Mushroom Swiss burger

Mushroom Swiss burger

This one’s for the person that wants to stack piles of cheese and other toppings (think mushrooms or jalapeños) on their burgers but don’t know how to get it all to melt. Sure you can place your cheese and toppings and more cheese on the burger and hope it melts…eventually. But let’s be real, when you have a stack of cheese half an inch thick, it may or may not ever fully melt.

I realize you could also just wait til the burger is done cooking, throw all the ingredients on top and place everything under the broiler to melt, but there are three reasons I prefer using a different method.

First, since broilers provide intense dry heat, the ingredients on the top of the pile are likely to burn before everything truly gets melted together. Second, using the broiler requires additional steps and just generally takes more time and energy. Third, it’s hard enough getting all the ingredients to stay stacked nicely on the burger while it’s in the pan, let alone moving it to the oven rack so the broiler can do its thing.

Plain metal bowl

All you need is a plain metal bowl like the one you see in the picture above.

If you’re into losing all kind of food items on the floor during transport, feel free to use this method. I however, prefer to cover the burger with a metal bowl and let the cheese steam melt to perfection. I do this more and more as time goes by. It’s pretty much foolproof and really allows the cheese to fully melt and infiltrate the nooks and crannies of the other ingredients on the burger.

When I say other ingredients I’m not talking about ketchup and mustard and lettuce. I’m talking about cheese and anything else that should be heated. None of the cold ingredients such as onions, pickles, and tomatoes.

Mushroom Swiss burgers are a popular choice for this method. Sauté the mushrooms first of course. Cheddar or Colby Jack and jalapeños are another great option as well as Monterey Jack and green chiles. I cook all these on a regular basis and can attest to the fact that letting them briefly steam under a metal bowl brings out a unique flavor that can’t be replicated any other way.

Burger with mushroom and Swiss cheese on it.

This is what the burger looks like after I piled Swiss cheese, then sautéed mushrooms and more Swiss cheese. The burger would burn far before the cheese ever melted if just left over the heat of the pan.

You can either use the grease coming directly from the hamburger in the case of fattier ground beef, or you can simply splash in a little water before covering, if you’re using leaner ground beef.

Just remember, the metal bowl is going to be hot when you remove it from the burger. So either slide a spatula under the lip and flip it up and out of the way like a pro (makes mess) or grab a towel or oven mittens and use them to remove the bowl.

This method words for basically any kind of meat you want to use for your burger. The only exception being breaded patties, because it can make them a little soggy.

Mushroom Swiss burger

Kitchen Hacks – How to Make Killer Melty Cheeseburgers by Covering Them With a Bowl

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: N/A


  • Any kind of meat you want for your burger
  • Frying pan or griddle
  • Other topping ideas (Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, Gouda cheese, Muenster cheese, bacon, mushrooms, pepperoncino, peppers, pickled jalapeño peppers, green chiles, different veggies, and of course more cheese )


  1. Form hamburger patty or if using premade hamburger patties, set them in a large pan or griddle and cook over medium heat. Give the patty/patties a pinch of salt and pepper and wait until red liquid forms on the top. This means the burger is ready to flip.
  2. Flip burger and add another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook hamburger until desired doneness is almost reached.
  3. If you are using lean ground beef or don’t have much grease to work with, add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and cover with a metal bowl. Let it cook for an additional 1 1/2 – 2 minutes depending on how many toppings you’ve added to the burger.
  4. Use a towel to remove the bowl, remove burger from pan with a spatula and put it on a hamburger bun. Finish making the burger however you want and enjoy!

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