How To Torch A Burger Without Ruining It

There's something about cooking with a torch that feels really powerful. It's got to be a rite of passage to cook your first burger, torch in hand. But if you're not careful, that torch can do more harm than good. If you're lording over your grill just hammering down on the meat with a relentless flame, there's a good chance you've ruined it. Like a giant among men, you need to learn how to use a gentle hand.

The torch should be an accomplice to another method of cooking, not the primary source of heat. It won't work to cook the whole burger with a torch alone; the torch is there to provide a nice char on the outside. Whether you're cooking your hamburger in a skillet on the stove or on an open grill in your backyard, a torch can place your burgers a step above by adding a nice crunch and a lovely smoked flavor.

Speaking of flavor, another thing to keep in mind when torching your burgers is that if you don't have the proper tools, you can end up with a patty that tastes like gas. A popular tool for torching any type of food is the Searzall, a torch attachment that helps spread out the heat for more even cooking and significantly cuts down on the fuel taste.

Cooking the burger patty

Torching is popular when you're cooking your burger sous vide. Sous vide is a relatively new style of cooking that vacuum seals the food before submerging it in hot water. It's the underwater version of cooking low and slow, but often, the consistency can turn out a bit mushy. Luckily, there's a quick fix. 

When the patty is done cooking, dry it off with a paper towel. Heat a skillet to high and place the patty on it. While the skillet is giving the underside that nice crunchy texture, take your torch and do the same to the top. By hitting both sides at the same time, you avoid cooking the inside of the patty into something bland and juiceless. It won't take long, only a minute or two, so be ready to pull the patty off when you're done. If you're making a cheeseburger, this is a good time to add the cheese so you can melt it with the torch too. You can also use a torch if you're grilling or cooking on the stove. When the patty is almost done, give it a quick blast from the torch to crisp up the outside edges.