Smash Burger Recipe: A Must-Try for Every Burger Lover

Looking to create the ultimate mouthwatering burger experience? Search no further than this irresistible Smash Burger Recipe. Prepare yourself for a burger that boasts a crispy exterior, a juicy patty, and a burst of flavors that will leave you craving more. With simple ingredients and step-by-step instructions, this recipe is guaranteed to elevate your burger game to new heights. Get ready to sink your teeth into burger perfection!


Before diving into the recipe, let’s understand what a smash burger is and why it has become such a popular choice among burger enthusiasts.

What is a Smash Burger?

A smash burger is a relatively new creation in the burger world that has taken the culinary scene by storm. Unlike traditional burgers that are gently formed into patties, smash burgers are made by pressing a ball of ground beef onto a hot griddle or skillet, resulting in a thin, crispy, and flavorful burger patty. Flattening the burger allows maximum contact with the surface, creating a caramelized crust that adds an irresistible texture to the burger.

Why are Smash Burgers popular?

why are smash burgers popular

There are several reasons why smash burgers have become the hottest trend in burger culture. Firstly, their unique cooking technique gives them a distinct and delicious flavor profile. The intense heat from the griddle or skillet sears the meat, locking in the juices and creating a juicy and tender patty. Secondly, the quick cooking time of smash burgers makes them a convenient option for those who want a delicious meal on the go. Lastly, the variations and toppings available for smash burgers have added an exciting element to the burger world, allowing for endless possibilities and customization.

Characteristics of a good smash burger

Now that we know what makes a smash burger special, let’s discuss the characteristics that define a good one. Firstly, a good smash burger should have a flavorful and well-seasoned patty. The use of high-quality ground beef and the right combination of spices is crucial to achieving that perfect balance of taste. Thanks to the flattening technique, the burger should have a crispy and caramelized exterior. This adds a delightful crunch that enhances the overall eating experience. Lastly, a good smash burger should be topped with fresh and complementary ingredients, such as cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce, and your favorite sauces.

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The Basics of Making a Smash Burger

the basics of making a smash burger

  • Choosing the right ground beef: When it comes to making a delicious smash burger, the choice of ground beef is crucial. I recommend using an 80/20 ground beef blend. This means that it contains 80% lean meat and 20% fat. The fat content is important as it adds flavor and juiciness to the burger when cooked.
  • Dividing the ground beef into equal portions: To ensure consistent cooking and a great texture, dividing the ground beef into equal portions is essential. I find that using a 1/3 cup measuring cup works perfectly for this. Simply scoop the ground beef into the measuring cup, making sure it’s laid out flat across the top. This will give you nicely portioned burger balls.
  • Forming the ground beef into balls: Once you have your equal portions of ground beef, it’s time to shape them into balls. Gently roll each portion between your hands to create round shapes. These burger balls will serve as your smash burgers’ base and cook evenly on the griddle.
  • Using a smash method to flatten the balls into thin patties: Now that your burger balls are ready, it’s time to smash them down into thin patties. Place the burger balls on the griddle, making sure to leave enough space between them for smashing and flipping. Use a spatula or a heavy-duty flat object to press down firmly on each ball, flattening it into a thin patty.

Remember to place the balls of meat on the hotter zone of your griddle to ensure proper cooking. The ideal temperature for cooking smash burgers is around 425 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat will give you that irresistible, crispy exterior and perfectly juicy interior.

Variations and Creative Twists on the Classic Smash Burger

variations and creative twists on the classic smash burger

  • Adding unique ingredients to the patty mix: One of the best ways to elevate your smash burger recipe is by getting creative with the patty mix. Consider adding unique ingredients like minced garlic, finely chopped onions, or even bacon bits for an extra burst of flavor. These additions will infuse your patties with an irresistible taste that will leave your guests wanting more.
  • Experimenting with different cheese combinations: Cheese is an essential component of any burger, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing the perfect combination. Mix different cheese types like cheddar, Swiss, or blue cheese to create interesting flavor combinations. You could even experiment with flavored cheeses like jalapeno or smoked Gouda to add a spicy or smoky kick to your burger.
  • Trying alternative bun options: While traditional burger buns work perfectly fine, there’s no harm in branching out and trying different alternatives. Swap out the standard bun for a pretzel bun or a brioche bun to add a unique touch to your smash burger. You could also opt for lettuce wraps or even toasted sourdough bread for a lighter and crunchier option.
  • Incorporating unconventional toppings and sauces: Take your smash burger to the next level by incorporating unconventional toppings and sauces. Think outside the box and try topping your burgers with avocado slices, fried eggs, or even pickled jalapenos for an added kick of flavor and texture. Don’t forget about the sauces too! Experiment with homemade sauces like chipotle mayo, sriracha aioli, or tangy BBQ sauce to add a personalized touch to your smash burger creation.
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Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions

Common mistakes to avoid when making smash burgers

When creating the perfect smash burger, it’s essential to avoid some common mistakes that may compromise the taste and texture of your masterpiece. Here are a few key errors to steer clear of:

  • Using meat that’s too lean: Opt for a ground beef blend with a higher fat content, like an 80/20 mix. The fat adds flavor and moisture to the patty, preventing it from drying out during cooking.
  • Handling the meat too much: Overworking the meat can result in a dense and tough patty. Handle it gently and minimalistically, so you don’t end up with a dense and tough burger.
  • Not making a dimple in the burger: Pressing a small dimple into the center of the patty prevents it from puffing up in the middle during cooking. This helps the burger cook evenly and maintain its ideal shape.
  • Not seasoning your burger at the right time: Season your patty generously with salt and pepper just before cooking. This ensures that the flavors are distributed evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a deliciously seasoned burger.

Dealing with overcooked or undercooked patties

Achieving the perfect doneness for your smash burgers can be a delicate task. Here are some tips to handle overcooked or undercooked patties:

  • To salvage an overcooked patty: Remove it from the heat immediately and cover it with a slice of cheese. The residual heat will melt the cheese and add some much-needed moisture to the burger.
  • If your patty is undercooked: Finish it off in the oven or on a low heat grill to ensure it reaches the desired internal temperature without burning the exterior.
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Handling burger shrinkage issues

Hamburger patties shrinking during cooking is a common issue that can be frustrating. Here’s how you can tackle this problem:

  • Choose the right meat blend: Opt for ground beef with a higher fat content, as leaner meat tends to shrink more. A blend with at least 20% fat will help retain moisture and minimize shrinkage.
  • Preheat the cooking surface: Ensure that your skillet or griddle is preheated before cooking your patties. This will help seal in the juices and prevent excessive shrinkage.

Adapting recipes for dietary restrictions (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.)

Don’t let dietary restrictions get in the way of enjoying a mouthwatering smash burger. Here are some tips for adapting recipes to accommodate various dietary needs:

For vegetarian options: Substitute the meat patty with a delicious plant-based alternative, such as a black bean or mushroom patty. These alternatives provide great flavor and texture, making them a satisfying choice for non-meat eaters.

Gluten-free options: Use gluten-free bread or buns as a substitute for the traditional burger bun. Additionally, ensure that any seasonings or condiments used in the recipe are gluten-free as well.

Remember, mastering the art of the smash burger takes practice and experimentation. By avoiding common mistakes, handling cooking difficulties, and adapting recipes to suit different dietary needs, you’ll be well on your way to creating a smash burger that will surely impress your taste buds and those of your family and friends.

Smash Burger Recipe

Smash Burger Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 80/20 lean
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon grated yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 white hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 cups shredded iceburg lettuce
  • 8 slices vine-ripe tomatoes


    1. Folding the Burger Wrapper: To contain the delicious juiciness of your smash burgers, begin by folding a piece of parchment paper in half to form a triangle. Press it down gently and tuck the two opposing corners under the burger. Then, tuck in the third corner, creating a pocket. This simple trick helps reduce the mess when sinking your teeth into these flavorful burgers.
    2. Preparing the Smash Patties: Turn up the heat on your griddle and let it reach a high temperature. While that's happening, roll the ground beef into evenly-sized balls. As you place them on the griddle, remember to provide enough space between each patty. As they cook, they will spread out, so you want to avoid overcrowding.

      Using a piece of parchment paper, lay it over the ball of beef and use a spatula (preferably one with a flat surface) to firmly press down on the patty, smashing it as thin as possible. The parchment paper acts as a barrier between the meat and spatula, preventing any sticking. Repeat this process for each patty.
    3. Achieving the Perfect Smash: With your spatula, apply ample pressure while smashing the patties. This technique helps create the iconic crispiness and caramelized crust that makes a smash burger so irresistible. Feel free to use a meat mallet to enhance the smashing process, making the patties as thin as your preference.
    4. Assembling Your Smash Burger: Once your patties are perfectly seared on both sides, it's time to assemble your mouthwatering masterpiece. Grab your choice of hamburger buns – toasted or untoasted – and place a cheese slice (if desired) on the bottom bun. Add your juicy smash patty on top, followed by any additional toppings you prefer: tomato slices, lettuce, pickles, or your favorite condiments.
    5. variations and creative twists on the classic smash burger
    6. Savoring the Deliciousness: Now comes the best part – indulging in your homemade smash burger. Take that first bite, relishing in the incredible combination of flavors and textures that come together in harmony. The crispy edges, the succulent patty, and the burst of fresh toppings all contribute to a sensational burger experience.


Remember, this isn't just any fast food burger. By using top-quality ingredients and mastering the art of smashing, you've elevated the classic to a whole new level. Enjoy it with family and friends, and let the flavors transport you back to those cherished moments of enjoying a great burger.

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