What’s the key to a great quarter pound burger? First and foremost, the meat. It comes as no surprise that the quality and composition of the meat makes or breaks a burger. It needs to have a decent amount of fat and should be grass-fed & pastured — in my experience, the grass-fed/pastured stuff has far superior flavour and texture. Plus, it’s better for you.
So you’ve got your quality beef in hand; now you need to add a bunch of seasonings, diced onion, and other ingredients to it, right? Wrong. I mean, you can add that stuff, but the only thing great meat really needs is salt.
Speaking of cooking, a quarter pound burger must be cooked on a grill over an open flame, right? Wrong again. I’ve found that a skillet on high heat makes for a juicier burger with a nice salty crust. And, if you’re feeling saucy, cooking it in a bit of butter or coconut oil puts it over the top.
- 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef
- Fine ground kosher salt or sea salt
- Pastured butter, ghee, or coconut oil (optional)
- Form beef into patties into 4 portions. Don’t overwork the meat! Be gentle with it, and only handle it as needed to form patties that are packed just enough to hold together.
- Set patties in a single layer on a plate. Shower each patty with salt, quite generously. Seriously, don’t be afraid of the salt here – it is the only seasoning for the meat.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a pat of butter or spoon of ghee or coconut oil if using.
- Place 2 burger patties in the skillet, salt side down. Sprinkle each patty with a bit more salt. You want to get a good crust on these, so don’t overcrowd the pan and allow the burgers to steal heat from each other. It’s better to work in a couple of batches.
- Cook patties for 3 to 5 minutes until you have a nice deep brown crust. Flip and cook another 5 to 7 minutes. The cooking time heavily depends on a few factors, including the type of skillet you use, the thickness of your burger, and the doneness you prefer. I like my burgers pink inside, which means they are done when they still have some spongy bounciness to them, not super squishy, but not hard (real technical, I know).
- Transfer patties to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Repeat above cooking steps with remaining patties.
- Resting is not just for steak cuts – burgers benefit from a few minutes of downtime too. Once your burgers have chillaxed for 4 to 5 minutes, they are ready to go on your bun.