An Ultimate Guide to Make Smash Burgers at Home – 2023

Smash burger

What is Smash Burger?

A smash burger is a delectable creation achieved by firmly pressing ground beef onto a hot grill or griddle using a spatula. The art of smashing creates a tantalizing sear on the outer layer of the patty, effectively sealing in its succulent juices and intensifying its delightful flavors. Moreover, this technique proves advantageous in mitigating flare-ups on the cooking surface, as the compacted patty offers less space for the fat to drip onto the heat source. As a result, you’re left with a mouthwatering burger that’s both juicy and perfectly cooked.

History of Smashburger

The Smashburger’s origin can be traced back to Ashland, Kentucky, over 50 years ago when Bill Culvertson experimented with smashing a slice of meat with a No.10 bean. This concept later inspired the creation of the restaurant chain Smashburger by Consumer Capital Partners in Denver, Colorado. Unlike traditional medium-rare burgers, Smashburger’s meat-heavy patties are thrown into a sizzling hot pan or skillet and smashed as they cook, resulting in a crispy and well-browned exterior due to the combination of heat and pressure.

Founded in 2007 in Denver, Smashburger has grown to over 370 corporate and franchise-owned restaurants across 37 states and 9 countries. The restaurant’s name reflects its cooking method of serving smashed burgers, where fat and juices are locked in, creating a flavorful and juicy experience. They offer a variety of toppings and customization options, and each city they serve features unique and diverse burger offerings. Additionally, the menu includes chicken and turkey sandwiches, various types of fries, fried pickles, and other delectable sides.

Ingredients of Smash Burger

Ground Beef – For 4 double-patty burgers, we recommend using 1.5 lbs of 80/20 beef, but you can easily adjust the recipe to serve a larger crowd by using 3 lbs for 8 double-patty burgers.

Sauce – We keep it simple and delicious with mayo and yellow mustard, both for grilling the burgers and assembling them.

Cheese – While we prefer thick-sliced medium cheddar cheese for our burgers, feel free to use American-style cheese or your favorite sliced cheese.

Burger Toppings

Buns – Brioche buns add a fantastic flavor and give your burgers that steakhouse look, but any type of burger bun will work just as well.

Lettuce – To achieve that restaurant-style smash burger, thinly slice iceberg lettuce.

Pickles – Opt for sliced dill pickle chips as they add the perfect touch of tanginess.

Tomatoes – For your burgers, choose meaty and large-sized tomatoes and cut them into rings for the best presentation.

Red Onion – Thinly slice the red onion into rings to add a delightful crunch to your burgers.

Step by Step Guide to Make Smash Burgers

Patty Preparation – Take 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef and divide it into 8 equal portions (3 oz each). Cover the portions and refrigerate them until you’re ready to cook.

Sauce Making – Combine 1/3 cup mayo and 1 tsp mustard, and set the sauce aside for later use.

Toppings Preparation – Preparing your toppings in advance allows you to assemble the burgers promptly when the patties are hot and juicy from the grill.

Bun Toasting – Lightly butter the cut side of your buns and toast them on a griddle or skillet over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Transfer the toasted buns to a rack.

Patty Cooking – Increase the heat to medium-high. Depending on your cooking surface, place 2 to 4 cold portions of meat onto the hot surface. Swiftly cover each portion with parchment paper and flatten them into thin patties. Remove the parchment paper, season the patties with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, add a dollop of sauce, and then flip. Sear the patties for 2 minutes on the first side and about a minute on the second side.

Cheese Addition – Place a slice of cheese on half of the patties, top them with another patty, and then remove them from the heat. Serve these warm, delicious double-patty burgers on toasted buns with your prepared toppings.

Variations of Smash Burgers

The world of smash burgers offers a tantalizing array of variations, each delivering a unique and mouthwatering experience. While the classic smash burger remains a timeless favorite, adventurous food enthusiasts can explore a multitude of exciting twists to elevate their burger game.

1. Gourmet Fusion – Embark on a culinary journey by infusing global flavors into your smash burger. Experiment with Asian-inspired toppings like kimchi and teriyaki glaze or go Mediterranean with feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, and roasted red peppers.

2. Bacon Lover’s Delight – For those who adore the irresistible smokiness of bacon, try adding crispy bacon bits to the patty before smashing. Top it off with melted cheese, avocado slices, and a drizzle of smoky barbecue sauce for an indulgent treat.

3. Vegetarian Options – Vegetarians can savor the smash burger experience too! Opt for plant-based patties made from ingredients like black beans, lentils, or mushrooms. Enhance the flavor with roasted vegetables, guacamole, and spicy aioli.

4. Breakfast-Inspired – Elevate your mornings with a breakfast smash burger. Place a sunny-side-up egg on top of the patty, add some sautéed spinach or arugula, and a slice of melted Gouda cheese. Don’t forget a dollop of hollandaise sauce for a true breakfast delight.

5. Pimento Cheese Bliss – Channel the South with a pimento cheese smash burger. Slather the buns with a creamy pimento cheese spread, top the patties with pickled jalapeños, and a dash of hot sauce for a perfect balance of richness and heat.

6. Southwest Fiesta – Embrace bold Tex-Mex flavors by adding sliced avocado, fresh salsa, and a touch of cilantro-lime mayo to your smash burger. Consider adding a few tortilla chips for a delightful crunch.

7. BBQ Bliss – Amplify the smoky goodness by brushing the patties with your favorite barbecue sauce before smashing. Add crispy onion straws, coleslaw, and a slice of smoked Gouda cheese for a lip-smacking BBQ experience.

8. Sweet & Spicy – Strike a perfect balance between sweet and spicy by layering your smash burger with caramelized onions, jalapeño slices, pepper jack cheese, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

With endless possibilities, the variations of smash burgers cater to every palate and craving, making them a versatile canvas for culinary creativity and exploration. Unleash your imagination, and let the smash burger journey take you to new and exciting taste sensations.

Classic Side Dishes that Complement the Smash Burger

Classic side dishes are the perfect accompaniment to the mouthwatering delight of a smash burger, adding a symphony of flavors and textures to the overall meal. These timeless sides effortlessly elevate the burger experience, creating a well-rounded and satisfying feast.

1. Crispy French Fries – Golden and crispy French fries are the quintessential partner to a juicy smash burger. Whether shoestring, curly, or thick-cut, these potato delights offer a delightful contrast to the burger’s texture, while a sprinkle of salt completes the savory symphony.

2. Onion Rings – Crispy, beer-battered onion rings bring a touch of indulgence to the meal. Their crunchy exterior and sweet, tender onion interior perfectly complement the burger’s robust flavors, creating a dynamic combination that’s hard to resist.

3. Coleslaw – A refreshing bowl of coleslaw provides a delightful contrast to the hearty burger. The creamy dressing and crunchy cabbage, carrots, and sometimes apples, add a burst of freshness, balancing out the richness of the burger.

4. Sweet Potato Fries – For a twist on the classic, opt for sweet potato fries. Their natural sweetness and caramelized edges pair wonderfully with the savory notes of the burger, making for a deliciously balanced side dish.

5. Garlic Butter Corn on the Cob – Elevate the meal with buttery, garlicky corn on the cob. Grilled or roasted, this side dish brings a burst of summer flavors that enhance the burger’s appeal.

6. Macaroni and Cheese – Creamy, cheesy, and oh-so-comforting, macaroni and cheese complements the smash burger’s indulgence. This classic side is a crowd-pleaser, satisfying both kids and adults alike.

7. Classic Garden Salad – A light and crisp garden salad can provide a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the burger. Tossed with a zesty vinaigrette and filled with fresh greens, ripe tomatoes, cucumber, and other colorful vegetables, this side dish adds a burst of freshness to the meal.

8. Pickles and Relishes – Pickles and relishes, whether dill, bread and butter, or spicy, serve as tangy and flavorful companions to the burger. Their zesty, acidic nature cuts through the burger’s richness, enhancing each bite.

These classic side dishes not only complement the smash burger but also offer a variety of flavors and textures that cater to different preferences. Whichever side you choose, the combination of the smash burger and its delectable accompaniments promises a memorable and satisfying dining experience.

Beverages that Pair well with the Smash Burger 

The art of pairing beverages with burgers can elevate the dining experience to new heights. Thoughtful beverage choices complement the burger’s flavors, enhancing the overall taste and enjoyment. Here are some beverages that harmonize perfectly with the savory, juicy, and robust profile of a burger:

1. Classic Cola – The timeless combination of a burger and a cold, fizzy cola is a match made in culinary heaven. The cola’s sweetness and effervescence cut through the burger’s richness, providing a refreshing contrast.

2. Craft Beers – Craft beers, particularly those with hoppy or malty profiles, harmonize well with the complex flavors of a burger. The bitter notes in IPAs or the caramel undertones of ambers and brown ales can complement the meaty essence and enhance the overall experience.

3. Iced Tea – For a non-alcoholic option, iced tea offers a refreshing and versatile pairing. Whether sweetened or unsweetened, the tea’s mild astringency can cleanse the palate between each delectable bite of the burger.

4. Milkshakes – Indulge in the classic combination of a burger and a thick, creamy milkshake. The rich and velvety texture of the milkshake balances the burger’s savory elements, creating a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

5. Red Wine – If you prefer a wine pairing, opt for a medium-bodied red wine such as Merlot or Malbec. These wines often boast fruity and earthy notes that complement the burger’s beefy flavors.

6. Lemonade – A zesty lemonade can be a refreshing and tangy companion to a burger. Its bright acidity can cut through the burger’s richness, leaving the palate refreshed and ready for another bite.

7. Lemon-Lime Soda – Another carbonated option, lemon-lime soda, provides a burst of citrusy freshness that pairs well with the burger’s hearty flavors.

8. Sparkling Water – For a simple and palate-cleansing option, opt for sparkling water. Its effervescence can help balance the richness of the burger and prevent flavor fatigue.

Remember, beverage pairings are subjective, and personal preferences play a significant role in selecting the perfect drink to accompany your burger. Whether you choose a classic cola, a craft beer, or a refreshing lemonade, the key is to enjoy the delicious interplay of flavors that enhance the burger experience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Making Smash Burgers

1. Overhandling the Meat: Resist the temptation to overwork or excessively handle the ground beef. Overhandling can lead to dense and tough patties, compromising the burger’s texture and juiciness.

2. Using High-Fat Meat: While a higher fat content in the meat can add flavor, using excessively fatty ground beef can cause excessive flare-ups on the grill or griddle, resulting in uneven cooking and potential charring.

3. Pressing Too Early: Avoid pressing down on the patties too soon. Wait until the meat has had a chance to develop a sear and release from the cooking surface naturally. Pressing too early can cause the burger to lose its natural juices and flavor.

4. Using the Wrong Cooking Surface: Opt for a flat and well-seasoned cooking surface like a cast-iron skillet or a griddle. A grill with wide gaps may lead to the patties falling apart or sticking to the grates.

5. Overcooking the Patties: Smash burgers cook quickly due to their thinness, so avoid overcooking them. Overdone burgers can result in a dry and less flavorful end product.

Helpful Tips for Making Smash Burgers

1. Preheat the Cooking Surface: Ensure the cooking surface is thoroughly heated before placing the patties. A hot surface is crucial for achieving a crisp and flavorful crust on the burger.

2. Use a Spatula: When smashing the patties, use a sturdy spatula to press down evenly. This helps create a uniform thickness for consistent cooking.

3. Season Generously: Don’t skimp on seasoning. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and other desired spices on both sides of the patty to enhance the overall flavor.

4. Melt Cheese Efficiently: If you plan to add cheese, cover the patties with a lid or aluminium foil for a minute to allow the cheese to melt evenly.

5. Prep Toppings in Advance: Have your burger toppings and condiments ready to go, so you can assemble the burgers quickly while the patties are hot and juicy.

6. Rest Before Serving: Allow the cooked patties to rest for a moment before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a more succulent burger.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing these valuable tips, you’ll master the art of making delicious smash burgers that are bursting with flavor and irresistible appeal.

Smash burger

Smash Burger

A smash burger is a delectable creation achieved by firmly pressing ground beef onto a hot grill or griddle using a spatula
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine World
Servings 2 people


  • 1.5 lbs of 80/20 ground beef You can adjust the quantity based on the number of burgers you want to make.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Sliced cheddar cheese or your preferred cheese
  • Lettuce tomato, and red onion slices for toppings
  • Mayonnaise and yellow mustard for the sauce
  • Butter for toasting the buns


  • Preheat your cooking surface: Whether using a griddle or skillet, preheat it over medium-high heat until it’s nice and hot.
  • Divide and shape the patties: Take the ground beef and divide it into equal portions. For standard double-patty burgers, make 8 portions of about 3 oz each. Shape each portion into a ball.
  • Smash the patties: Place one portion of the beef on the hot cooking surface. Using a sturdy spatula or a burger press, firmly smash the ball down to create a thin patty. Repeat with the other portions, leaving enough space between each patty for even cooking.
  • Season the patties: Sprinkle salt and pepper on each patty for seasoning. Allow them to cook for about 2 minutes, until the edges turn brown and crispy.
  • Flip and add cheese: Carefully flip the patties and immediately place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt.
  • Toast the buns: While the cheese is melting, spread some butter on the cut side of the hamburger buns. Toast them on the griddle or skillet until they turn golden brown.
  • Assemble the burgers: Remove the patties from the heat. Spread a mixture of mayonnaise and yellow mustard on the bottom buns. Add lettuce, tomato, and red onion slices on top of the sauce. Place a cheese-topped patty on each bun, then add another patty on top of the cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy: Complete the burger with the top bun and serve immediately. Enjoy the deliciousness of your homemade smash burgers
Keyword smash burger
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