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The smashed burger has gained a devoted following for its irresistible combination of crispy edges, juicy patties, and sheer flavor perfection. A smash burger or smashed beef patty is the key to replicating your favorite fast food joint’s irresistible burger. Thin juicy beef patties topped with cheddar cheese and stacked for the most amazing homemade double cheeseburger you will ever make at home.
This smash burger recipe is incredibly easy to replicate at home, in fact, they’re easier to make than your typical burger and taste so much better. Patty and I both agree it’s the burger recipe we’d choose if we had to eat one burger for the rest of our lives
What Is a Smash Burger?
Smash burgers are made using the process of placing a round ball of ground beef on a hot cast iron cooking surface and smashing it with a spatula to yield a thin beef patty. This technique maximizes the surface area contact with the heat, resulting in a patty that’s both juicy on the inside and delightfully crispy on the outside.
Tips for Making Smashed Burgers
- Cook smash burgers quickly on a preheated skillet, about two minutes per side. This keeps your burgers really juicy and prevents them from drying out from overcooking. Since we’re not cooking on a grill, we’ll retain all of the beef’s juices.
- Because smash burgers are thin, the cheese-to-patty ratio is perfect. You can also easily stack two patties for a really tender double cheeseburger (my favorite). I prefer a mild orange cheddar or yellow American cheese.
- Smash burgers are usually made with 80% or 85% lean ground beef, giving them lots of flavor. 90% is too lean and will leave your smash burger on the dry side.
- I season my smash burgers with salt and pepper to bring out the flavor. Toppings should be kept simple to showcase the beef. Pickles, shredded lettuce, ketchup/mustard/mayo, and red or yellow onion.
- Toast the buns in the remaining burger grease to crisp the interior and warm the buns. It’s a phenomenal touch and makes the burger that much better. My favorite buns to use are brioche.
Griddle Verses Skillet
Smash burgers must be made on a flat cast-iron surface for the best results. Anything with grates or ridges causes the beef to stick. For a small group, a large cast-iron skillet is the best pan for the task. You can cook 4 patties at a time in a 12-inch skillet. Because the burgers cook so fast, you could easily cook 2 batches in under 10 minutes.
A flat griddle works well for a larger volume of burgers. I usually place my griddle directly on the grill and turn the heat to medium-high heat with the cover down to preheat. Just note, when you cook the burgers, always cook with the grill cover up to prevent overcooking.
Get a Flat Spatula or Burger Press
Smashed burgers are flattened directly on the hot cooking surface by firmly pressing down with a flat spatula or burger press. This will ensure your patty has full contact with the pan and gives the burger a beautiful textured finish. Ensure your spatula/press is greased as a minimum to prevent sticking. The best trick is to place a small piece of parchment paper on top of the burger before smashing it. This ensures a nonstick barrier!
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How to Make Smash Burgers
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 patties 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
A smashed burger is at the key to replicating your favorite fast food joint’s irresistible burger. Thin juicy beef patties topped with cheddar cheese and stacked for the most amazing homemade double cheeseburger you will ever make.
- 1 pound 80-85% lean ground beef
- 1–2 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil, for cooking
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Toasted brioche buns
- Mild orange cheddar or American cheese
- 1 sliced Red/yellow onion (try caramelized)
- Dill sandwich chip pickles
- Shredded lettuce
- Roll the beef into 2-inch diameter balls. I was able to get 5-6 patties out of 1 pound of ground beef. Shoot for that for the proper size. Set aside.
- Bring a skillet or flat cast iron griddle to medium-high heat (on the stove or on the grill). Let get hot and brush it with a little oil.
- Place beef balls on the hot skillet and immediately press down firmly with a flat spatula or burger press until the patty is smashed into a uniform 1/2 inch thick patty (or just under). Season with salt and pepper to taste. To prevent sticking grease the spatula/burger press or place parchment paper between the beef/spatula for the best results.
- Let sear for 2 minutes. The edges may split and won’t be perfect. This is OK and actually preferred as it adds texture.
- Flip burgers, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 more minutes (burgers will be cooked medium and no longer pink). In the last 30 seconds, top each patty with cheese. Remove from the heat and serve with toppings/buns.
- Toast the buns in the remaining burger grease to crisp the interior and warm the buns. It’s a phenomenal touch and makes the burger that much better.
Don’t guess about the timing! I use my phone to calculate exactly 2 minutes per side. This yields consistent results and prevents overcooking.
Keywords: how to make smash burgers, smash burgers recipe
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