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Published May 25, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This smash burger recipe is loaded up with my secret meat blend and is seared to perfection with melted American cheese, special sauce, and toppings on a toasted bun. Once you try it, this will hands down be your new favorite burger recipe.
The smash burger is a burger patty that is created by a ball of seasoned ground beef being smashed down on a griddle using a press that helps compress and flavor and cook faster. It is then served on a toasted bun with sauce, tomato, onion, pickles, and lettuce. It is a delicious burger, and it cooks in way less time than a traditional burger.
While most people associate this with the Smash Burger restaurant, it originated in Ashland, Kentucky, at the Dairy Cherry Burger Shop by a man named Bill Cullerton. He created it by smashing burgers with a no 10 can of beans and discovered that it brought out a lot of flavors and cooked very quickly. It has become more popularized in the last 10 to 15 years across restaurants in the United States.
Ingredients You Need
- Burger – Use 80/20 fat to lean ration ground sirloin beef.
- Seasonings – I like to use a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, Worcestershire, and Tabasco sauce. In addition, finely minced bacon makes it into my best smash burger recipe.
- Cheese – American cheese is used for the smash burger.
- Buns – Classically, potato buns are used, but I prefer brioche buns.
- Lettuce – Traditionally, iceberg lettuce would be used, but green leaf lettuce is much more flavor green to place on the burger.
- Tomatoes – I prefer the Roma tomato as it is great in the summer and decent all year long. However, in peak season and fresh tomatoes will work.
- Pickles – Any good dill pickle will work.
- Onions – I like red onions on burgers, but you can use sweet or yellow onions.
- Sauce – The classic sauce combines mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and relish, but I believe dijonnaise brings out the most flavor in the smash burger.
How to Make the Best Smash Burger
Use the easy-to-follow instructions and images to make this delicious smash burger recipe:
Prepare the tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and onions, and set them aside.
Combine the meat with bacon and seasonings until mixed together.
Form 8 equal-sized tight meatballs and place them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.
Next, add a small amount of oil to a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat and add a meatball and immediately press smash it down until it is about a ¼” to a ½” thick.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the juices start to form on top of the burger patty, and then flip it over.
Immediately add on the cheese and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Add the buttered buns and toast with the cheeseburger for 30 to 45 seconds or until toasted.
Assemble the burger by layering it with a bottom toasted bun, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, cheeseburger patties, dijonnaise, and top bun, and serve.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These are meant to be eaten as soon as they are done cooking. You can keep them warm for up to 15 minutes in the oven on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper at 165°.
How to Store: Cover and keep them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can freeze these if they do not yet have cheese covered for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Add the burgers to a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and heat in the oven at 350° for 4 to 6 minutes or until warm.
Chef Notes + Tips
- If you do not like bacon, feel free not to add it to the burger mix.
- You can use any type of bun that suits your taste best.
- If you do not have a cast-iron skillet or griddle, you can use a non-stick pan.
- For options to smash the burger, you can achieve it by pressing it down with a spatula, parchment paper, or a burger press. See video.
- I like to toast the buns on the griddle as soon as I flip the burgers and add the cheese. You can use melted butter to help toast or just the rendered meat fat in the pan or griddle.
More Beef Recipes
The Best Smash Burger Recipe Ever
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- 4 finely minced strips of bacon
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- dash of Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 8 American cheese slices
- 4 leaves of green leaf lettuce
- 2 thinly sliced Roma tomatoes
- 1 peeled and thinly sliced red onion
- 2 thinly sliced dill pickles
- 4 toasted brioche burger buns
- dijonnaise sauce
- In a large bowl thoroughly mix the beef, bacon, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, paprika, and Tabasco sauce.
- Create 8 equal size meat balls and place them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and quickly place in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Preheat a cast iron pan or griddle to medium to medium-high heat and add on the oil.
- Add the burger meat balls to the hot surface and immediately press down using a burger press and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until juices start to appear on the top of the uncooked side of the burger. See video.
- Flip the burger over and immediately add on the cheese and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until cooked through and the cheese is melted.
- To assemble: Layer with bottom toasted bun, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, cheeseburger patties, dijonnaise, and top bun, and serve.