Seared Burgers with Easy-Melting Comt\u00e9 Cheese Slices

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: This recipe will work with any aged, semi-hard cheese like Comté, Cheddar, or Tomme.

Seared Burgers with Easy-Melting Comté Cheese Slices

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 2 burgers
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:15 minutes
This recipe appears in: The Burger Lab: How To Make Any Cheese Melt Like American (Almost)


  • 2 ounces coarsely grated aged Comté cheese (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon instant flour (like Wondra)
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces of freshly ground beef, formed into two 4-ounce balls
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 toasted hamburger buns
  • Toppings and condiments as desired


  1. 1

    Combine cheese, flour, and milk in a small bowl and toss with a spoon to combine. Divide mixture evenly between two small ramekins and set aside. Set a steamer insert into a large saucepot with 1 inch of water. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat and cover pot.

  2. 2

    Heat vegetable oil in a 10-inch cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until smoking. Add beef balls to skillet and smash firmly with a stiff spatula into 4- to 4 1/2-inch patties. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. 3

    While patties cook on first side, transfer cheese cups to steamer and close lid. After the first side is well browned (about 1 1/2 minutes), carefully scrape patties up from bottom us skillet using a stiff spatula and flip. Season top side with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until second side is browned, about 1 minute longer.

  4. 4

    Transfer patties to toasted bun bottoms. Carefully pick up a ramekin full of cheese with a pot holder and stir with a spoon until homogenous and completely smooth. Scrape cheese out of ramekin over burger. Repeat with second burger. Serve immediately with condiments and toppings as desired.


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