Burgers are enjoyed at any time of year and are solidly stitched into everything American. It’s one of those food items that always finds itself on the grill. But what is better than grilling burgers on an open flame? It’s grilling them in a cast iron skillet on the grill.
There are several tasty reasons to grill burgers in a cast iron skillet. Fewer flare-ups from dripping fat, while patties remain juicier with the same smoky flavors from grilling. Burgers are more evenly cooked and seared, retaining delicious flavors while making cleaning up much more manageable.
Cast iron skillets make a considerable difference in the flavors of burgers, taking it from a good grilled burger to an exceptionally tasty hamburger that everyone will return to for seconds.
6 Tasty Reasons To Cook Burgers In A Cast Iron Skillet
Here are some tasty reasons why you should swap grilling your burgers for grilling them on a cast iron skillet.
When it’s time to grill up a batch of burgers, a cast iron skillet can be a better choice than grilling directly in the grill on open flames.
As the burger cooks, fatty juices escape causing flame flare-ups that are not only dangerous but can cook the burgers unevenly. The burgers get charred on the outside and don’t cook even right through.
If flare-ups are not kept under control, you can land up with a blackened, crispy piece of meat that is more bitter than the tender, smoky-flavored burgers you would expect.
The excreted juice remains in the pan as the burgers cook in the cast iron skillet, preventing the fat from dripping onto open flames, creating dangerous, unpredictable flare-ups that potentially ruin a great burger.
Burgers are meant to be juicy and flavorful, but most often, the burgers that come off a grill have lost all their juices to the fire and coals below.
Cooking burgers on the grill in a cast iron skillet is a two-fold advantage. As we previously said, it reduces the flare-ups, but apart from that, the juices and fat that seep out of your burgers are caught in the skillet, allowing your burgers to cook in their own juices.
These juices provide the burgers with the beefy flavors and juicy, tender tastes that we love. Grilling allows all those delicious flavors to escape leaving you with a dry, smoked, and less than a flavorful burger.
Trust us, the next time you are ready to throw some burgers on the grill, try cooking them in your cast iron skillet and revel in the delicious flavors of your perfectly cooked burgers.
Same Grilled Smoky Flavor
Grilling food imparts that smokiness that makes grilling food that much tastier, especially for those that love to experiment with smoking with different wood chips.
Grilling burgers shouldn’t mean you need to sacrifice the juiciness of the patty for the smoky flavors we love from grilling or barbecuing. Cooking your burger in a cast iron skillet allows you to retain all the flavorful juices and still enjoy the same smoky grilling flavors.
Place your cast iron skillet on the grill with the burgers and close the lid with the vent opened to allow the smokiness to infuse your burgers with that delightful aroma and flavor.
Evenly Cooked Burgers
The best thing about cast iron skillets is they cook burgers evenly. Cast iron skillets are fantastic at distributing heat evenly.
All the burgers in your cast iron skillet will cook through evenly, giving you the confidence that each burger is cooked the same, taking the guesswork out of which is done and which needs to stay a bit longer on the heat.
Deep Sear For Developed Flavors
Cast iron skillets are great versatile tools that can take extreme heat. You can safely place your skillet on an open flame or charcoal to get it nice and hot before adding the burgers to get that brown crisp seared.
They evenly distribute heat, so if heated to 400° to 500° Fahrenheit, it creates the deep, crispy, crusty sear that makes burgers delicious.
Ensure you have appropriately seasoned your cast iron skillet to ensure the pan remains non-stick and can sear the outside of your burgers, allowing you to quickly flip those patties without scraping the burgers from the skillet.
Less Mess To Clean Up
If you are only firing up the grill to make a quick burger with all the grilling flavors, then using a cast iron skillet can make the cleaning up just as quick.
No need to scrape and brush the grill to remove residue and charred bits, nor do you have to worry about the oily mess that dripped out of your burgers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Cast Iron Skillet Good For Hamburgers?
Cast iron skillets are great for cooking burgers. You can use it on the stovetop or grill for that added smoky effect that gives burgers that extra special ingredient.
Cast iron skillets provide an even sear outside, giving your hamburger a delicious browned, crispy outer that we all love. It’s excellent to cook burgers and retain all the flavors while the burgers cook in their own fats and juices. Ok, so it’s maybe not healthy, but it is good.
Another added benefit is that cast iron cookware be it skillets, pans, or pots, leach iron into foods, which is a good thing. Research has shown that foods can absorb leached iron from cask iron cookware which is beneficial for adding iron to our daily mineral intake.
Some food absorbs more iron than others, like acidic foods and foods cooked longer in cast iron cookware. Burgers are generally quick and don’t take a long time to cook, so they have less iron absorption, but they still get a dose of iron that is beneficial to us.
How Do You Cook Burgers On A Cast Iron Skillet Without Sticking?
It’s not so much how to cook burgers on a skillet without them sticking, but more how to create a non-stick cast iron skillet that your burgers won’t stick to.
It’s crucial that your cast iron skillet, or any cast iron cookware for that matter, be well seasoned, no, not with salt and pepper. Seasoning a cast iron skillet is a curing process of coating cast iron cookware with layers of heated fat baked into it, creating a film over the skillet that makes it non-stick.
Cast iron is a porous metal that absorbs oil. The more you use it, the stronger the layer of seasoning becomes on the surface.
Before using your cast iron skillet for cooking burgers, you need to season any new cast iron skillet by warming it up in the oven for 10 minutes. Once hot, apply a coat of high smoke point fats such as vegetable shortening, lard, bacon fat, or neutral cooking oil like canola, avocado, grapeseed, or safflower.
Return the skillet to the oven for a further 10 minutes before removing it from the oven to drain any excess oil. Turn the skillet upside returning it to the oven, and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and allow the pan to cool slowly before storing it.
Because of the porous nature of cast iron, the fats bond with the metal creating a dark shiny slick surface that is virtually non-stick.
How Do You Cook Burgers On A Cast Iron Grill Pan?
When cooking on a cast iron grill pan, place the pan on the grill grates directly over the flames, close the lid, and preheat your seasoned cast iron grill pan for 2 minutes.
Once your pan is preheated, add some butter or fat before adding your burgers, cooking the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness.
Remove the burgers from the pan and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
How Hot Should A Cast Iron Skillet Be For Burgers?
Cast iron skillets can take high heat, which is great for burgers and getting that crispy brown sear that locks in the flavors and juices. Before adding the burgers, the skillets should be preheated between 400° and 500° Fahrenheit.
Cast iron skillets are a great way to make burgers even tastier than they usually are just grilled. Well-seasoned cast iron skillets can create juicy hamburgers with the same crispy crust that we love while increasing the flavors from the captured juices they cook in instead of dripping out and creating unpredictable flare-ups.