simply move your pan off the burner and add cheese, ensuring a smooth melt after you put the lid of the pan back on. A burger on the stove in a cast iron pan, slice of cheese on top before it melts.

How Long do I Cook My Burgers on the Stove?

In my experience, when you’re cooking traditionally sized burgers on medium-high heat on the stove, if you want to aim for a burger that is MEDIUM-WELL, you’re looking at 9-10 minutes total.

If you want a WELL DONE burger, which has no pink at all: 11-12 minutes cooking time in total.

According to the FDA, ground beef should be cooked to 160F. If you’re concerned about internal temperatures, you might consider investing in an instant read meat thermometer. 

This is especially true if you prefer medium-rare burgers – those are quite pink with a cooking time of around six minutes in total!

White plate with a cast iron burger stacked with lettuce, red onions and cheese.

Easy Burger Toppings

While traditional burgers are often served with American cheese, onions and pickles, the options are endless! Below are a few of our favorite burger toppings! You can even set up a Build Your Own Burger Bar!

Tips for Making the BEST Stovetop Burgers

  • The less you handle the beef, the better. Stirring and mushing it causes the proteins to break down which makes your little burgers less tender.
  • Don’t add salt to your beef mixture until you make them into patties. Salt dissolves water and protein out of beef which makes them cling to each other, eliminating that tender texture. You can get the flavor while maintaining tenderness by adding the sea salt to formed patties just before baking.A stovetop burger in a cast iron pan, steam rising.
  • Add a thumbprint to your patties. Pressing a small, shallow cavity into the center of your burger patties helps them sear and cook evenly throughout.
  • Refrigerate for 10 minutes to lock juices in before throwing them onto the stove top pan or grill. 
  • Heat your pan to medium-high heat. This sears the exterior of the burger and creates a little crust, locking the juices inside! 
  • Adding butter to your pan. The fat content from the ground chuck should prevent them from sticking, but the butter adds FLAVOR and a perfect exterior crust.
  • Cover your burgers with a lid once you’ve added them to the pan. This not only prevents grease from flying, it helps seal in the juices.
  • Don’t push down with your spatula. It’s so tempting, but don’t do it! Lock those juices in!
  • Adding cheese? Put it on at the last minute. The heat from the burgers will melt it almost instantly.

You can get my All American Burger Guide for more amazing ideas. Hosting a party? Try a build-your-own burger bar!


What to Serve With Burgers in the Oven

What do you think – does your family love burgers like we do? If you make these delicious stovetop burgers at home, I’d love to hear from you! Please be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe! 

White plate with a cast iron burger stacked with lettuce, red onions and cheese.

More Beef Recipes to Love

Want more? Receive the best ideas directly to your inbox and connect on YoutubeInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest!

White plate with a juicy burger, complete with lettuce, onions and cheese.

How to Cook Burgers on the Stove

Author: Julie Blanner
Learn all my favorite tips and tricks for stovetop burgers – one of the easiest family-friendly dinners ever! Cooking juicy, decadent cast iron burgers on the stove is ultra fast and so simple.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 361 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • fresh ground pepper {or to taste}
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Create four burger patties, creating a thumb print in the center.
  • Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • Add your butter to your pan, setting the heat to high.
  • Add burger patties into pan, searing on the first side for four minutes before turning.
  • for medium rare burgers, sear on the opposite side for approximately 3 minutes. Medium should take an extra minute or so.
  • Add cheese during the last 30 seconds of cooking to create the perfect melt!

Notes

Tips for Making the BEST Stovetop Burgers

  • The less you handle the beef, the better. Stirring and mushing it causes the proteins to break down which makes your little burgers less tender.
  • Don’t add salt to your beef mixture until you make them into patties. Salt dissolves water and protein out of beef which makes them cling to each other, eliminating that tender texture.
  • You can get the flavor while maintaining tenderness by adding the sea salt to formed patties just before cooking.
  • Add a thumbprint to your patties. Pressing a small, shallow cavity into the center of your burger patties helps them sear and cook evenly throughout.
  • Refrigerate for 10 minutes to lock juices in before throwing them onto the stove top pan or grill.
  • Heat your pan to medium-high heat. This sears the exterior of the burger and creates a little crust, locking the juices inside!
  • Adding butter to your pan. The fat content from the ground chuck should prevent them from sticking, but the butter adds FLAVOR and a perfect exterior crust.
  • Cover your burgers with a lid once you’ve added them to the pan. This not only prevents grease from flying, it helps seal in the juices.
  • Don’t push down with your spatula. It’s so tempting, but don’t do it! Lock those juices in!
  • Adding cheese? Put it on at the last minute. The heat from the burgers will melt it almost instantly.

Nutrition

Calories:361kcalCarbohydrates:1gProtein:20gFat:30gSaturated Fat:11gCholesterol:137mgSodium:103mgPotassium:306mgSugar:1gVitamin A:152IUVitamin C:1mgCalcium:29mgIron:2mg
5 from 4 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped