Don't you love it when you discover a new technique that totally makes your life easier? Well you are definitely going to want to try this method of cooking burgers, because it will save you so much time and hassle! You may notice a trend here if you've followed for a while - I love to keep things simple. When you have 4 little kids, life is all about efficiency. Any time I can come up with a way to simplify a process without compromising the quality - I'm all for it.
I have really been craving a good home made hamburger for dinner, but it's pouring down rain here this time of year so cooking outside on the grill is just no fun. But cooking burgers on my stove always makes the biggest mess! Saturday night is not for scrubbing stoves - I just wanted to have an easy and tasty dinner, and not have a giant greasy mess to clean up.
It had occurred to me that maybe I could cook my burgers in the oven, but I had never tried it and I'd never heard anybody talk about it, so I wasn't sure. A little googling led to a few links with some suggestions for how to do it, so I went for it. And oh my goodness - I think I'm never cooking a burger on the stove again! This was easy, there was very little mess, and the burgers came out perfect.
What you'll need:
- Good quality ground beef. I always try to buy organic beef, and grass-fed when I can get it.
- A little oil or cooking spray
- A baking sheet
- A rack that will fit over your baking sheet - this keeps the burgers from sitting in their juices, and lets them cook evenly by allowing the air to circulate around them.
- Sliced cheese (if desired)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle. While your oven is preheating, make your burgers. I like to try to make them at least as big around as my buns, and as thin as possible (1/4 to 1/3 inch thick if you can) - because they will tighten up some as they cook. Put the rack on the the baking sheet and oil the rack. Salt burgers on both sides and place on rack. Put in preheated oven for 10 minutes. If you want cheese, take out the pan, add the slices of cheese, and put back in the oven for about a minute.
That's all. So easy. In my oven, with relatively thin burgers, 10 minutes was perfect. If you make them a lot thicker then you'll probably need a few extra minutes. It also depends on how you like your burgers cooked. I like medium rare - still pink in the middle, but not bloody, the juice that comes out of the burger is clear.
You'll also notice that there are very few ingredients here - just meat and salt. One of my biggest beliefs in cooking is that if you buy good quality ingredients then they will already have a lot of their own natural flavor, and so minimal seasoning to enhance that flavor is all you need. I don't like burger recipes that have a bunch of stuff in them. I want to taste the meat. And that's part of what makes this recipe easy - there's no mixing ingredients. Just open the package and shape the burgers.
Another great thing about this was the ability to make so many at once. I made a whole baking sheet of burgers in 10 minutes. I think if your oven heats evenly enough you could probably have two racks and cook twice as many at once. What a great way to feed a crowd!
The whole thing went so fast that I didn't even take any decent pictures, just a few quick iphone snaps! Next time I will definitely try to. Give it a try and let me know what you think!