CONSUMER REPORTS –Consumer Reports’ resident chef, Paul Hope, knows there are many ways to eat a burger.

“I love a fancy dressed up burger with all the premium toppings but I’m also not above a midnight run to the drive thru,” said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

But when it comes to cooking that burger, is there one method that’s best?

Determined to find out, Paul cooked up pre-made, 5 ounce, 80-20 ground beef burger patties, three ways- in a cast iron skillet, under a broiler, and on a gas grill.

“We used an 80/20 mixture of ground beef because it has enough fat to keep the patties moist even when you cook them through to a safe internal temperature,” Hope said. 

Paul also tried out two meat alternative burgers: the Beyond and Impossible.

As it turns out, whether it’s meat-free or beef, broiling your burgers is the least messy method, but it leaves you with little control unless you want to keep opening the oven door to check.

“In the broiler, I found it hard to get the timing exactly right so one side would usually end up mushy,” said Hope.

On the other hand, with the skillet method you can easily flip or rotate your burger without having to open a grill or oven door. It also delivered a burger with a crisp outer layer and a juicy and tender interior.

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And finally, since many of us are thinking of summer cookouts with family and friends, a gas grill delivers the best burgers when you’re feeding a crowd.

“The grill required a full ten minute preheat but as I often feel when I’m grilling, it was definitely worth the wait,” Hope said. 

And once on the hot grill, the patties cooked quickly in about three to four minutes per side. A pro tip from Paul: if you’re making cheeseburgers, wait until the last 30 seconds to top the patties.