It was the first time I tried making burgers at home. I did some research on the subject. I just put salt and pepper into the ground beef.

Then I heated the iron grill well and applied a small amount of olive oil on the hamburger patties and baked each side for 7 minutes.

I share the photos of hamburger meatballs before and after cooking.

What do you think is causing this situation?

1- Minced meat is too fat? 2- Cooking time? 3- To put olive oil on it before cooking? 4- Iron Grill?

I will be grateful if you could help me. I don't want my next attempt to end like this.

Thank you.

Before Cooking

After cooking

  • 6
    I am puzzled - what is wrong with your patties? They look perfectly normal, I don't see any mysterious layer.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 8:05
  • @rumtscho There is a very hard layer. We could not eat it. It was like frying.
    – mhendek
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 8:38
  • 2
    As an aside, seasoning and working your meat beforehand makes them come out with a more sausage-like consistency, which is generally undesirable in burgers. Source Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:42
  • 10
    "It was like frying." That's because they cooked in a frying pan that has a 'grill' in it. Not on a grill (AmE).
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 3:18
  • Some places advertise and sell hamburger that has other things mixed in... cheese, peppers, etc. Did you get one of those by mistake?
    – James
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 15:00

3 Answers 3


You did everything right except you overcooked your burgers. Those are relatively thin patties, they won't take 7 minutes a side on high heat, that is what caused that hard crust. I'd be cooking them 3 minutes a side at most.

A small thing but I'd suggest you replace olive oil with corn, sunflower or another high temperature oil. Olive oil will smoke at a high temperature and add off flavors. This had nothing to do with your thick crust.

  • 15
    Well cooked or well done @mhendek? Well cooked means they are cooked to the satisfaction of the eaters, well done means the burger is cooked until there is no pink inside. It's not 3 minutes but 3 minutes a side, for a total of 6 minutes. For thin burgers like yours 6 minutes should be cooked through, any longer and they are likely to be dry.
    – GdD
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 11:20
  • 6
    @mhendek: If in doubt, use a food probe to read the temperature. Also, this is definitely an overcooked burger. I was once catering for many people on an outdoor flattop stuffed with a huge amount of meant, and all of the oil from all of the other food meant some of my burgers, located near the oil-drain, were basically deep fried. They ended up like in the image. However some people really like them :)
    – Pod
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 15:54
  • 3
    @Pod, I was going to mention that all the fat in the burger probably fat fried them instead of pan frying. I've seen this with fatty sausage patties, but not burgers, but I'm not a cook/chef either. That much fat should be drained off while cooking, IMO. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:18
  • 12
    Ground hamburger normally has so much fat in it anyway - I'd never even consider adding oil. Is this common in some areas?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 19:41
  • 10
    @JPhi1618 I suspect it partially depends on what you buy. I can get beef with anywhere between 4 and 27% fat. OTOH if you're paying a premium for very lean beef and adding fat from somewhere else you're probably doing it wrong. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 22:09

There was some more of the same minced meat. I did a few trials yesterday to try the comments here. I used both iron grill and granite pan. And in my experiment with a granite pan, I was able to observe the reason better.

First of all, I did not apply any olive oil to the patties. When I put the hamburger patty in the pan that I had preheated, a serious oil accumulation occurred under the meatball. And with the effect of this oil, I actually seemed to be frying. I baked each side of the hamburger patties for 3 minutes. And the result was almost like 7 minutes in the pictures. After all, my observations were as follows;

1- Minced meat was much more fatty than it should be.

2- 3-4 minutes is ideal for a thin burger like mine.(It will be medium well or well done)

3- Since we make hamburgers in the pan, the oil of ground beef causing frying because it remains in the pan again. If it were made on the barbecue, all the oil would flow down.

4- The ground beef we buy will be fatty for better taste but not as much as mine. In my researches, it was called 20%, which is ideal for fat content. I think my mince was around 50 percent.

Thanks everyone.


Don't put them in the oven. There's no baking supposed to be going on. You're pan-frying the meat.

Heat the grill pan to moderately hot. You'll want to see grill marks in the finished patties.

You're not making meatballs here. Do not put a ball in the grill pan and smash it down into a patty.

You'll want to avoid handling the patties as much as possible to avoid making them tough. Grab a handful of ground meat and gently flatten it out in your hands.

Making the center slightly (.25 in./a few mm) thinner than the periphery will keep the patties from swelling up in the middle.

Don't add any oil. If you use an 80/20% or 85/15% grind, that's a lot of fat to begin with. A higher fat content is not recommended. You could add a pat of butter--mostly for flavor.

You can season the patties before you cook them, but the "usual" way is to add salt/pepper in the pan while the opposite side cooks.

Gently place the patties in the pan and cook over medium-high to high heat for about three or four minutes. Flip the patties over and cook for about 3 more minutes.

That's all. No baking, no oven, no broiling. Just pan-fry on each side for around 3 minutes. The grill ridges on the pan should elevate the meat enough while it's cooking to drain off most of the fat, but you want a little bit to remain for flavor/moisture, etc.

For absolute optimal results use an outdoor grill (barbeque) with good charcoal. Pan-frying is only a "second-best" option.

Here is a very comprehensive tutorial: How To Make Burgers on the Stovetop Check out the pictures for details on making the patty, the color (fat content) of the ground meat, etc.

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