24 ounces ground chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Spice Mix, optional, recipe follows
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 slices cheese, such as cheddar, American, Saga blue cheese, and Swiss, optional
4 soft hamburger-style buns, split
4 slices beefsteak tomatoes, optional
Assorted lettuces and greens, such as iceberg, romaine, or watercress
Assorted mustards, such as whole-grained, Dijon, or French's, optional
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
Hot Sauce, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a roasting rack on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven.
Using your hands, break the meat into small pieces and combine evenly but loosely on a parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Spread the meat out and season it generously with salt and pepper. If desired, add the spice mix at this time.
Divide the meat into 4 portions (about 6 ounces each). Using your hands, form each portion into a ball-shape by gently tossing it from 1 hand to the other. (Don't over work or press too firmly on the meat.) Gently form each portion into a patty about 3½ inches wide and 1-inch-thick.
Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the oil. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until well-browned, about 2 minutes each side.
Using a spatula, transfer the hamburgers to the roasting rack in the oven and continue cooking to desired doneness, 8 to 9 minutes for medium-rare, 10 to 11 minutes for medium, and 13 to 15 minutes for well-done. If you are using the cheese, top the hamburgers during their last couple of minutes of cooking to melt.
Transfer the hamburgers to a plate, let rest for a couple minutes before serving. Meanwhile, toast the hamburger buns. Assemble the hamburgers with the condiments and toppings of your choice. Serve.
Turn on grill. Place Burgers on the heated grill.
For Medium-Rare: Cook for 3 minutes covered and then unplug the machine and continue to cook covered for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Cook for 4 minutes covered and then unplug the machine and continue to cook covered for 4 more minutes.
Cook for 5 minutes covered and then unplug the machine and continue to cook covered for 5 more minutes.
Combine all ingredients.
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