Skillet Hamburgers (Fried Hamburger)

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. 

hand on close up of a dressed hamburger


 

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.)Serve it with a nice coleslaw and you are ready to go!

What Makes This the Best Burger Recipe

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:

bite out of a hamburger

How to Make Burger Patties: What You’ll Need

You only need a handful of ingredients to make restaurant-quality hamburgers at home!

  • Ground beefthis 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! 
hands holding a hamburger with ketchup, mustard and lettuce

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
slice of tomato on a hamburger patty

How to make Hamburger Patties in the Skillet

Making these is super easy!

  1. 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.
  2. Mix the seasonings. In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Toss until combined.
  3. Season the beef. Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Pour on the Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle on the seasoning mixture, too.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
formed raw hamburger patties on a baking sheet
  1. 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.
angle view of a browned burger patty in a cast iron skillet

Pro tip: Don’t press down on the burger with the spatula! This will cause the juices to leak out of the burgers.

  1. 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.

Hamburger Temperature Guide

  • 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 homemade burger patties!

overhead of burger patties in a cast iron skillet
  1. 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.
  2. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

What is the Perfect Temp for Burgers?

The perfect temp for burgers is really a matter of personal preference. We would suggest cooking any ground beef to a minimum of medium rare (135°) because ground beef has more surface exposed while being processed and thus, more possible exposure to bacteria. If you are certain your beef was handled properly, this should not be an issue.

Rare Burger Temp

Sometimes called “a lot of pink”, a rare burger is cooked to an internal temperture of 125°F.

Medium Rare Burger Temp

Sometimes called “pink”, a medium rare burger is cooked to an internal temperture of 135°-145°F.

Medium Burger Temp

Sometimes called “some pink”, a medium burger is cooked to an internal temperature of 145°-150°F.

Medium Well Burger Temp

Sometimes called “no pink”, a medium well burger is cooked to an internal temperature of 150°-155°F.

infographic of beef temperature cooking guide

How to serve the Best Burger Recipe

French fries! But if the obvious isn’t what you are looking for, here are a couple other ideas.

straight on shot of plate of zucchini fries
Zucchini Fries

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.

skillet hamburger recipe for pinterest

How to make Burger Patties FAQs

What is the secret to a good hamburger?

It all starts with a good quality ground beef with enough fat to keep it juicy and moist while cooking over high heat. Look for 20% fat ground chuck or ground sirloin.
Next, do not overwork the meat and add salt last. Salt can dry out the burger patty while cooking, so add this when it is done to keep the juices.
To keep your burger patties flat while cooking, use a grooved burger press or make a divot in the center. When the fibers start to contract, they will fill in these gaps.
This also prevents the urge to press down on the meat with a spatula, which just presses out all the juices and flavor.
Keep it simple. A good burger doesn’t need a lot to make it taste great!

How do you make hamburger patties stay together?

Having enough fat in the mix can make a huge difference on well they congeal. Lean meats and beef blends will likely fall apart.
This can also happen with too many add-ins like chopped onions, shredded cheese or jalapeños. They can all be added, but be mindful of how many so the meat and still stick together.
Two tricks to help them stay together are placing the formed patties in the freezer or refrigerator for a while or to use a very small amount of egg or bread crumb, but now you’ve got more of a meatball or meatloaf type of texture.

What is the secret to juicy hamburgers?

Do not press the beef while it cooks and allowing the burger patties to rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking will ensure the juices stay in their place.

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close up of a dressed burger patty
head-on view of a prepared skillet hamburger

Best Burger Recipe in the Skillet

4.40 from 41 votes
Ready to make the BEST hamburgers at home without a grill? These easy Skillet Hamburgers are simple to put together and ready in less than 30 minutes for the perfect diner-style meal at home.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Burger Toppings

  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Raw red onions
  • Condiments , like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce
  • Fried onions or caramelized onions
  • Sliced cheese

Instructions

  • 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!

Video

Notes

You can use this recipe to make smaller sliders or even thinner patties. Your cook time will be less, and you’ll need more buns.

Nutrition

Calories: 509 kcal, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Protein: 30 g, Fat: 32 g, Saturated Fat: 12 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 107 mg, Sodium: 345 mg, Potassium: 495 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Vitamin A: 4 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 107 mg, Iron: 5 mg
Author: Erin Parker
Calories: 509
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make hamburgers, skillet burgers, skillet hamburgers
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Fantastic! I just added a bit of A-1 sauce as both my husband and I love but other than that, prepared exactly per the recipe and they were phenomenal burgers!

  2. 5 stars
    Always in search of the perfect burger recipe, I found this one by Googling “Fast, delicious sauteed hamburgers”. I needed something easy I could sautee, as it was late and dark out and we could not use the grill. These were fantastic! I did add an egg and some chopped fresh parsley that I grow myself. Also used less pepper as I don’t care for pepper that much. My husband loved these burgers so much he asked me to make a meatloaf using the same recipe. Thanks for the tip about forming the patties gently and not kneading.

    1. That all sounds fabulous and now I’ll be craving burgers all day. Thanks for coming back to let us know!

  3. 5 stars
    These skillet burgers are full of flavor and might just be tastier than cooked on the grill! I love that they are super easy to make and no grilling required! Yum!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m so guilty of pressing down on the burgers while they cook! These were so juicy, and loved the addition of the worcestershire sauce…perfect burgers.

  5. 5 stars
    This is my favorite way to cook hamburgers. The Worcestershire sauce is a must. I’ll be making these again this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.