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Smash Burgers

Create a restaurant style Smash Burger at home in minutes and for a lot less money. You are going to love the crispy brown crust that forms as the burger cooks so quickly.

smash burger on a cutting board

Homemade Smash Burger Recipe

I’ve had this Smash Burger on repeat this summer. It is so quick to make that it’s the perfect last minute dinner idea. It’s been hot here in Portland so I love cooking it outside on the grill and not heating up my house.

smash burger with cheese

What is a Smash Burger?

It’s a thin burger cooked on a griddle. The burger gets lots of flavor from the browned bits that develop during the quick cooking process. Those browned bits form a delicious crust with a wonderful texture.

The smash burger was made popular by the Smashburger, hamburger chain. It gets it’s name from the technique of smashing the hamburger on the grill with a large spatula or bacon press.

Ingredients for a Smash Burger

  • Ground Beef. I use an 85/15 meant to fat ratio. One pound makes 3 burgers.
  • Seasoning. Use your favorite beef seasoning salt. I like Better Burger Seasoning.
  • Hamburger Buns. Butter and toast your buns before cooking burgers so they are ready as soon as the burgers are.
  • Pickles. We like dill pickles.
smash burger with cheese

How to Make a Smash Burger

Be prepared! A Smash Burger cooks fast so be sure you have all your other ingredients ready. I always butter and toast my buns first so they are ready when the burger is. Also have your cheese ready and sliced.

  • Form hamburger into four loosely shaped balls. Fresh ground beef will have more flavor than frozen meat.
  • Heat Griddle. You want your griddle hot, about 375 degrees F. I like to put my cast iron griddle on my outdoor grill but you can also do it on your stovetop but I find it sets my smoke alarm off frequently! If you don’t have a griddle you can also use a cast iron pan.
  • Place the balls of meat onto a hot griddle.
ball of hamburger on griddle
  • After placing hamburger on hot griddle place a piece of parchment paper over the top and then smash. You want a nice thin patty. The parchment paper keeps the meat from sticking to the spatula.
parchment paper on burger
  • Add seasoning salt generously.
adding seasoning to smash burger
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, the burger cooks fast. The edges of the burger will be lacy and may even have some holes in it, this is what creates the crispy edges that are a trademark of the Smash Burger.
flipping smash burger
  • Flip the burger by using a metal spatula to “scrap” the burger up and flip. You want to get all that crusty goodness that is forming on the other side of the burger as it cooks.
crusty side of the smash burger

The second side will cook even quicker, about one minute.

  • Add cheese immediately after flipping.
cheese melting on smash burger
  • Cheese. I use American Cheese slices on my Smash Burger because it melts quickly and smoothly.
  • Pickles. I love dill pickles slices.
  • Double Patty. I like two hamburger patties for My Smash Burger.
smash burger with pickles on top

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of meat is used for Smashburgers?

The best beef to use for a Smashburger is a ground chuck, with a fat content in the 85/15 percent range.
The higher fat ratio is best because the fat melts and caramelizes while the burger is cooking.

I don’t have a griddle what can I use?

You can also make them in a cast iron skillet or a stainless steal frying pan. Make sure pan is nice and hot. Use a wide spatula to smash the burger down and flip it.

Burger Variations

  • Add on some grilled onions or sauteed mushrooms.
  • Try a different cheese such as Swiss or Pepper Jack.
  • Instead of Smash sauce try a BBQ sauce or mayo.
  • Add lettuce and tomatoes if you like!