When the weather turns cold and rainy, heading outside to grill up some burgers is likely the last thing you want to do. Fortunately, you can still enjoy a burger and fries by cooking hamburgers in convection oven.
Cooking hamburgers in a convection oven requires a reduced temperature and less time than a conventional oven.
Using a Convection Oven
Whether you're making broiled hamburger steak or just a simple dinner of burger and fries, using a convection oven is a simple, healthy and quick method to get the job done. A convection oven uses one or more fans to circulate the hot air, which allows you to preheat and cook faster. It also cooks food more evenly than a conventional oven.
There are two types of convection ovens: one that sits on your countertop and one that is part of your built-in wall oven or slide-in ranges. In general, the convection ovens that are part of your larger unit work better than the units you can buy for your countertop.
According to an article in Fine Cooking, since a convection oven heats your food faster, you'll want to heat the convention oven to a temperature 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than if you are following a recipe that calls for using a conventional oven.
You'll also want to shorten the recommended time by as much as 25 percent if following a recipe for a conventional oven. Plus, when baking hamburgers in a convection oven, consider using a baking pan with low sides since it allows you to get the maximum benefits of using a convection oven.
Hamburgers In Convection Oven
The steps to cooking hamburgers in a convection oven are generally the same regardless of the type of burger you're making. Which means adding seasonings, diced onions, steak sauce, garlic or any other ingredients will not drastically alter the cooking time or temperature.
- Heat the oven: Preheat your convection oven to 425 degrees F. A lot of recipes call for 450 degrees F. If your oven automatically adjusts for a convection setting, enter 450 degrees F and the oven will adjust to 425 degrees F. Otherwise, set it at the convection setting at 425 degrees F.
- Prep the burgers: Season the hamburgers to your taste. In a bowl, add ground beef and the seasonings of your choice. Consider mixing in diced onions, steak sauce, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce or seasoning salt. Use your hands to mix ingredients and hamburger together.
- Make the patties: Form the burgers with your hands to the desired size. Make into balls first, then flatten with the palm of your hand.
- Heat in a skillet first: Preheat a large cast iron skillet on medium to low heat for five minutes. Add a touch of oil and place the patties in the skillet. Turn the heat on high and cook the patties, turning once, for two minutes each side.
- Get them ready to cook: Using a roasting rack or large cookie sheet with a metal cooling rack in the sheet, transfer the patties from the skillet to the rack.
- Cook the burgers: Place the roasting rack or cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check for doneness. If you want to add cheese, take the burgers out when there is two minutes left. Place cheese on top of patties and put back in the oven for the remaining time.
- Remove and serve: Remove the pan from the oven and place patties on a plate. Serve on buns with a tossed salad, potato fries and fruit.
Ground Beef and Food Safety
Indulging in the occasional burger and fries is not detrimental to your health. However, if you choose spoiled ground beef at the grocery store or fail to follow the proper cooking guidelines, you could end up feeling very ill.
According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, purchasing ground beef with a USDA establishment number on the package, written as "EST," followed by a number, ensures that you are buying ground beef produced at a USDA-inspected plant. Another part of the package to pay attention to is the "sell-by" date.
This date is for the retailer and not for the consumer. For maximum quality, the USDA recommends cooking or freezing gourd beef within two days of purchasing it.
The last label to check for is the safe food handling label. Make sure the meat you purchase has this label on the package and follow the instructions once you get home. This label tells you how to safely store, prepare and handle raw meat.
After making hamburgers in a convection oven, safely store any leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of cooking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When refrigerated promptly, hamburgers can stay in the refrigerator for three to four days. If you freeze them, label the package with the date and eat within four months.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Ground Beef and Food Safety"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Four Steps (Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill) to Food Safety"
- Fine Cooking: "Better Cooking Through a Convection Oven"
- Food Network: "Hamburgers Recipe"
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Charts"