I much prefer electric. We moved about 9 months ago and the new place has a gas hob. While I can now use cast iron to my heart's content, I just can't get to grips with how slow and unwieldy gas is. I'll stick with it, though.
Anyway, electric likes to be extreme - start off the pan at heat 10, then lower to 2-3 for the cooking.
Don't be tempted to press your burgers as you cook them - you want all the juice in there!
My method is to have the meat minced and try as hard as possible not to mess up the strands of mince. I carefully divide the meat into quarter pounds, gently collect into a ball and then press flat ... well flat ... since they shrink in size and swell up. Done. That's your burger! Don't add stuff to it - it's meat ... all meat and nothing but meat. THAT's a burger!
My method: [url=http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk/2012/12/100-beef-burgers.html]living in the ice age: 100% Beef Burgers[/url]
Flash fry in the hot pan, say, a minute eat side, then go for 3-5 each side with the heat lowered.
All of these suggestions are fantastic but another thing you can do to help your burger from "bowing" in the middle if you're making a thick patty is to make a thumb imprint in the center. This will help to ensure even cooking.
In my experience, putting an imprint in the middle helps cook the center of the burger. If my meat bows up, the pan was too hot. People have different methods, I suppose. I usually end up cooking 3-4 minutes per side. And I NEVER make burgers or steak if the meat isn't at room temp. I have to finish in the oven when the meat is cold or it won't cook through at all.
[QUOTE=RichMahogany;1090357]Lower the heat. Let the pan get hot. I used to have this problem, because I was being impatient about letting the pan get hot, then keeping the heat way too high. I never turn a burner on the stove past 4 anymore and I don't have this problem or the coconut-oil-splattering-everywhere problem.[/QUOTE]
AMEN!! It took me so long to learn this...