Alton Brown’s Unusual Method for Cooking the Best Burgers Ever

updated May 27, 2020
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Credit: Brad Barket / Stringer; Getty

In his latest Instagram post, Alton Brown drops 15 minutes and 48 seconds of straight culinary knowledge. He sat down with a glass of oat milk punch and answered all the questions that people threw at him before he finished his cocktail. Somewhere, buried in between talking about how he will be making more “Chicken with Bowler” prints and how to make limoncello at home, he drops in the best way to make a burger, and it’s probably nothing like what you made last weekend.

“Best way to cook a burger? Grill or skillet?” Alton reads from the screen full of viewer questions. But he doesn’t give either answer offered, instead going with griddle. “Burgers are super tricky,” he explains just before the 11-minute mark of the Instagram video. “They give off a lot of fat.”

But actually, beyond the griddle, he has one more suggestion: “Fry the patty.” On his website, he goes into more detail, saying that if the world was about to end, he would calmly walk into the kitchen and make this cheeseburger. To make it, you heat oil in a Dutch oven to 320°F, then dip a spatula into the hot fat and use it to smash the meat into a patty. Then you scrape the patty up and cook it in the pot for one minute before putting it in your burger. 

It might seem absurd or indulgent, but he promises that as long as you keep the oil between 300°F and 325°F, “this will be the most un-greasy burger you’ve ever enjoyed.” Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t invite Alton to your next outdoor barbecue. “I’m not going to turn down a grilled burger,” he says in the Instagram post. “But it’s way easier to griddle or fry it.”

Read more: My Own Private Cheeseburger from Alton Brown