Mar 28, 2019

Smash Burgers

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Smashed burgers are typically served simply on toasted buns with classic American cheese, tomato, pickles and green leaf lettuce with ketchup and mayonnaise.

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This is my favorite style of cheeseburger. Smashed burgers are typically served simply on toasted buns with classic American cheese, tomato, pickles and green leaf lettuce with ketchup and mayonnaise. Smashed burgers are all the rage right now thanks to places like “Burger Never Say Die”. Some versions like the “Gotham Burger Social Club popup” add grilled onions to the burgers as well.

Smash Burgers

What’s in a smash burger?

  • Beef patty
  • American cheese
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Potato bun

Why smash burgers?

Pressing the meat down into a cast iron pan maximizes the browning and creates a crust on the patty, which also enhances the flavor and makes for a crispy texture. It’s important to get the pan or griddle very hot. The burgers are cooked over high heat so that the burgers don’t dry out and you get the signature crust. The patties are made with ground beef with a higher fat content (80/20) and seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

smashed burgers recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Beef –  I use a blend of 80% lean/ 20% fat ground beef. The fat adds flavor to the burger which I season simply with salt and pepper. The blend of fat also helps to keep the burger moist as it sears. In a simple recipe like this – the quality of the meat is important. This recipe is all about the flavor of the patty so it is best to use freshly ground beef – chuck is preferred if you can get it. Make a single patty or double by stacking the cooked patties on the buns.
  • Tomato – I use sliced beefsteak tomatoes in this recipe. They are one of the largest varieties of tomato, perfect size for the smashed burger patties. They also have numerous small seed compartments distributed throughout the tomato making them juicy but not watery.
  • American cheese – American cheese may be processed but it is a classic on a burger. It’s has superior melting ability and texture and for this type of all-American burger.
  • Potato buns – Potato buns are a classic when it comes to burgers. They’re squishy with a moist texture. They add a great flavor and hold up better than brioche buns. Martin’s potato buns are the gold standard of burger buns. They are hard to find on the West coast but are just about everywhere on the East coast. It’s the type of bun Shake Shack uses for their burgers.
smashed burgers recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

How to Make Smash Burgers

  1. Form the meat. Heat a large cast iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Form meat into 2-ounce patties (they don’t have to be perfect). Working two at a time add patties to the hot pan.
  2. Smash the patties. Use a steel plaster trowel to press the burger down then season with salt and pepper. Cook until a crust forms on the bottom of the patty, about 30 seconds. Use a steel spatula to scrape the patties from the pan and flip over.
  3. Add cheese. Add a slice of cheese on top of each patty and cook for an additional minute. Stack two of the patties and remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  4. Toast the buns. Add the buns to the griddle cut-side down and toast. lightly press down on the buns with the back of the spatula.
  5. Assemble and serve. Remove and add patties to the bun with ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and pickles.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • To get an even press on the burgers requires proper equipment. A steel plaster trowel makes for the perfect press and can be found for a cheap price at any local hardware store.
  • If you don’t want to purchase any additional utensils you can use a steel spatula.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Smash Burgers

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 potato rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 pieces green leaf lettuce leaves
  • 1 medium beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced dill pickles

Instructions:

  • Heat a large cast iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Form meat into 2-ounce patties (they don’t have to be perfect). Working two at a time add patties to the hot pan.
  • Use a steel plaster trowel to press the burger down then season with salt and pepper. Cook until a crust forms on the bottom of the patty, about 30 seconds. Use a steel spatula to scrape the patties from the pan and flip over.
  • Add a slice of cheese on top of each patty and cook for an additional minute. Stack two of the patties and remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  • Add the buns to the griddle cut-side down and toast, lightly pressing down on the buns with the back of the spatula so they are slightly flattened.
  • Remove and add patties to the bun with ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and pickles.

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