How to Microwave Beef or Bison Hamburger

Alternate title: Can You Cook Raw Hamburger in the Microwave? Yes, you can.
Alternate title: How to Safely Cook Raw Hamburger in the Microwave

Sorry, guys. It's just the way it is...

Yes, it can be done. Whether it be beef or bison, here is how to microwave raw hamburger so it is safe, delicious, and even looks good.

Basically, you "boil" the hamburger in Lipton or store brand onion soup. Actually, the water isn't even brought to boiling, but it's plenty hot enough to do a thorough job; not to mention the fact the hamburger itself is being directly microwaved along with the soup.

You will need...

  • 1 packet of Lipton Onion soup mix. Store brand is also fine.
  • 3/4 to 1 pound of beef or bison hamburger, 80% lean seems to be best.
  • A microwavable bowl that can handle the equivalent of 4 cups of water.
  • Gloves, rags, or whatever to remove the hot bowl from the microwave oven.
  • Knife, fork, table spoon. A spatula is optional, but is a nice extra.
  • Paper plates are also optional, but they make things a lot more convenient and make for a lot less clean up afterwards.
  • What, if anything, you intend to add to the hamburger after cooking.

Let us begin...

  1. Empty one packet of onion soup mix into the bowl.
  2. Add 2 cups water. That's right, 2 cups; not the four cups the packet says. You are not going to be drinking the soup.
  3. Stir it and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. While the soup is microwaving... Flatten out the hamburger on a paper plate (or whatever) so that you have one large, somewhat thin super patty. Slice up the hamburger patty into approximately 1-inch squares or other bite-sized pieces if you are going to eat the hamburger straight or put into a couple sandwiches; if you are going to mix the cooked hamburger with a 15-oz can of blackeyed peas or whatever, then slice and dice the patty into much smaller pieces.
  5. The soup should be done by now. Remove the hot soup bowl from the microwave. Stir it until soup is thoroughly mixed. Carefully add the hamburger pieces. Stir it up so the hamburger pieces are not sticking together. Back into the microwave.
  6. Microwave 5 minutes.
  7. Stir it so everything is moved around.
  8. Microwave another 3 minutes.
  9. Your masterpiece is done. Carefully remove from microwave.

Now what...

  1.  If you did the large pieces, cut one in half. If you see raw pink, then back into the microwave it goes, etc. Otherwise...
Options for retrieving the meat...

* See cautionary note at end about the drained soup. *
  • A spatula is great for scooping out all the meat onto a plate, or into a larger bowl/pot for adding in the beans or whatever. For the large pieces this is the best method. Can also be done using a fork and spoon, just takes longer. For the large pieces, enjoy your meal.
  • The other option is to drain the soup from the meat. This is usually the best option when dealing with a bowl full of small meat pieces. If the bowl is conveniently shaped, drain it from the bowl. If the bowl is inconveniently shaped, transfer the entire contents into a larger, more convenient pot or bowl (where you will put in the other food after draining anyway) and then drain it. Mix in your other food, reheat, enjoy. Freeze or refrigerate the rest.

Cautionary note. That leftover soup now has more fat and grease than you can shake a plumber's bill at.  Pouring it down the sink drain is a very bad idea. You can...
  • Pour it into a throwaway jar with a cap.
  • Gradually poor it into a full bag of trash that happens to have all sorts of paper products to soak it up. Can be risky, could end up with a real mess if not careful.

Beef or Bison Hamburger patties...

Yep, the above method works equally well for hamburger patties. Just rotate the meat a quarter turn at least once during the microwaving and remember to do the cut-in-half test afterwards to be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

This convenient microwave recipe has served me well for years. And it certainly makes a lot less mess than the usual stove top method. May all your hamburger adventures be good ones.

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