MAKES 4 SERVINGS
- Vegetable oil (for pan)
- 1 pound ground beef chuck (20% fat)
- Kosher salt
- 4 slices American cheese
- 4 potato rolls, toasted
- Ketchup, mayonnaise, shredded iceberg lettuce, and dill pickle slices (for serving)
Keep your meat loosely packed.
You don’t want a super-dense burger.
Smash it, then let it be.
Seriously: press your patty down to get a good sear, sprinkle on some salt, and step away. Unlike risotto, a burger is not something to fiddle with.
Stovetop is where it’s at.
Grilled burgers get a lot of hype come summertime, but a grilled burger loses all that “good stuff”: flavorful juices and fat.
Fat = flavor.
Use meat that’s at least 20% fat; otherwise, you’re going to have a disappointing burger on your hands.
Save the brioche for French toast.
Keep your buns simple and opt for something soft, squishy, and small. We like Martin’s potato rolls.
Remember: This isn’t meatloaf.
Don’t get all highfalutin mixing in onions and peppers into your beef. A sprinkle of salt should be your only addition before you get to the toppings portion of the program.
You must use mayo. And cheese.
And the cheese must be American—it melts perfectly. Keep the fancy gruyère on the cheese plate.
Remember, it ain’t hard.
All the more reason to make one for dinner tonight.
Heat a cast-iron griddle or large heavy skillet over medium-high until very hot, about 2 minutes, then lightly brush with vegetable oil. Divide ground beef into 4 equal portions (do not form patties).
Working in batches if needed, place portions on griddle and smash flat with a spatula to form 4″-diameter patties (craggy edges are your friend). Season liberally with salt and cook, undisturbed, until outer edges are brown, about 2 minutes. Flip patties, season with salt, and place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Cook until cheese droops and burgers are medium-rare, about 1 minute.
Serve patties on rolls with ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce, and pickles.