best smash burger

Have you ever tasted a burger so divine that it lingered in your memory? Picture this: The best smash burger, cooked to perfection with an irresistible crust, melting cheese, and just the right toppings. Sounds mouthwatering, doesn’t it?

I remember my first encounter vividly; the burst of flavors took me by surprise. I was hooked! From then on, burgers weren’t just fast food anymore—they became culinary masterpieces.

In this guide we’re going down memory lane together. We’ll journey into crafting your own heavenly homemade smash burgers at home. You’ll learn about choosing the perfect ground beef blend for juiciness and flavor punch.

We’ll explore why cast iron is your best friend when smashing those patties thin for maximum surface area…and that all-important Maillard reaction.

So, you might be curious about how parchment works, right?


Table Of Contents:

smash burger

Crafting the Perfect Smash Burger at Home

Every burger lover knows that a juicy, flavorful smash burger can be the ultimate comfort food. But did you know it’s possible to recreate this restaurant favorite right in your backyard? We’ll give you the scoop on how to make this restaurant classic right in your own backyard with a few basic ingredients and our helpful advice.

Choosing the Right Ground Beef for Your Smash Burger

Picking out your ground beef is one of those moments where quality truly matters. For our homemade smash burgers recipe, we highly recommend going with an 80% lean and 20% fat ratio. Bon Appétit confirms that this blend gives us just enough fat content to keep our patties moist while also providing robust flavor.

The magic number here is three ounces per portion. We’re making four deliciously juicy burgers today; therefore you will need about twelve ounces total of high-quality ground beef.

The Role of Cast Iron in Cooking Smash Burgers

You may ask why specifically cast iron for cooking these beauties? The answer lies in its heat retention capabilities – perfect for achieving maximum crust on our homemade smash burgers. The New York Times Cooking Guide tells us exactly why cast iron pans are favored by chefs worldwide – they distribute heat evenly across their surface area.

This even distribution plays into what food scientists call ‘the Maillard reaction’, which refers to certain chemical reactions occurring during cooking that give browned foods their sought-after flavor. Serious Eats dives into this phenomenon in more detail. It’s all about that crust, folks. *This post may contain affiliate links which means Pints, Forks & Friends may receive commission for purchases made through links. We only recommend products that we personally believe in and use. Learn more on our Privacy Policy page.

Preparing Your Burger Patties

The beauty of a smash burger lies in its simplicity. To start with, divide your ground beef into four equal portions – remember we’re aiming for three ounces each here. Roll them lightly to form loose balls; don’t pack too tightly as you want the heat to penetrate easily.

A little trick is letting your meat sit at room temperature before cooking. This allows even heating and promotes better Maillard reaction.


Key Takeaway: Whipping up the ultimate smash burger in your own kitchen is all about getting the balance just right. Kick off with top-notch ground beef, go for an 80% lean to 20% fat mix for patties that are both juicy and packed with flavor. Make sure you use a cast iron skillet – it’s great at keeping heat steady, giving your burgers that mouth-watering crust through the Maillard reaction. And remember, when forming those three-ounce patties, keep ’em loose.

Preparing Your Burger Patties

The key to making the best smash burger lies in the preparation of your burger patties. A well-prepared patty promises a flavorful and juicy end product. But how do you get there? Allow me to share some tips from my years of burger crafting.

Forming Your Burger Balls

Burger balls are the precursor to those beautiful, thin ounce patties, and getting them right is crucial. You want each ball equal in size for consistent cooking times. I’ve found that about three ounces per portion strikes an ideal balance between manageable size and hearty bite.

To form these balls, start with high-quality ground beef at room temperature – trust me, it’s easier on your hands. Grab roughly three ounces (use a kitchen scale if you’re unsure), then gently roll it into a round shape without compressing too much. We need these babies loosely packed so they’ll flatten nicely later on.

Achieving Maximum Crust with High Heat

Moving onto what I consider the most exciting part: achieving maximum crust via something called the Maillard reaction. This chemical process occurs when food browns – think seared steaks or toasted bread – leading to increased flavor complexity. Here’s more science behind this magic.

This wonderful reaction thrives under high heat conditions which we will use as our secret weapon for creating tasty meat patties. To harness this power, preheat your griddle or pan over medium-high heat before introducing your future burgers into their sizzling spa treatment.

“The Maillard reaction, responsible for browning your meat, only occurs at high temperatures. By smashing your burger thin and cooking over high heat, you can ensure maximum crust development.”

Once your pan’s heated up and raring to go (you’ll know it’s ready when a flick of water sizzles),


Key Takeaway: For the ultimate smash burger, prep is everything. Start with three-ounce balls of high-quality ground beef – don’t pack too tight. Achieve that mouth-watering crust through the Maillard reaction by cooking your thin patties over medium-high heat.

The Art of Smashing Your Burger Patties

When it comes to creating the best smash burger, the smashing technique plays a crucial role. The aim is to increase your patty’s surface area for maximum crust formation and flavor release. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like that satisfying sizzle when your flattened beef hits the hot griddle.

Utilizing a Burger Press or Bench Scraper

A good smash needs a trusty tool. Using either a burger press or bench scraper will help you achieve that ultra-thin patty essential for any self-respecting smash burger.

I would definitely suggest investing in one of these items if you’re a burger enthusiast like me. They’re perfect for achieving an even pressure across your ground beef ball, ensuring uniform thickness (or should we say thinness?). But remember: force isn’t everything here; finesse matters too.

The Importance of Parchment Paper in Smashing Burgers

You might be wondering why parchment paper gets its own headline in our smashing saga? Well, let me assure you this humble kitchen staple has earned its spot under my burger press time and again. It helps prevent sticking without adding extra oil to our already juicy meat – yes please.

Parchment paper also aids with easy transfer from prep space onto the preheated grill or iron pan – no lost bits stuck on surfaces here. We use pre-cut squares at room temperature but regular roll works just fine too.Note: Just make sure not to confuse wax paper with parchment; they are NOT interchangeable unless cheese melted into flaming patties is what you’re after.

Crafting the Perfect Smash Burger at Home

With our smashing technique down, let’s get cooking. If you’ve got your ground beef balls ready and an appetite for delicious burgers, we’re all set.

Choosing the Right Ground Beef for Your Smash Burger

Starting with top-notch ground beef is key to a drool-worthy smash burger. Go for an 80% lean and 20% fat blend – it’s this combo that’ll deliver the juicy taste we all love in our burgers.


Key Takeaway: Getting that perfect smash burger at home boils down to a few tricks: Nail your smashing technique for better taste and crust, use handy tools like a bench scraper or burger press for skinny patties, slide in some parchment paper for simple prep and sticking-free transfer. And remember – always go with top-notch ground beef having an 80% lean to 20% fat ratio. Enjoy.

Seasoning and Cooking Your Smash Burgers

Your smash burger is only as good as its seasoning. And, let’s not forget the cooking process. You can’t ignore that if you’re aiming for perfection.

The Perfect Seasoning Blend

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder are your best friends here. This trifecta adds just enough flavor without overshadowing the natural taste of the beef. Check out our seasoning recommendation!

Dano's seasonings

A dash of salt brings out those hidden flavors in your patty while a sprinkle of black pepper gives it an extra kick. The garlic powder? Well, that’s what makes these patties stand out.

Remember: less is more when it comes to seasoning – don’t drown your patty in spices or you’ll miss tasting all those beautiful Maillard reactions.

Cook Those Patties Right.

We highly recommend using a preheated griddle to cook your seasoned patties. A griddle distributes heat evenly ensuring every part of our beloved patty gets equal love and attention.

  • Flick some water on the surface – if it dances around before evaporating quickly, then we’re ready to rock ‘n roll.

Tip: Don’t press down on them after they’ve been smashed once – unless you want dry burgers.

Next up is adding cheese (we hear American works wonders), but timing matters.

  • Add cheese about 30 seconds before taking off from heat for maximum meltiness with minimum sogginess. It’s science…or maybe magic?

Now onto flipping.

  • Once you see the edges of your patty turn a crispy brown, it’s time to flip. Don’t be afraid. Embrace that sizzle and let the other side cook.

You might ask how long each side should cook? Well, friend, I’m glad you asked because we’re all about achieving perfection here.

  • A general rule is 2 minutes per side for medium-rare burgers or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). But remember – every stove is different so keep an eye on those beauties.

Serving Your Masterpiece

When done right, there’s nothing like biting into a perfectly cooked smash burger with its juicy meat sandwiched between two warm buns.


Key Takeaway: Seasoning Savvy: A winning trio of salt, pepper, and garlic powder is the key to flavorful smash burgers. Remember – season just before cooking for maximum flavor impact.

Perfect Your Cooking: Stick to a preheated griddle for consistent heat. Remember, flip your burger just once and toss on the cheese immediately after.

FAQs in Relation to Best Smash Burger


What type of hamburger is best for smash burgers?

The ideal choice for smash burgers is ground beef with an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio. This ensures a juicy, flavorful burger.

What quality beef is smash burger?

A high-quality fresh ground chuck or sirloin works great. Remember, the flavor comes from the fat so opt for at least 20% fat content.

What is the best burger weight for smash burgers?

Aim to form your raw patties into three-ounce balls. Once smashed on the griddle, they’ll have perfect thinness and surface area.

What makes it a smash burger?

The hallmark of a Smash Burger? Pressing your patty onto a hot griddle until it’s paper-thin and crispy around the edges.


So, you’ve taken a deep dive into the art of crafting the best smash burger. You’ve learned about choosing quality ground beef for that juicy patty and using cast iron for maximum crust.

You now understand how forming perfect balls can lead to deliciously thin patties with lots of surface area…all thanks to your new smashing techniques!

Seasoning properly? Check! Cooking them just right? Absolutely! With this guide, you’re well on your way to creating unforgettable burgers at home.

Keep these tips in mind as you continue your journey towards burger mastery. Happy grilling!

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