I’m going to admit right away that this isn’t so much a recipe for smash burgers as a set of instructions. But, once you’ve tried making your burgers this way you’re really not going to go back your old ways of burger cookery unless you absolutely have to. I only heard about the two schools of burger cookery relatively recently, which is odd for someone who eats so many of them. After reading about the two methods, however, I am firmly a member of team smash burgers.
The other way to make burgers is the much more traditional one, and the one you’re probably most familiar with; mixing minced beef with a few herbs and spices, maybe a little onion and compressing into patties. I’ve done this myself many times, and way honestly always a bit disappointed with the outcome. The issue with this technique is that the salt dries the meat out, and compacting into a patty makes the final product really dense; not good. Smash burgers don’t have these problems.
So what makes smash burgers smash burgers then? Well, if you hadn’t already guessed, there’s a bit of smashing involved. To be honest, not as much as the name suggests, but just enough to keep it interesting. Just gathering the ground beef up into a ball and then squashing it directly into the hot pan produces and crispy and juicy patty, with the seasoning happening at the same time to give you the tastiest possible burger. Keep it simple, and you can’t go wrong.
Notes on Cooking
This recipe relies on the high-fat content of the minced beef to melt and hold the meat together once it’s in the pan and cooking. For that reason, you really need to aim for a 15 – 20% fat content otherwise everything’s going to fall apart. Stay away from the pre-packaged supermarket meat and find a decent butcher that can give you want you want. There’s not many ingredients here, so get the best meat you can from someone who knows what they’re doing.
This is undoubtedly one of the easiest recipes in existence. Not only that, but the perfect smash burgers are the perfect burgers. Splash out on quality beef and serve with whatever you want.
- 500 g fatty ground beef 15 - 20% fat
- 4 burger buns preferably brioche
- 4 sliced your favourite cheese
- Lettuce, onion, mayo, ketchup etc to serve
Divide the meat up into 4 equal portions, do not form into patties.
Heat a large frying pan (cast iron if you have it) over medium-high for a few minutes, or until very hot.
Lightly grease the pan with a little oil, before placing the portions into the pan and squashing them with a spatula into patties. Season well with salt.
Let the meat cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes, or until the edges are brown.
Flip the burgers and season again. Place a cheese slice on the top of each patty and cover with a lid for 1 - 2 minutes, depending on how well done you would like your meat.
Serve on the buns with your choice of vegetables and condiments.