I consider myself somewhat of a burger expert. I make it a point to eat delicious burgers whenever I can. When I was in LA filming MasterChef, I couldn't WAIT to go to an In
N Out Burger. I literally had read about them for years and I was salivating the minute I stepped in line. I was told by the locals to get a "double double animal style". First of all, don't threaten me with a good time. Any burger that is referred to as animal style is going to be my first choice.
Now, while that burger from In N Out was delicious. It was juicy, flavorful and eye roll worthy. I also love that they only have them in an area where they can ship fresh. Cool concept. I still, however, hold my favorite overpriced burger joint in high regard though. Five Guys. Five Guys may be the pinnacle of amazing burgers in my opinion. (**Side note, I would like to meet these magical mythical Five Guys...do they even exist? Are they real guys? Someone tell me!!) Even though it costs $25 to get a burger and fries, it is ridiculously worth it. There is even a song about Five Guys that I have as my ringtone on my phone. Here it is for your enjoyment:
I love to cook and grill burgers at home too. They are just so delicious and versatile. I love making stuffed burgers, turkey burgers, burgers that are so big I have to cut them in half to fit them in my mouth. I love any kind of burger, anytime, with anything on it. Except for mayonnaise. You guys all know how I feel about mayonnaise. GAG.
Also, it should be said that my cast iron skillet is one of my most favorite kitchen tools ever. You have no idea how jealous of the Pioneer Woman I am. She has every single cast iron skillet known to man, and every time I watch her show, I contemplate googling where she lives and stealing all of her cast iron cookware. Obviously, I'm not going to do that, so I will just continue to beg everyone to buy me cast iron everything. By the way Steve, it IS Valentine's Day soon honey bunny.....teehee.
When its winter, and you are stuck in the house, and it's too cold and slushy to go outside, it really makes you want comfort food. Comfort food can really be anything, It can be a huge bowl of my Cream of Cauliflower Soup or a Steak and Potatoes extravaganza. In my opinion, there really is no definition for comfort food. It is really tied to that individual. It's anything that makes you feel like home when you are eating it.
This burger is going to do that. Mostly, because you will have to be at home when you eat it, because immediately after finishing this burger you will need to get into the recliner with an ice cold beer and watch some type of sporting event, eventually falling asleep and snoring loudly. And this is not something you should do in public, although if you go to a few dive bars around Philly, you might see this happening.
This burger is a lot homemade and a little dash of pre-made. With a little help from some staple grocery items, this burger becomes the king. Or as I like to refer to it, THE BEAST. So go ahead and wrap your lips around this bad boy. It will be completely worth it on every level.
Indoor BEAST Burger
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP hot sauce
pinch black pepper
6 hearty seeded buns, toasted
2 TBSP butter
12 slices crispy bacon
3 lbs 80/20 ground beef
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
store bought onion rings
6 ounces shredded colby jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place store bough onion rings on a baking sheet and cook according to package directions and set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt 2 TBSP butter and brush on the inside of each seeded bun. Do the tops and bottoms and lay them butter side up on a sheet pan and bake until lightly toasted. Set aside.
In the cast iron skillet, cook 12 slices of bacon until crispy. Allow to drain on a paper towel and set aside. Discard the bacon grease, but no need to wash the pan. The residual bacon grease and a shot of non-stick spray are what we are going to use to cook our burgers.
**To make the perfect portion burger, I like to take my ground beef and mush it down into a bowl. I then cut the meat into six equal portions, almost like a pizza. I then remove each triangle and mold it into a patty. When molding the patty, press down and create a little crater in the center of the patty. When the burger swells up, it will keep your burger from turning into a giant meatball and keep its patty shape.**
Lay your pattys on a try lined with wax paper. In a bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of this mixture onto one side of the pattys, then flip and sprinkle the remaining half on the other side. This is going to make a nice crust on your patty.Allow to rest for about 10 minutes to bring the pattys to room temperature.
Prep your toppings at this time. Wash and break off some delicious crispy lettuce and slice some ripe red tomatoes and set aside for easy burger building.
Preheat the cast iron skillet with a spray of non-stick spray and the residual bacon fat. To test your skillet, take a teaspoon of water and drop it into the skillet. When the water bubbles up and "runs away screaming", the skillet is ready. (The reason I am only using non-stick spray, is because we are using 80/20 beef, and we don't want our pattys swimming in too much fat, so no extra oil is needed, especially with the coating of the bacon fat.)
Place your pattys onto the hot skillet and DO NOT TOUCH for 4-5 minutes. If you move around the pattys or flip them too soon, you wont achieve that crispy crust. And trust me, you want the crispy crust.
Flip the burgers and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Now here is where the fun comes in. I'm going to teach you how to get super melty cheese without overcooking your burgers waiting for it to melt. Once you flipped your burgers, tear off a sheet of aluminum foil big enough to cover the skillet. Put 4 TBSP of very cold water into a little cup. When the burgers are finished on the other side, flip them quickly to the original side, top them with the cheese, pour in the water and slap on the foil IMMEDIATELY. Turn the heat off. The residual heat from the skillet and the steam created from the water is going to create a cheese sauna (I just made that up), and your cheese is going to be super melty and delicious.
Smother each bun with sauce, and build your burgers with lettuce, tomato, 2 slices of bacon and 2 onion rings.
When I tell you that you will never miss a grilled burger again, it's an understatement. You won't believe you can make a burger in a skllet that tastes like this. I promise you, you will want to send me love letters after eating this baby.
Enjoy guys! xoxo
Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef. She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place. Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world. She now shares her recipes with all of you! Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”.
To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below.