The ABCs of the Perfect Old-School Burger

In the mood for a burger, but not keen on spending your Labor Day in a food coma? We've got just the thing: a savory, slender patty on a deliciously squishy bun. It's got all of the flavor of your fast-food favorite -- and even better, you can cook it right in your cast-iron skillet. Season it up!

Thin Burger

Related: Hands Down, The 20 Grilling Recipes You Must Try This Summer

1 1/4 pounds coarsely ground beef chuck (70 percent lean)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices American cheese
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
4 potato sandwich rolls
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
4 teaspoons yellow mustard

1. Divide beef into 4 mounds, and evenly place on a 12-by-14-inch piece of plastic wrap. Place another piece of plastic on top. Roll into 5 1/2-inch patties, about 1/3 inch thick, with a rolling pin.

2. Heat a griddle or 2 large cast-iron skillets over medium-high. Season both sides of patties with salt and pepper. Cook patties, pressing with a spatula, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, flip, and top with cheese. Cook 2 minutes.

3. Butter cut sides of rolls, and toast on griddle until edges just start to brown, about 1 minute.

4. Sandwich burgers in rolls with onion, pickle, lettuce, and mustard.

Related: 15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook

Cook's Note

Sour-salty pickles, spicy onions, and shards of cool iceberg lettuce are the best counterpoints to this greasy-in-a- good-way patty.

Make Ahead
Thin patties freeze beautifully when layered with parchment in a freezer bag. After an hour at room temperature, they're ready for the griddle.

A 70 percent lean meat mix is key for griddle-cooked burgers, which get crisp by sizzling in their own fat. Flatten them with a rolling pin for uniform thinness.

This guilty-pleasure burger begs for gooey, melty American cheese.

Martin's Famous Sandwich Potato Rolls are our choice for their slight sweetness and optimally squishy centers. Butter them before toasting to highlight those qualities, and then add contrast with a smear of sharp mustard.

More from Martha Stewart:
35 Beyond Delicious No-Bake Dessert Recipes
Fast, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family
20 Delicious New Brown-Bag Lunch Ideas
Martha Stewart's All-Time Favorite Dessert Recipes