Cooking hamburger indoors on a temperature-controlled electric griddle saves the range top for cooking side dishes while it prepares the meat without added fat. Ground beef cooks in patties directly on the griddle without added cleanup. Electric griddles need no seasoning and little assembly and cook hamburgers correctly right out of the box. Although a plug-in electric griddle won't replace a traditional stovetop griddle or skillet in most kitchens, it adds an extra cooking surface when needed.
Mix the ground beef with beaten egg and seasonings to taste in a bowl. Form into patties approximately 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Place the patties between sheets of wax paper and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, up to overnight.
Preheat the electric griddle to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If the electric griddle doesn't indicate when it's fully preheated, test it after a few minutes by dropping a few water drops on the hot surface. A properly heated griddle immediately sizzles and evaporates the water droplets.
Place hamburgers on the preheated electric griddle and cook for 4 minutes. Using a silicone spatula to avoid scratching the surface of the electric griddle, flip the burgers to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes for medium well.
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Pull the hamburgers from the griddle and unplug the griddle. Allow the burgers to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Use 80 percent lean ground beef for tender and juicy hamburgers. Any leaner and the hamburger may stick to the griddle or dry out. Any more fat content in the ground beef and the hamburger may taste greasy after they are cooked.
Immerse the removable cooking surface of the electric griddle in dish soap and water. Scrub until clean with a soft cloth and rinse well. Wipe down the other components of the electric griddle with a damp cloth; don't immerse the electrical portions in the water.
Always cook hamburger to a minimum internal temperature of 160 F. Although other cuts of beef such as steaks or roast can be cooked to a lower temperature for rare cuts, hamburger contains cuts of beef from various portions of the animal that make it more likely to be contaminated with food-borne bacteria.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Indoor Electric Grilling Chart
- The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook; Jack Bishop
Andrea Lott Haney writes articles and training materials for food industry publications. Having studied foodservice sanitation, nutrition and menu planning at Purdue University, Lott Haney has more than 10 years of experience as a catering and event planner for luxury hotels and currently tours the Midwest as a corporate customer service trainer and consultant.