1 1/2teaspoonskosher saltplus more for lining the pan
2poundsground beefpreferably chuck
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepperor more to taste
6slicestoasted hamburger bunsEnglish muffins, split focaccia, or of other favorite bread
Your favorite hamburger toppings: sliced Swiss or cheddar cheeseI like blue cheese!, sliced tomato, lettuce, sliced onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, etc.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 475 degrees (450 degrees in a convection oven). Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spread a thin layer of salt over the surface of the foil to absorb any drippings and prevent the oven from smoking. Arrange a wire rack so that it sits at least 3/4 inch above the surface of the pan.
Break the beef into 1- to 2-inch lumps with your hands and drop into a mixing bowl. Season with salt, Worcestershire, and a generous amount of black pepper. Mix gently, using your fingertips to break up the meat and incorporate the seasonings. Over-handling the beef will make for tough, dry burgers.
Divide the meat into 6 portions. Molly Stevens likes to eyeball even portions and arrange them, before shaping, on a large plate. “This way I can add a little here and remove a little there until I have 6 equal-size lumps to start with.” If you have a kitchen scale, you can use that too: have it so each burger weighs 5.3 ounces. [My method was just to grab a hunk of meat and shape it willy-nilly.] Lightly shape the beef into disks about 3 1/4 inches across and about 1 inch thick. Set the burgers at least 1 inch apart on the wire rack.
Roast the burgers for 10 to 16 minutes, checking on them either with an instant-read thermometer (the quickest waor by cutting into one to peek. For medium-rare, look for 130 to 135 degrees; for medium, 140 degrees. (If you’re mad enough to like your burgers medium-well, take it to 160 degrees; but WHY WHY WHY?!). If adding cheese, top the burgers with cheese when they are about 2 degrees away from being done to your liking and return them to the oven for 1 minute to melt the cheese.
Transfer the burgers to buns, English muffins, split focaccia, or favorite bread and garnish as you like.
Make sure your oven’s clean before roasting anything at such a high temperature, otherwise it’ll smoke.