WW Recipe of the Day: How to Cook Hamburgers on the Stove
(200 calories | 4 4 4 myWW *SmartPoints value per serving)
Can You Cook Burgers on the Stove?
Yes. Yes. Yes. I much prefer cooking hamburgers on the stovetop in the comfort of my cozy kitchen, than outside on the grill, especially since I got my great cast iron grill pan .
Call me crazy, but I just don’t see the intrigue of cooking outside over an open flame. (Please, don’t tell Bobby Flay.) It’s less bother, less hot, and much less buggy to cook inside. I think its more quick and easy too.
There’s a good chance it’s also healthier. Many studies show that grilled meat can be particularly unhealthy.
How Do You Cook Hamburgers on the Stove?
Cooking hamburgers on the stove couldn’t be easier. All you need is a large frying pan or Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle like this one and some hamburger meat or ground beef.
To make hamburger patties, season your hamburger meat with salt and pepper, and then gently and lightly shape each portion of hamburger meat into a round patty that is 3/4- to 1-inch thick and a bit larger in diameter than you desire because the meat will shrink as it cooks.
To prevent the cooked hamburger from having a rounded bump in the center, press a 1/4-inch indentation in the center of your hamburger. A great tip I learned from one of my favorite cookbooks!
Then cook them on your stovetop in a greased pan over medium heat, until done to your liking. That’s all there is to it!
How do you know when a burger is cooked?
The total time needed to cook your hamburgers will depend on a number of things including the size and thickness of your hamburgers and how hot your stove/pan is. I find that 3/4-inch thick hamburgers take about 8 to 10 minutes to be done to our liking.
There are several ways you can check your hamburger for doneness. Experienced cooks can press on the meat of the burger patties with their finger and tell by its firmness how done it is. However, this takes some practice.
You also can make a little cut with the pointy end of a sharp knife and take a peak.
Or you can buy a Digital Instant Read Thermometer to insert into the center of your meat to takes it’s temperature, which is what most cooking experts suggest.
Curious about Weight Watchers new myWW Green, Blue and Purple plans? Watch this short video to learn more:
How Many Calories and WW Points in this Stovetop Hamburger Recipe?
According to my calculations, each burger has about 200 calories and
4 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
4 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
4 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
5 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
Using extra lean 95% ground beef will shave about 40 calories and 1 SmartPoint from each burger. If you decide to opt for a fattier grind of meat, like ground chuck, it will be juicier at the cost of 2 extra WW SmartPoints.
How Many Points is Ground Beef on Weight Watchers?
The number of WW SmartPoints all boils down to the fat content/leanness of the ground beef you are using:
- 90% lean (3 ounces cooked) = 4 SmartPoints (green, blue, purple)
- 95% lean (3 ounces cooked) = 3 SmartPoints (green, blue, purple)
- 85% lean (3 ounces cooked) = 6 SmartPoints (green, blue, purple)
- 80% lean (3 ounces cooked) = 6 SmartPoints (green, blue, purple)
If you begin with 4 ounces raw, you should equal 3 ounces cooked as the meat shrinks and fat drains out into your pan.
How To Make Lean Ground Beef Burgers Juicy and Flavorful
The lower the fat content of your ground beef, the less juicy and flavorful it will be so first and foremost do not overwork the meat: The more it is handled/over mixed, the tougher the burger is apt to be. So mix the meat and seasonings and form into patties gently.
Try to keep the thickness of your patties uniform to avoid uneven cooking.
Using a skillet or grill pan will help keep your burgers at their juiciest.
Cook them on the stovetop at a medium to medium low temperature.
Minimize flipping the burgers and do NOT press down on them. (All the juices will run out.)
Don’t overcook them. If you like a juicy burger stick with medium rare to medium. Medium–rare meat means that you have a very juicy, pink center still left in the burger after cooking. (If you are concerned about the risk of food poisoning from cooking undercooked ground beef, the USDA suggests cooking until an internal temperature of 160 is reached throughout.)
Add any of the following ingredients to provide extra moisture and/or flavor:
- 1-2 tablespoons water per pound of meat
- Steak Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Tomato Juice
- Finely chopped vegetables (mushrooms, onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini)
- An egg white can help bind lean meat and add moisture
- Onion soup mix
- Montreal steak seasoning
- Garlic powder or granulated garlic
- Onion powder
- Italian seasoning
- Taco seasoning
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
Turn Your Juicy Stovetop Hamburgers into Cheeseburgers
Once you flip the burger, top it with a slice of your favorite cheese. You may want to add a lid for a minute or two to help melt the cheese as the burger finishes cooking.
If you’ve made this recipe for hamburgers on the stove, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Lean & Juicy Hamburgers on the Stove
- 1 pound lean uncooked ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I like kosher salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic)
- In a large bowl, gently combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
- Gently shape into 4 patties, about 3/4-inch-thick each. (To retain juiciness, be careful not to overwork the meat.)
- When you are ready to cook your hamburgers spray your grill pan or skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place the pan on the stove over medium heat.
- Once the oil is glistening, add your hamburger patties, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
- Cook for about 4 minutes, flip the burgers with a sturdy spatula, and continue to cook until your desired doneness is achieved. (medium rare to medium is best if you like a juicy burger)
- Serve with all you favorite burger toppings on a light bun, on a light english muffin or ski bun altogether. You can wrap your burger in lettuce leaves or eat it straight from a plate too.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
You Might Also Like:
- Cheeseburger Salad – a fun quick and easy dinner recipe with all the flavors of cheeseburgers in a main dish salad
- Black Bean Burgers – a tasty vegetarian alternative to hamburgers
- 40 Best WW Burgers – a great collection of all kinds of WW friendly burgers
- Skinny Big Mac Salad for One – All the flavors of a Big Mac in a lighter healthier salad for one
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