Juicy steamed burgers made easily indoors without special equipment or the smoke alarms going off.
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I learned about steamed burgers while watching the Travel Channel. Trust me, you learn a lot about food from the Travel Channel. And I learned about steamed burgers when the host of a show went to Ted’s in Connecticut. They use these cast iron little steam rooms for each individual burger, then they drain the fat and it gets served as a juicy little burger. It was crazy to see and they lay on the cheese before steaming so it’s a melty, delicious wonder to behold. I think it even came with a warning to wait for it to cool because you’ll burn yourself.
In other words, it’s awesome.
So sure, I don’t have that cast iron contraption, but I have been steaming burgers for a few years since seeing Ted’s on tv. I love steaming because even if you want a well-done burger, like my husband, it will be super juicy and it’s easy to do.
And the smoke alarm doesn’t go off.
While this is an avocado swiss burger I’m serving up in the photos, because it makes a killer burger topping combo, I’m mostly showing you the technique of steaming a burger, since it’s not grilling season juuust yet.
And I am completely guilty of making smoke detectors go off while cooking a burger indoors.
This is a no judge zone, right?
You can steam a burger several ways, including over a double boiler in a steamer, which gives you that authentic steamed burger treatment…
But I’m totally lazy and don’t want another pot to clean; I simply steam it in the frying pan with the lid on after searing the meat to give it some color. Boom. Hey, it works. And it’s so delicious! You will fall in love with this easy technique for juicy burgers made in house. Perfect for cooler months, or when you really don’t feel like setting up the grill.
Enjoy this instagram photo I took of my lunch. Gaze upon the juicy patty and melted cheese. Bask in the avocado.
And don’t mind the breadcrumbs from my toddler in the background.
As with my other burger recipes, I personally use ground chuck and ground sirloin mixed from the butcher, for fat and flavor. Ground beef at 80/20 mix will do just fine there’s no shame in the ground beef game. But make sure it’s at most 80/20, a good amount of fat is still necessary for a flavorful burger, no matter how you cook it. I’ve been told that a 73/27 mix does great but personally, I don’t like a burger to shrink up that much and your burger will shrink a. lot. while steaming. You may end up with a meatball covered in cheese if you don’t take in mind the fat shrinkage (saying this from experience, y’all).
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- 4 8 oz beef patties, seasoned to taste
- 4 or more slices of preferred cheese
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 hamburger buns
- Condiments of your choosing
- In a high sided skillet over medium high heat, place burger patties in to sear. Let sear on each side for 3-4 minutes (the burger will let go of the pan when ready, don't force it).
- When burgers are seared on each side, top them with cheese slices, then pour in water and quickly place tight-fitting lid over the pan. Bring heat down to medium and let cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let residual heat finish cooking the burgers until desired doneness, about another 3 minutes for medium.
- Plate on buns with favorite condiments and serve.
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Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.