Throughout its long and storied history, the hamburger -- which traces its roots back to mid-1800s Hamburg, Germany -- has appeared in uncountable culinary variations, from simple cheeseburgers to intricate stuffed patties with exotic vegetables and artisan buns. While the hamburger seems right at home on a diner range or iron skillet, broiling your burger in an electric toaster oven yields similar results to that of an outdoor grill, making for a crispy finish with a tender middle.
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Place your electric toaster oven's heating rack as close as possible to its heating element and preheat the oven on its broil setting. Pat the ground beef into flat, round burger patties of about 6 to 8 ounces each. Work the seasonings of your choice into the patties, if desired. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder make for tried-and-true seasonings, while options such as dried mushrooms, dijon, herbed bread crumbs, thyme, ground capers, chili sauce or steak sauce make for bold, distinct flavors.
Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil, mist it lightly with cooking spray and place the patties in the center of the sheet, spaced evenly. Carefully open the oven and, wearing oven mitts, set the sheet on the toaster's oven's rack.
Broil the patties until the tops take on a pleasantly browned appearance. Open the oven and carefully flip the burgers with a spatula. Allow them to cook about 1 more minute. For two medium-rare patties, cooking takes about 8 minutes total; rarer patties take a little less time while well-done burgers take a little more. Your time may also vary depending on the thickness of the patty.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Fox News: History of the Hamburger -- From Immigrant Fare to Fast Food Favorite
- Saveur: How to Cook a Burger -- 4 Methods: Putting Heat to the Meat
- Saveur: Great Burger Seasonings
- StillTasty: Is it Safe to Eat a Burger That's Still Pink Inside?
- Cuisinart: Broiled Hamburgers or Cheeseburgers
- The New York Times: The Perfect Burger and All Its Parts
- Food and Wine: 10 Favorite Burger Recipes
- Gourmet: Our Best Burgers