College Cooking: backyard burgers

With summer weather finally here, it’s the season for (socially distant) backyard barbeques. It might look a little different this year, but this recipe will deliver my take on a timeless classic: the burger. For this one, you don’t even need a grill. I like to add a lot of flavor into the burger instead of having a lot of toppings. In my opinion this makes it a lot easier to eat without sacrificing any flavor.

For a cheeseburger, add the sliced cheese about 2 minutes before the burger is done and use a lid to cover the pan. This will trap the heat and melt the cheese on the burger.

The cooking time of the burgers will vary depending on the thickness of the burger and how cooked you prefer the meat. Medium-rare will take about 3 minutes per side, medium about 4, and well done about 5 minutes per side.

If the ground beef has a lower protein to fat ratio such as 80/20, oil will not be necessary to add to the pan before cooking. This is because there will be enough fat rendering out of the burger to keep the burger from sticking. If you’re using leaner meat such as 90/10 then oil will be needed. Also, make sure that the pan is hot enough to get nice browning on the outside and to keep it from sticking to the pan.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ of a red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • oil


  1. Dice the red onion and crush the garlic and put into a medium mixing bowl
  1. Add the egg to the bowl
  1. Add the ground beef. salt and pepper and mix until all is combined
  1. Divide the meat into 4 sections then shape each section into a patty
  1. Heat a medium frying pan to medium heat and add about 1-2 tbs oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan
  1. Once the pan is hot place the patties in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. This should yield a nice medium done burger
  1. Serve with any and all burger accoutrements and enjoy!

All images provided by Eliot Gentiluomo/the Watchdog.