Hamburgers cooked outdoors on the grill are as American as apple pie, but cooking out is a fair-weather activity. When a summer storm blows up or cold weather settles in, you don’t have to settle for pan-fried burgers. Instead, use your broiler to make perfectly seared hamburgers that will remind you of those summer barbecues.
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Place lean ground beef in a mixing bowl and add your choice of seasonings such as sea salt, ground pepper, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, or onion powder. Mix the seasonings with the hamburger to incorporate them thoroughly. Plan on using 1/4 to 1/3 pound of hamburger per patty.
Divide the ground beef into evenly-sized portions. Form each portion into a patty about 3/4-inch thick. Make a depression in the center of each patty with your thumb. The depression keeps the patty flat and prevents rounding-up in the center as it cooks.
Preheat the broiler. Set the top oven rack so it is 4 to 5 inches below the broiler heat source.
Place the patties on the broiler rack in the broiler pan, leaving space between them. Place the broiler pan on the top oven rack. The top surface of the hamburger patties should be about 3 inches below the broiler heat source.
Broil the patties for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the surface begins to char slightly. Use a spatula to flip the patties and broil the other side for 3 to 5 minutes.
Test for doneness with an instant read meat thermometer. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 Fahrenheit according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service guidelines.