Yes, you can grill burgers on a cast iron skillet. here’s how

This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Sunday is National Cheeseburger Day (who knew?), and what better way to celebrate than by firing up the grill and whipping up delicious burgers yourself? But you don’t have to do it the same way you usually do. We have already covered eight unexpected ways to cook with your grillbut there is another trick you may not have considered: using a cast iron skillet on the grill for your burgers.

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It may seem counter-intuitive, but there are several reasons why it’s worth trying. Whether you’re making burgers for a BBQ or just cooking dinner for your family, try this new tactic. (We also have advice on how to clean a cast iron skilletand how to clean your grill The right way. Additionally, see the best meat delivery services for more grilling.)

Read more: The best grills of 2022

Less mess to clean up with cast iron

You can grill to avoid cleaning up the kitchen, but cook greasy burger patties on the grill can also create a bit of a mess. Of course, it’s nothing a grill brush (or aluminum foil) can not handle. But using a cast iron skillet on the grill will cut down on the mess even more.

When you’re done cooking the burgers, let the pan cool down a bit, wipe it out of the burnt bits and grease, coat it with oil, and return it to the grill to season it for the next use.

Fewer pushes

When you cook burger patties on an open grill, grease from the burgers oozes out and drips into the grill. If this grease touches a flame, it will flare up.

Not only can flare-ups be dangerous, but they can also sear the outside of your food more than you want. Cooking in a cast iron skillet traps fat and prevents it from falling into the heat source.

More dry patties

One of the main differences between a grilled burger and one cooked in a pan is the juiciness of the burger.

The grease that leaks through the grates is just the flavor that leaks out of your burgers, so trapping the grease is twofold. Not only does this almost completely end flare-ups, but it means you’ll be cooking the burgers in their own fat. This helps preserve some of that precious beef flavor and will make for a juicier burger in the end.

Not to mention that while you’re preheating the pan, you’ll also want to throw some cooking oil in there. Fat and oil (hey, no one ever said a juicy burger was a healthy option) will help you get that brown, crispy crust without overcooking the center and preventing flare-ups from burning your burgers.

Hamburger patties on grill grates

Cooking directly on the grill grates allows fats (and flavors) to escape.

Josh Miller/CNET

Same smoky flavor

Even with a pan, you still cook on a grill – on any open flame. It means whether you cook or not charcoal, pellet or gas grillyou can still get that awesome smoky flavor.

All you have to do is open the vent and close the lid for a few minutes while the burgers cook. If you’re using a gas grill, throw wood chips into a smoker before you start cooking to flavor the burgers.

For more grilling tips, check out these articles on the Top Five Grilling Tips You Should Know and best grill tools to buy. You can also read on our favorite portable grills and charcoal grills of the year.