Normally when I think about burgers I am drawn to thick and juicy ones, preferably grilled over open flames, but there is something that’s magical about pan/griddle seared burgers; oh man, the caramelized crispy top and bottom are the best! Enter smash burgers where the basic idea is that instead of making one thick patty, you divide the meat into 2 small patties to double the surface area! The meat for the patties are formed into balls and smashed onto the pan, to press the meat right into the pan to caramelize, before flipping to get the other sides. Because the patties are so thin, they take almost no time to cook and you want to use a fattier ground beef to ensure that they remain moist and juicy! Where I often mix seasonings and other ingredients into the meat for thicker burgers, these burgers are just the meat, formed into balls and smashed before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. I like to add cheese, by topping the patties with slices after flipping so it melts as they cook! Because the patties are so small, they are served 2 per bun with either one or two slices of cheese!
Easy homemade smash burgers; crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, with melted cheese!
- 1 pound ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 (or 8) slices cheese
- 4 buns (gluten-free for gluten-free)
- Divide the beef into 8 (2 ounce) portions and form them into balls.
- Heat a pan (preferably cast iron, carbon steel or stainless steel) over medium-high heat.
- Add 2 to 4 balls to the pan, leaving plenty of space around them, smash them down into thin patties and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, before flipping.
- Place the cheese on the patties and when it has melted, scrape the burgers out of the pan and slide them into the buns, 2 patties per bun.
Tip: Only smash the burger down once; the meat will start to stick to the pan right away and pressing it down a second time can cause the patties to break up.
Tip: Use a metal spatula or scraper to scrape/lift the patties off of the pan.
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