For a classic hamburger like this, I like to use 20-percent-fat beef. Grass-fed is great, but it just doesn’t yield that retro burger taste. Also, you must use one of those super thin, sesame seed-studded potato buns to get the proper experience. Don’t ask what’s in them, just bite and rejoice. —Rebecca Firkser
ground 20-percent-fat beef
potato bun with sesame seeds
Ketchup, mustard, and/or mayo (to serve)
In This Recipe
Place a cast iron skillet over high heat, letting it get incredibly hot. Grab a big handful of beef and gingerly shape into a patty by transferring it from one hand to another, slapping it ever so slightly.
Drop the burger onto the skillet and sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how done you like your burgers to be. Dump onto the bun (toasted if you must, but I like that weird, pillowy bun texture) with desired condiments.
Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. Her writing has appeared in TASTE, The Strategist, Eater, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl. She tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. You can follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.