Using A Plancha For Burgers Will Elevate Your Grilling Experience

We can't pretend we're going to be able to settle the debate over which is better — a fresh-off-the-grill burger or flat-top one — as each of the two has its advantages. A charcoal grill gives you those beautiful grill marks, making for the ultimate presentation, and provides a great smoky flavor. On the other hand, flat-top grills allow you to achieve an even sear on the entire surface of the burger patty, and you don't lose half of your seasoning and fat to the fire. A flat top surface also has the advantage of being able to maintain a more consistent cook temperature, allowing you to efficiently cook more burgers at once. This is why most of your local burger joints prefer those easy-to-use, easy-to-clean flat-top griddles.

If you want a solution that tries to split the difference between the two options, prepare to be delighted once you get your hands on a plancha. 

You get grill marks plus the perfect sear

A plancha is a cooking tool originating in Spain, and it refers to any flat cooking surface that can be kept close to flames. Cooking foods a la plancha is perfect for achieving the ultimate sear on burger meat, veggies, and more. Griddles are typically the tool associated with this technique but cast iron skillets also work great because they're small and can handle high temperatures. 

Cooking a burger using just a plancha is a great and hassle-free way to grill out. But if you're wanting to have your burger and eat it too, why not sear AND grill your burgers using a plancha. Simply light your grill as usual, place a seasoned plancha or skillet on the grill, and give it half an hour to heat up. Once it's piping hot, add some high smoke-point oil, and start your patties with a sizzle. This will give you that desirable crust, and the patties will firm up, rendering out the fat and holding in the juice. Plus, you won't lose a stuck burger to the grill grates.  

From there, all you have to do is transfer your patties to the grill grates (removing the plancha if your grill is small), close the grill, and cook until it's to your liking. The remaining fat from the beef will drip down onto the coal, causing smoke to rise and infuse flavor into your patties and you can still get those beautiful grill marks.