Many people think that the best burger is one cooked outside on the grill. But this burger recipe, made on a countertop grill or grill pan, proves them wrong.
My inspiration for this recipe is my dad, who, when I was growing up, was known for the best burgers ever. Part of their deliciousness came from the way he doctored up the ground beef with an egg and other ingredients, but the other part was how he lightly toasted the buns in the pan he'd cooked the burgers in, which let them soak up the juices.
Now that I opt for leaner meats like bison and turkey, I've resurrected my dad's recipe, because I realized his additions – egg, Worcestershire sauce, and molasses – make these lean meats juicier and more flavorful. And it's these additions that take the place of the char-grilled taste that burgers get on an outdoor grill, which makes them especially delicious made on a countertop grill or in a grill pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, egg, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide the mixture into four pieces (If desired, use a kitchen scale to make sure each weighs about 6 ounces) Form each piece into a ball, then press lightly with your thumb in the center of each to make a doughnut-shaped patty.
Heat a countertop grill or grill pan to medium-high heat (around 375˚F). Grill the burgers until they are cooked through, about 6 minutes each side (If you are using bison or lean ground beef, you can cook them a little less so they are rare in the middle). If desired, top the burgers with cheese and melt the cheese by either covering the grill pan briefly with a lid or by transferring the burgers to a sheet pan and placing them under the broiler for a few minutes. Keep warm.
Place the buns cut-side down on the surface of the hot grill, pressing lightly to let buns soak up any juices. Toast the buns until lightly golden.
Serve on buns with your choice of condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, pickles, sliced tomatoes, onions or lettuce.