Smash Burgers

5

5

PrintJump to Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase.

Smash Burgers are my favorite of all burger varietals. A loosely packed, thin patty is “smashed” on a hot griddle, until its edges are crispy and delicious. This recipe for Smash Burgers consists of 100% grass-fed beef, a piece of American cheese, lettuce tomato; inspired by my Copycat Shake Shack Burger.

Smash Burgers with crinkly fries and a side of ketchup.

If you’ve never had a smash burger, you are in for a TREAT. I feel like in the past couple years, smash burgers have really had a moment. They’ve become insanely popular in restaurants. The best part about them is that they’re super easy to make at home–no grill required!

Ingredients for Smash Burgers

Ingredients for Smash Burgers

  • Meat – You can use ground meat you like. I prefer 100% grass-fed 85%/15%. But feel free to use ground chicken, turkey or vegan meat substitute.
  • Potato Buns – I love Martin’s Potato Buns because they help everything melt into each other.
  • American cheese – There’s something very unnatural and delicious about the way American cheese melts onto a warm patty. I love it so much.
  • Special sauce – Inspired by In-n-out, I love making a special sauce. It has pickles, mayonnaise and ketchup.
  • Pickles – I think these are a non-starter. These are an absolute requirement to making the most delicious burgers.

Please see recipe card for the rest of the ingredients and instructions.

Buttering buns.

What Are Smash Burgers

Your diner favorite! Smash burgers are usually cooked on a flat top or griddle (in our case we’re using a cast iron pan). The beef isn’t formed into patties; instead they’re sort of pucks or loosely gathered piles. When they hit the hot pan, they’re smashed with a spatula until the patty is nice and thin (about 1/2-inch thick). The edges are craggy and crispy. There’s NO spices, mix-ins, etc. They’re fairly simple. Just salt and pepper.

I like to make these year-around, but especially in the summer, and I love to serve them with a caesar salad on the side. And a big batch of watermelon margaritas don’t hurt either.

Smash Burger ingredients on a counter top.

How to Make Smash Burgers

  1. Form your meat pucks. We want the meat to be loosely formed into pucks. This will help make it easier to smash.
  2. Prep all of your sliced tomato, lettuce leaves, special sauce, pickles and cheese. This recipe goes quickly so make sure to prep everything in advance.
  3. Toast your buns. I like to smother the inside of each bun with softened butter and lightly toast them in the pan.
  4. Turn the heat to high in a cast iron skillet. When it’s hot, add the cold pucks of meat to the skillet, being sure not to overcrowd the pan, and smash the pucks of meat until they’re very thin.
  5. Cook on each side for a few minutes. Transfer to the oven to keep warm while you work your way through the rest of the meat pucks.
  6. Drape a piece of American cheese over each patty and transfer it back to the oven until it’s melty.
  7. Assemble the burgers and that’s it!
Burger patty in a cast iron skillet on the stove.

Crinkly fries are a delicious addition!

Buns that are toasted in a pan.

Tips and Tricks to Smash Burgers

  • Do not form the meat into patties – Biggest tip is to NOT, I repeat NOT form them into patties. Not doing this actually makes it way easier.
  • The beef should be cold, straight from the fridge. There’s no need to bring this to room temperature like you would, say, a steak.
  • You don’t need a smash burger press. Some restaurants have heavy smashers; don’t worry you don’t need one. I used a plastic pancake spatula, and then pressed that spatula with the back of a wooden spoon! No fancy tools necessary.
  • Select your bun carefully. I think brioche buns are delicious. Regular burger buns work, too. But my favorite is a potato bun because of how soft and flavorful they are.
Burger patties with American cheese draped on top.

What to Serve with Smash Burgers

If you tried this Smash Burger Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

5 from 5 votes

Smash Burger Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Assembly: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Smash Burgers consist of a loosely packed, thin patty that “smashed” on a hot griddle, until its edges are crispy and delicious. This recipe for Smash Burgers consists of 100% grass-fed beef, a piece of American cheese draped on top and placed in between a soft potato bun, along with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles and of course, a special sauce.

Equipment

  • 1 cast iron skillet
  • 1 heavy spatula

Ingredients 

Burger Buns:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 potato buns, halved

Burger Patties:

  • 2 pounds ground beef , 85%/15%
  • Kosher salt, (I used Diamond Crystal)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Neutral oil, (such as vegetable or avocado oil)

Burger Assembly:

  • American cheese, (or any other type of cheese you like!)
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 roma or vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 dill pickles, sliced

Instructions 

To Toast the Buns:

  • Place a pan over medium-low heat. You’re going to have to do this in batches. Add the butter and when melted, add as many potato bun halves, interior side down, as you can, and cook until toasted and lightly golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining potato buns until they’ve all been toasted. Add more butter to the pan, as needed.

To Make the Patties:

  • Portion out the 2 pounds of ground Wagyu beef into 4-ounce piles that are loosely packed (no need to form patties). I like to place them on a baking sheet since I needed to cook them in batches. Top each pile of beef with a few pinches of salt and a few rounds of freshly cracked pepper.
  • Place a cast iron over medium-high heat. Preheat the pan until hot and then add about a teaspoon or two of oil. Add two patties, spacing them about 4 inches apart, and then smash them flat with a spatula to form patties that are 4-inches in diameter. Cook until the edges are brown and craggy, about 2 minutes. Flip the patties, season with salt and pepper, and cook for an additional minute or two. Transfer to the baking sheet to a warm oven to keep warm. Repeat with cooking the patties until you’ve worked your way through all of the beef.
  • Remove the baking sheet with the patties from the oven and top each patty with a slice of American cheese. Transfer back to the oven until cheese is melted. American cheese melts pretty easily; you may need only 2 to 3 minutes in the oven.

To Assemble the Smash Burgers:

  • Add a swipe of mayonnaise to both halves of the bun. Add the patty, top with slices of pickles, tomato and lettuce. Serve immediately.

Notes

Tips and Tricks

  • Biggest tip is to NOT, I repeat NOT form them into patties. Not doing this actually makes it way easier.
  • The beef should be cold, straight from the fridge. There’s no need to bring this to room temperature like you would, say, a steak.
  • If you don’t have the perfect spatula for smash burgers (some restaurants have heavy smashers), don’t worry. I used a plastic pancake spatula, and then pressed that spatula with the back of a wooden spoon! No fancy tools necessary.
  • Select your bun carefully. I think brioche buns are delicious. Regular burger buns work, too. But my favorite is a potato bun because of how soft and flavorful they are.

Nutrition

Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Summer
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!


Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a rating!




5 Comments

  1. great burger dish, thank you, I’m only used to ordering them haven’t tried making these before, so thank you for the recipe and detailed walk through

  2. I saw your post today and I am very happy to see you got a beautiful post and I am very thankful to you that you have written such a beautiful post, you continue to write the post in the same way, my best wishes are with you.