Smash Burgers

Smash Burgers are my new favorite way to eat burgers!  They are patties of ground beef that are sizzled to a crunchy goodness and then layered with all the deliciousness of Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes or whatever your heart desires.

There’s something about the crunchy edges that gets me every time!

My guy, Terry, is a traditionalist.  He doesn’t love burgers that are spiced in any way except for salt and pepper.  I, on the other hand, enjoy a little more flavor so I add garlic and onion powders, ground pepper, ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce to the meat.  I also like to use 80% ground chuck so that I have some fat in the meat for flavoring.

With your hands, form the beef into 4 large meatballs and then pat them into a 1-inch thick disk.  Refrigerate the patties for at least 15 minutes (but overnight is great, too).

Remove the patties from the fridge and season them all over with salt.  Coat a hot skillet with soil and place each burger into the pan one at a time.  Smash it with a metal spatula until it’s 1/4-inch thick, then add the next burger and repeat.

Cook for about 2 minutes until nicely browned and crusty.  Flip and top with cheese.  Cook for about 2 more minutes.

Place the burgers on the buns and add any topping that you desire.  I’m into caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and bacon, but that’s just me!  Warning:  it’s hard to get your mouth around that one!

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Smash Burgers

Makes: 4 burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes plus chill time 15 minutes


  • 1 & 1/4 pounds ground chuck (80% lean ground beef)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, for cooking
  • Heaping 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns (lightly toasted, if desired)


In a large bowl, combine the beef, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. (Do not put the salt in the mixture; you’ll add it later.) Using your hands, mix until evenly combined. Form the meat into 4 large meatballs (about 4 & 1/2 ounces each), then pat each ball into a 1-inch-thick disc; smooth out the edges as best you can. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until ready to cook (up to 24 hours, covered).

Turn on your exhaust fan and heat a 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the patties from the fridge and season all over with the salt. Coat the hot pan evenly with the oil. Place the burgers on the skillet one at a time, firmly smashing them flat with a metal spatula until about 1/4-inch thick before adding and smashing the next one. Let cook for about 2 minutes until nicely browned and crusty on the bottom. Flip the burgers and top with the cheese; cook for about 2 minutes more for medium-rare to medium burgers, or 3 minutes for medium to medium-well burgers. Place the burgers on the buns and serve with toppings of choice.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The uncooked burgers can be frozen for up to three months. (Freeze the burgers on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.) Defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator prior to serving and then cook as directed.

Recipe by Once Upon a Chef


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