How to Make Cast Iron Skillet Burgers (Delicious + Juicy + Perfectly Seasoned)

How to make the best cast-iron skillet burgers, the best way to make burgers at home. These are juicy, perfectly seasoned, and loaded with all your favorite toppings.

This is the perfect meal when you don’t feel like cooking something hard, but want something delicious and filling. It’s one of our very favorite cast iron skillet dinners.

Believe it or not, a stovetop burger is way better than a grilled one. Let me prove it to you.

tray of burger and fries.

Perfect Cast Iron Skillet Burgers

The best way to make burgers at home! Better than grilled (really!), these are perfectly cooked and seasoned.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Serving Size 4 burgers

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet

Ingredients 

Burger Patties

  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Assembly

  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup prepared caramelized onions
  • 4 hamburger buns toasted if desired
  • iceberg lettuce torn or shredded
  • 4 slices fresh tomato
  • thousand island dressing or mayo

Instructions 

  • Season. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef with the salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce.
    mixing bowl of ground beef and seasonings.
  • Shape. Form the hamburger into 4 8 oz patties. (Make them about an ½” bigger in circumference than the hamburger buns, they will shrink while cooking.)
    burger before and after shaping.
  • Cook. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot and lightly smoking. Add as many burger patties as you can to the pan without them touching. (you may have to cook them in batches) Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip the patties and add 2 slices of cheese to each and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer the cooked hamburgers to a plate and rest for 2-3 minutes.
    cast iron skillet showing cooking process.
  • Assemble. To build the hamburgers, first spread a thin layer of thousand island dressing on the buns. Place 2-3 leaves of lettuce on the bottom bun, add 1 slice of tomato, top with the burger patties, add 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions on top, and place on the top bun. Serve immediately.
    cutting board showing assembly of burgers.

Notes

You can use ¼ cup of fresh diced onion in place of the dried minced onion and use 1 clove of minced garlic in place of the granulated garlic.
Other cheese options: Provolone cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, muenster cheese, and gouda cheese.
All toppings are optional, use whatever topping you love on your burgers.
Here is my favorite recipe for homemade burger buns.
Calories: 846kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 1067mg | Potassium: 818mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 514IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 417mg | Iron: 6mg
ingredients laid out on marble counter.

Perfect Cast Iron Skillet Burgers Tips

  • Make sure your skillet is nice and hot before adding the burgers.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary.
  • Don’t flip too much. Just once! You can want them to brown.
  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Homemade brioche burger buns are a great choice, otherwise, look for nice sesame seed buns!
  • Don’t skimp on the seasoning!

FAQs

Why is the cooking time so short?

Three minutes per side is all you need for a medium burger. 4 minutes will be closer to medium-well. Homemade burgers are usually overcooked.

Why use a cast iron skillet?

A cast iron skillet provides a great heat source and gives a delicious caramelization without overcooking the patties.

Do I need to use a cast iron skillet?

No, any heavy frying pan will work. Just get it nice and hot first!

What’s the advantage of cooking these in a cast iron skillet?

A beautifully browned exterior without overcooking the patties.

Can I use a different pan?

Yes, a heavy frying pan or grill pan can work too. Just make sure it gets nice and hot before cooking.

What if I prefer thicker burgers?

Thicker burgers will need a bit longer cook time. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach the correct internal temperature.

Can I use leaner ground beef?

Yes, but leaner ground beef may result in a less juicy burger. Adjust the fat ratio to your preference.

close up view of burger with melted cheese

Storage Instructions

If you have any leftover burgers, simply place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them.

When you’re ready to eat them, reheat them in the microwave for a few minutes or in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes.

To be honest, they won’t be the same and are a million times better freshly made.

Extra Tips for the Perfect Burger

  • Fat Content: Use 80/20 ground beef for the right fat ratio. This ensures a juicy burger without too much grease.
  • Room Temperature: Let your burger meat sit out for about 15 minutes before cooking. This helps in even cooking.
  • Smaller Burgers: If you prefer smaller burgers, divide the meat into 6 or 8 portions instead of 4. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Olive Oil: Lightly oil your cast iron skillet with olive oil before cooking to prevent sticking.
  • Seasoning: Add a sprinkle of salt and onion powder or garlic powder to the patties for extra flavor.
  • Heat Source: Ensure your skillet is heated to medium-high heat before adding the patties. This gives a delicious caramelization on the sides of the burgers.
  • Cook Time: Three minutes per side for medium-rare burgers, four minutes for medium-well. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature; aim for 160°F for fully-cooked burgers.
  • Flip Once: Only flip the burgers once during the cooking process to keep them juicy.
  • Resting: Let the burgers rest for a few minutes after cooking. This helps them retain their own juices.

Cheese and Toppings

  • Cheese Slices: Add a slice of cheese (Swiss, American, or your favorite) to each burger patty after flipping. This melts perfectly over the hot burger.
  • Toppings: Customize your burger with toppings like caramelized onions, iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, and Thousand Island dressing or mayo.

Serving Suggestions

Burger night at home? Make these recipes too:

The perfect potato salad with hard-boiled egg, old-fashioned cucumbers, and onions, fried pickles with ranch, french fries, potato wedges, toasted sesame seed buns, or homemade brioche buns, and finish off your meal with a cool and creamy vanilla pie.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Cheese: Swap out Swiss cheese for cheddar, provolone, or American cheese.
  • Seasoning: Try using creole seasoning or a bit of onion powder for extra flavor.
  • Buns: Use whole wheat buns or lettuce wraps for a lighter option.
  • Meat: For a twist, try using ground turkey or a mix of beef and pork.
  • Quality Meat: Use coarse-ground chuck steak for the best results.
  • Cooking Steak: The same method can be applied to cooking steak in a cast iron pan.

Following these steps will help you achieve a perfect burger every time. Enjoy your cast iron skillet cheeseburgers and happy cooking!

finished burger wrapped in paper.
How to Make Cast Iron Skillet Burgers (Delicious + Juicy + Perfectly Seasoned)

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