For every home cook, learning how to create a traditional hamburger is an absolute need; however, this recipe for handmade smashed burger elevates the standard hamburger to an entirely new level. That is not just any burger; rather, it is a beef patty that is thin, cooked quickly, and focuses entirely on the flavor of beef. You are going to adore how simple it is to prepare these, as well as how much better they taste!
Smash Burgers Recipe
This is a quick and easy weekday supper that combines beautifully with popular sides and is guaranteed to leave everyone at the dinner table smiling. In contrast to the recipe for the thicker hamburger steak, this is a weeknight meal that is very easy to prepare. Due to the fact that they are so thin, the recipe has a tendency to fall apart when it is made ahead of time, which is one of the problems that I have had with it. In order to speed up the process of producing the burgers and put them immediately onto the bread before serving, you may consider making them thinner rather than making them thicker.
How Do You Make Smash Burgers Stay Together?
One issue I have seen with this recipe is that when made ahead of time, because they are so thin, they tend to fall apart. Instead of making a thicker burger, time serving so you can make them fast and put them directly onto the bun before serving.
If for some reason you have to make the burgers in advance and leave on a tray or platter to serve, it is recommended by many to place a sheet of wax paper between each patty to keep them together and not crumbling apart.
What is the Best Meat for Smash Burgers?
Ground beef is the standard option for making any hamburger. Smashed burgers use a nice quality ground beef for the best flavor. Ground chuck is readily available and has a good marbling of fat and rich flavor so you don’t need a lot of seasoning.
While most reach for the 80/20 meat, I like to use 85/15 for less fat. It still has plenty of fat for keeping the burger moist, but isn’t overly greasy and maintains that beefy flavor you want in a quality burger.
What Do You Serve with Smashed Burgers?
Most often, hamburgers are served with a side of potato chips or French fries. You can serve them with anything though, and that includes things like a good mustard potato salad or a side of creamy corn salad.
I love these baked accordion waffle fries and the simple cottage fries to go alongside these in place of traditional fried potatoes. But, my neighbors to the North would tell me Canadian poutine is the only thing to serve with your smash burger.
Can I Serve Hamburgers Medium Rare?
Depending upon the culinary circle you are in, there is great controversy about this. My husband would say yes to a medium-rare hamburger, while I would say absolutely not.
The thing is, while a medium or medium-rare burger may have a bit more flavor and be juicier, in my opinion, it is not worth the risk of e coli. So, I only recommend cooking ground meat in any form to a minimum of 160°F internally. I use an instant-read thermometer to verify the internal temperature when cooking.
The directions below are for a well-done hamburger. If you should prefer a medium-rare burger, you will cook the meat for 1 minute on one side and 30 to 34 seconds on the other side.
- Ground beef
- Black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Hamburger buns
Optional: ½ teaspoon total addition of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or a generic hamburger seasoning blend
How to Make Homemade Smashed Burgers
Divide the ground beef into 4 portions. Lightly oil your hands and form into thin patties around 2 inches thick.
Season both sides of the burger patties generously with salt and black pepper. Add additional seasonings at this time if desired.
In a large cast-iron pan, heat vegetable oil over high heat.
Place the burger patty into the hot skillet and smash down until 1″ or less thick.
Cook for 2 minutes per side until 160°F internally.
Add cheese for the last 30-seconds to melt if desired.
Serve with favorite hamburger toppings and condiments on a toasted bun.
Do I Have to Use a Cast Iron Pan to Cook Burgers?
No, you do not have to use cast iron, however, it is an excellent conductor of heat and tends to cook most evenly. Another benefit to the cast iron pan is how nicely it adds the crisp on the outside of the burgers while keeping them juicy inside.
You can use any skillet or griddle for making these burgers. I even recommend looking into a flat top griddle for outdoors if you plan to make a lot of burgers like this on a regular basis.
What Goes on a Smash Burger?
A classic burger has a bun, mustard, ketchup, and pickle. You may also see them with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Below are some other options you can add to your burger to make it unique.
- Dill relish, jalapeno slices, or pickled onions.
- Sliced raw onions, grilled onions, or grilled mushrooms.
- Avocado slices.
- Crispy bacon.
- Mayonnaise, sriracha mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, or thousand island dressing.
- American cheese, cheddar cheese, provolone cheese, or swiss cheese.
- Iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, green leaf lettuce, or arugala.
What kind of meat should I use for smashed burgers?
Using ground beef with a higher fat content, such as 80/20 (80% lean meat, 20% fat), is ideal for juicy and flavorful smashed burgers. The fat helps create that irresistible crust when the burger is smashed on the griddle.
How do I smash the burgers properly?
Start by forming loosely packed meatballs slightly larger than the size of your burger buns. Preheat a skillet or griddle on high heat and place the meatballs on it. Use a spatula or heavy-duty press to firmly smash the meat onto the cooking surface for about 10–15 seconds. Don’t press too hard; you want them thin but not too thin.
Why do you smash the burgers?
Smashing the burgers creates more surface area, allowing for a nice sear and caramelization. This caramelization enhances the flavor and texture of the burgers, giving them that coveted crust.
How long should I cook smashed burgers?
Cook the burgers for around 2-3 minutes on the first side until a nice crust forms. Then, flip them and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness. Cooking times may vary based on your desired level of doneness and the thickness of the patties.
What toppings go well with smashed burgers?
You can customize your smashed burgers with various toppings! Classic options like American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and a special sauce are popular choices. Experiment with your favorites to create a personalized burger experience.