Ready to make the BEST hamburgers at home without a grill? This easy Stovetop Hamburger is simple to put together and ready in less than 30 minutes for the perfect diner-style meal at home.
My kids are hamburger fanatics, and I, too, am a sucker for a classic burger. In search of the best hamburger around, we set out to create our own, and this recipe is a total winner.
You can customize it to your tastebuds, adding heat and spice, if necessary. (If you’re my husband, it’s absolutely necessary.)
The beauty in this skillet hamburger recipe is that you can make taller, restaurant-style burgers, like the ones pictured here OR you can make thinner, smaller burgers like patty melts or sliders, too. The only difference will be in the cook time, as well as how many buns you’ll need.
So if you’re ready to make burgers at home without needing a grill, I’ve got you. Here’s how we do it:
Skillet Hamburger Ingredients
You only need a handful of ingredients to make restaurant-quality hamburgers at home!
- Ground beef—this is the most important part of our best burgers. Quality meat is KEY. I like to use ground chuck, which contains 20% fat, because it provides a ton of flavor to the burger patties. You could also use regular ground beef, which has a higher fat percentage. Do not purchase leaner ground beef, as they will be less juicy and fall apart in the cooking process. You also need fats to get a nice brown crust on the burger. You can also use ground turkey or chicken, although it is much leaner and can be dry.
- Worcestershire sauce—this adds a bit of umami depth to our burger patties.
- Salt—kosher salt is my go-to here, and I tend to use 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of beef if the salt has a larger grain. If you’re using fine grain kosher salt, I’d use about ¾ teaspoon per pound.
- Onion powder and garlic powder—these are going to give us some extra flavor without adding actual onions or garlic to the burger itself. You can omit these, but I really like the extra depth they give the meat. Adding whole chunks means there is a higher likelihood that the patties will fall apart, but grulated, you get flavor without that worry.
- Ground pepper—adds spice and flavor without overwhelming the beef. A little goes a long way!
Sometimes, we’ll add Creole Seasoning in place of the salt, onion powder, garlic powder and ground pepper, to our burger patties. If you like a little heat, you can add in some red pepper flakes, too. I’d add about ½ teaspoon to the spice mixture.
Popular Hamburger Toppings
You can add whatever toppings you like for your juicy burger, and I love that this recipe is versatile enough to allow you to add whatever you like!
Here are some ideas:
- Tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and raw onions to make it a classic burger
- Condiments, like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or even BBQ sauce
- A slice of cheese to transform it into a skillet cheeseburger
- Caramelized, pickled or fried onions to make it fancy
How to Make a Skillet Hamburger
- Prepare. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and set aside. Get out a really large kitchen bowl, too. Place your cast iron skillet (or an equally heavy-bottomed skillet) on the stovetop.
- Mix the seasonings. In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Toss until combined.
- Season the beef. Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Pour on the Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle on the seasoning mixture, too.
- Pro tip: I use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of beef if I’m using a medium-grain kosher salt. If your salt is finer grain, I’d add ¾ teaspoon per pound of beef.
- Mix the meat. Using your hands to break the beef into smaller pieces and gently toss with the spices and seasonings. Do not knead because this will create tougher burgers.
- Make the skillet hamburger patties. Divide your meat into six even portions, and form the patties with your hands or a burger press. (You can use a scale or eyeball it if you don’t have a burger press.) Place the patties onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Create a well. Use your finger or a spoon to create a well on the top of each burger. This will prevent the burger from shrinking up and bloating in the middle as it cooks.
- Cook the burgers. Heat the skillet over medium high heat, add the burgers to the hot skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, then flip once. (We only want to flip once!) You are aiming for a nice brown crust. If you’re making smaller, flatter burgers, cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
Pro tip: Don’t press down on the burger with the spatula! This will cause the juices to leak out of the burgers.
- Take the burgers’ temperature. Depending on your perfect burger that will determine the cooking time. Use an instant read meat thermometer and keep in mind that your burger will continue to cook while it rests, so remove it from the pan about 5-10°F before the desired internal temperature. Cooking times will also vary depending on the thickness of the patty.
Here are the temperatures:
- RARE hamburgers have a cool, red center and will reach the temperature of 125°F.
- MEDIUM RARE hamburgers will have a warm red center and will reach the temperature of 135°F.
- A MEDIUM hamburger has a warm pink center and will reach the temperature of 145°F.
- A MEDIUM WELL burger has a slightly pink center (think very slightly) and will reach the temperature of 150°F.
- WELL DONE burgers are cooked completely through, meaning there is very little pink left in the middle. It will reach the temperature of 160°F
We cooked our skillet hamburger to Medium/Medium Well since it is made with ground meat. Check out more tips on making fabulous burgers!
- Let the burgers rest. When the burgers are within 5-10 degrees of your desired temperature, remove from the skillet, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
What to Serve Them With
French fries! But if the obvious isn’t what you are looking for, here are a couple other ideas.
How to Freeze Burger Patties
If you’re going to freeze your burger patties, I recommend omitting the salt from the spice blend when mixing the meat. Add this before cooking the burgers once they’re defrosted in the future.
Mix the burger patties as stated in the recipe, and place on the wax paper-lined baking sheet. Pop the sheet pan into the freezer, and freeze for 3-5 hours, or until the burgers are frozen solid.
Cut mini pieces of wax paper to place between them, and stack before transferring to a freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to three months.
To cook, defrost completely in the refrigerator, then season the exterior with salt. Cook in the skillet, as directed.
More burger recipes:
Get our FREE 8 Day E-Course on How to Be a Better Home Cook. Sign up HERE!
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and set aside.
- Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Pour the Worcestershire sauce onto the meat.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir until combined.
- Pour the seasonings on top of the beef.
- Using clean hands, break the beef into smaller pieces and gently toss together. Do not knead, as this will create tougher burgers.
- Divide your meat into six portions, and form the patties with your hands or a burger press. (Mine were 1/3 lb. each and about 1 ½” thick.) Place the patties onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Using a finger or a spoon, create a well in the top of each burger. This will prevent the burger from shrinking up and bloating in the middle.
- Place the burgers in the fridge while you warm your skillet.
- Place a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop, and heat until screaming hot.
- Cook the burger patties for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping only once and not pressing down with the spatula. (If you press down, your burgers will lose moisture.)
- Use a meat thermometer to take the burgers’ temperature. When the burgers is within 5-10 degrees of your desired temperature, remove from the skillet. Place it on a plate, cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!