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The question How do you grill a perfect burger? tells me the best solution is to fry not grill, but I find frying makes such a mess I spend ages cleaning up afterwards.

So I grill burgers using my oven grill, but I think the temperature of my oven grill isn't high enough even at full gas. If I cook burgers long enough to get the outsides nice and caramelised then they are too cooked inside and have gone a bit dry. Even preheating the grill for an extended period doesn't help much. Grilling outside on a barbeque works and doesn't mess up my kitchen but it isn't a practical everyday solution.

So my question is how to cook a perfect burger in my kitchen without making a mess? I'm open to all suggestions, though obviously I already have some ideas and top of the list is to use a George Foreman grill or something similar. Do George Foreman grills get hot enough to cook burgers nice and brown without them going dry?

  • George Foremans can cook a descent burger as long as its not too thick. – NBenatar Aug 9 '14 at 21:23
  • @NBenatar: thanks. A GF grill doesn't cost much more than a good quality skillet, so I think I might buy one and give it a try. – John Rennie Aug 10 '14 at 4:06
  • @JohnRennie Want mine? – Jolenealaska Aug 10 '14 at 8:51
  • @Jolenealaska: you're not a fan of GF grills then? – John Rennie Aug 10 '14 at 9:05
  • I don't care for them for beef, and I haven't pulled mine out of the closet for over a year. They are good for one thing though. It's something I picked up from Alton Brown, and it works great. You can do a whole spatchcocked Cornish Hen in one! :) foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/… (panini press = GF Grill) – Jolenealaska Aug 10 '14 at 9:19
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To make a perfect burger in the kitchen, a hot cast-iron skillet is your best friend.

To keep from making a mess, use one of these:

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That's a splatter screen. It allows air to move freely, but keeps grease in the pan and off of your walls.

EDIT: In comments, Cindy Askew recommended the above plus using the cheapest available aluminum foil to protect surrounding areas from the grease and noted that the aluminum foil used in that way can continue to be useful as a disposable spoon/utensil rest. In a sense, this answer being accepted encompasses that comment as a part of this answer.

  • Hi Jolene, thanks for the suggestion. I have tried using a splatter screen, but I think you get most spitting when you're putting the burgers into the pan or when you're turning them over, and of course those are the times when you have to take the screen off. A splatter screen certainly helps, but there's still a lot of cleaning up to do. – John Rennie Aug 9 '14 at 10:58
  • . I have to agree with @Jolenealaska. A hot cast iron skillet is your best bet. The splatter screen will help but, to your point, will not eliminate clean-up. – Cindy Aug 9 '14 at 12:50
  • I keep a roll of the cheapest aluminum foil (both price-wise and quality-wise) on hand just for this. Whenever I am going to cook something that I know will splatter and make a mess I cover the surrounding areas with the foil. Makes the clean up a breeze. – Cindy Aug 9 '14 at 13:06
  • @CindyAskew That should be its own answer, along with the cast iron recommendation. Perhaps all three (cast-iron, splatter screen & aluminum foil) will do the trick for him.:) – Jolenealaska Aug 9 '14 at 13:09
  • Bonus uses for the foil. If I get really lucky and the foil is pretty much clean I sometimes leave it in place to use for the next meal. Helps with clean up twice. Otherwise I take a piece of the foil and fold it, splatter side in of course, and use it for a disposable spoon/utensil rest. – Cindy Aug 9 '14 at 14:56
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Dutch ovens are great at reducing the splatter from frying. The high vertical sides really cut down on the mess. Chicken fryer pans are quite similar, basically a skillet with comparatively high and vertical sides (or like a shallow dutch oven depending on ones perspective) and are designed to reduce splatter and provide a deeper pool of fat. A chicken fryer pan may still benefit from a splatter guard but the dutch oven can generally be used without one. Keep in mind that the dutch oven must be large enough for cooking implements to reach and manipulate the burgers and, for the same reason, very deep versions should be avoided.

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Microwave the patty for about 2 minutes. Heat your cast iron pan (wiped with cooking oil) and stick in the patty. Lid on if you want it "smoked" watch and turn as desired.

Being doing this for YEARS .......

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