Pan Fried Hamburgers

I like to think that I inherited my "cooking gene" from my grandmother. She was the kind of person that had recipe sense. She rarely wrote down a recipe and just sort of knew what the recipe needed and in what quantity. As a result, it has been a challenge to recreate many of her recipes. I'm still working on her stuffing recipe.

On of the meals I remember eating countless times at my grandmother's house were pan fried hamburgers. Simple but delicious. She would make a few, sandwich them between super soft hamburger buns, and my brother and I would eat them paired with cottage cheese on TV trays in her living room while watching Nickelodeon. Grandma had cable television and we didn't so it was always at treat to eat our burgers in front of the TV.

I wanted to create a homage to that meal I've had so many times in the past, but update it a bit. Instead of serving these burgers on a soft bun full of chemicals, I've opted to serve them without a bun, instead with a really wonderful "burger sauce". Another change for this recipe is that I have ground the meat myself. While this is not necessary, it does mean that you know exactly what is in your burger and is a nice extra step.

Start with 1 lb of high quality ground beef, or by grinding a large cut of beef with a meat grinder. I prefer to use a combination of chuck roast and sirloin. 3/4 of the grind can be an inexpensive cut like chuck roast, with 1/4 sirloin mixed in to add additional flavor.

Form the ground meat into four equal portion patties and set aside to rest.

In a food processor, combine 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of ketchup, 1 clove of chopped fresh garlic, 1 tablespoon of grated pickle, and 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce (I use Cholula hot sauce) and season with salt and pepper. Blend until well combined and set aside.

Season the patties with salt and pepper. Don't add salt and pepper to the ground meat, the salt with cause the meat to start to release water and the resulting burgers will be dry and tough. Salt the burgers right before cooking. Fry burgers in a hot non stick pan, 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through to desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to gauge temperature to avoid an overdone burger. Top each patty with a slice of swiss cheese and allow to melt.

To serve, spread sauce on a plate, top with two patties with melted swiss cheese, and top with desired burger toppings; caramelized onions and micro greens for me. A thick slice to tomato and some butter lettuce would be wonderful as well! Serve with your favorite burger side, zucchini fries for me!

Instead of eating these on a TV tray while watching Nickelodeon, I paired this burger with a nice glass of red wine and shared the meal with my love. It still reminds me of my grandmother and I'd like to think she'd approve of this updated version of her go to burger. A toast to inspiration from Grandma!


Pan Fried Hamburgers

By , May 26, 2015
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Yield: 2 servings
A simple recipe I've eaten countless times, updated and refined; beefy burgers with a simple sauce and fresh toppings. burger, pan fried, weeknight meals


  • 1 lb of beef, pre ground, or 3/4 chuck 1/4 sirloin, cubed for grinding
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of grated dill pickle
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese
  • Desired toppings; caramelized onions and microgreens or fresh tomato and butter lettuce


  1. Using a meat grinder, grind cubed meat and form into four equal patties, set aside to rest
  2. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, sliced garlic, pickle and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth
  3. Heat a non stick pan over medium high heat
  4. Season patties liberally with salt and pepper and pan fry 3-5 mintues per side or until cooked to desired doneness
  5. Top each patty with swiss cheese and allow to melt
  6. To serve, spoon sauce onto a plate and top with two patties; top each patty with desired toppings and serve with desired side dish

Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!