You might think you need a grill to cook a juicy, flavorful hamburger — but you can actually use your oven to create a similar result. When you broil hamburgers on the right setting, they come out tasting just as fresh as the version you'd make in your backyard.
How to Broil Hamburgers
The easiest way to broil hamburgers in your oven is to use the "Broil" setting. Mix the ground beef with whatever ingredients you'd like to include — onions, spices, herbs, you name it — and shape it into patties. Then, space the patties evenly on a broiler pan.
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The cooking time will vary somewhat, based on the size of the patties and the strength of your oven. Start with just a few minutes on each side (and vary cooking time depending on thickness of the patties). Flip them once, and cook the patties equally on both sides. The outside of each patty should be dark brown, almost black in appearance. You can also use a toaster oven as a burger broiler by following the same process you would for your conventional oven.
If you have a meat thermometer, use it to measure exactly how close the patties are to being done. Check the burger temperature first once you notice the outside is beginning to char. When the center reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the burger is medium-rare. Adjust your cooking time depending on how well-done you like your burgers.
Don't just look at the color to estimate doneness — color isn't always an accurate indicator of the temperature of the meat. The USDA advises that meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F to ensure that it's safe to eat.
Don't have a broiler pan? You can DIY an alternative with any ridged baking sheet you have on hand. Clean your top oven rack, then place the baking sheet on the bottom rack. Broil the patties directly on the top oven rack, with the baking sheet below to catch the dripping oil. Cook and flip the burgers just as you would when using a broiler pan.
Cooking Frozen Burgers
If you're getting the patties straight out of the freezer and still want to eat them right away, broiling isn't going to be your best option. Broiling hamburgers from frozen will overcook the outside without allowing time for the inside of the burger to thaw. Your best bet is to thaw the ground beef first, then broil it as usual. You can do this by thawing it in the refrigerator, in the microwave, or in cool water. Do not leave it out to thaw at room temperature, as this massively increases the risk of bacterial growth.
That said, if you need to cook the burgers from frozen, there are multiple ways to do this. You can fry them in a skillet or cook them in an oven. When cooking a burger from frozen, it will take longer than cooking meat that has already been thawed — so be extra careful to check the temperature of the meat before deciding that it's ready to serve.
Just remember that less is more when it comes to eating beef. According to the American Heart Association, red meats like beef, pork, and lamb have a higher saturated fat content than other forms of animal protein, which could potentially contribute to heart disease. By all means, enjoy burgers every now and then — but be aware that it's best to limit your overall meat consumption, and also to eat other types of meat, such as chicken, turkey, or fish.
Read More: The Best Way to Grill a Frozen Burger