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+ servings

diner style burgers

serves 4
by Nancy


  • ½ teaspoon neutral oil like canola, or a pat of unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds ground chuck at least 20 percent fat
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 slices cheese optional
  • 8 soft hamburger buns lightly toasted
  • lettuce leaves sliced tomatoes and condiments, as desired


  1. add oil or butter to a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet and place over medium heat.
  2. gently divide ground beef into 8 small piles of around 4 ounces each, and even more gently gather them together into orbs that are about 2 inches in height.
  3. do not form patties.
  4. increase heat under skillet to high.
  5. put half the orbs into the skillet with plenty of distance between them and, using a stiff metal spatula, press down on each one to form a burger that is around 4 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. season with salt and pepper.
  7. cook without moving until patties have achieved a deep, burnished crust, a little less than 2 minutes.
  8. use the spatula to scrape free and carefully turn burgers over.
  9. if using cheese, lay slices on meat.
  10. continue to cook until meat is cooked through, approximately a minute or so longer.
  11. remove burgers from skillet, place on buns and top as desired.
  12. repeat process with remaining burgers.