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posted May 02, 2022

Homemade Smash Burgers

These homemade smash burgers are the ultimate juicy restaurant burger lovingly grilled in your own backyard. They’re buttery, crispy, and made with good, simple ingredients. There’s no need to spend a ton of dough in a burger joint when you can make your own amazing smash burger at home!

Smash burgers on a wooden cutting board with text overlay - Homemade Smash Burgers.

What is a Smash Burger?

As the name would suggest, a smash burger is a ground beef burger that has been formed by giving it a good smash on the griddle or in a cast iron skillet when cooking. Smash burgers are popular in burger joints because they cook really fast and are extremely juicy with gorgeous, crisp edges. 

The key to cooking a good smash burger is to cook quickly and enjoy while the burgers are hot. Prior to grilling your burgers, make sure you have everything you’ll need on hand, so you’ll be ready to assemble the moment the patties come off the hot grill. Finally, transfer these burgers to a plate or serving platter so they can be enjoyed immediately.

This is everything you’ve ever wanted in a restaurant burger lovingly made in your own backyard! I’m not exaggerating when I say these were some of the best burgers I’ve ever made. Check out the video below to see how quickly my family gobbled these up!

Burger buns and burger patties topped with American cheese on a flat top griddle.

Ingredients for Smash Burgers

Start by gathering the following ingredients to make these smash burgers.

  • 2 pounds 85/15 ground beef chuck. Aim for ground beef with 15% fat so the edges will have that signature crunch.
  • 8 slices of American cheese. Yes, American. Nothing fancy here. We’re going for the classic restaurant flavor, and it’s gotta be American!
  • 8 hamburger buns. Stay away from sesame topped buns. Grab a soft hamburger bun for that perfect melt-in-your-mouth burger bite. 
  • 1 yellow onion. Slice this onion nice and thin for a crisp crunch once it’s on the burger.
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter (aka ghee). This is the secret to making a good smash burger. No substitutions allowed here.
  • Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub. My Beef Rub is an amazing salt and pepper-based rub that is great on beef. If you don’t have any of this awesome seasoning, you can also use equal parts kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

Homemade Burger Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need for the homemade burger sauce. If you have your own favorite burger sauce, by all means, go ahead and slather that on your burger. This sauce is loosely based on a Utah classic – fry sauce. Fry sauce is basically a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup. With the addition of pickles and changing it up for BBQ sauce, this burger sauce is smooth and packs a tangy punch!

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise. This provides a nice, creamy base for the sauce.
  • 3 dill pickles. Minced these nice and fine so they’ll incorporate into the sauce well. You can also use sweet pickles if you prefer a sweet pickle flavor.
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce. I used my Everything Sauce for this recipe, but you can use your favorite. Some ketchup-based Kansas City BBQ Sauce would taste great as well.

Any unused sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or so to be used on other burgers or with french fries.

Flat spatula smashing a burger patty ball on a flat top griddle.

How to Make Smash Burgers

Are you ready to make your own smash burgers at home? Making the perfect smash burger is all about timing. Here’s how to make smash burgers.

  1. Turn on the griddle. I used my Camp Chef flat top griddle for these smash burgers. This recipe is pretty versatile, so it can also be made on a 12″ cast iron skillet or on your stovetop. Preheat to medium-high heat.
  2. Make the patties. Divide your meat into 8 even patties. You can use a kitchen scale if desired, or simply eyeball the amount. You should end up with 1/4-pound patties. Do not flatten these, rather make them into loosely formed balls. The more you mess with the meat, the chewier they get.
  3. Make the burger sauce. Mix mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and minced pickles together in a small bowl. Add more BBQ sauce as needed to get a nice, rosy pink-colored sauce.
  4. Griddle the burgers. Place the clarified butter on the griddle or in the skillet. Place the onions on the griddle and cook until they are beginning to caramelize. Divide them into 8 piles. Place a burger patty/ball right on top of the onions, and use a flat spatula to smash the burgers flat.
  5. Season the beef. Season the smashed burger with the beef seasoning or equal parts garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the burgers, add one slice of cheese to each patty, and continue to grill until the burgers are cooked through and getting nice and crispy on the edges.
  6. Toast the buns. Add more clarified butter to the cast iron skillet or griddle and place the buns cut side down on the flat top. Brush the clarified butter on the top of the buns while they are grilling. Keep an eye on these buns and remove them when they are nice and toasty but not burned.
  7. Assemble the burgers. Place a dollop of burger sauce on the bottom bun, then top with the cheesy burger smashed burger patty and caramelized onions. Finish off with a buttery top bun.

Susie Bulloch holding a double patty smashburger.

More Burger Recipes

If you loved these smash burgers, I’m betting you’ll love these other great burger recipes as well. They’re popular ones here at Hey Grill Hey, and are definitely worth a try:

Smash Burger Recipe

Here’s hoping you loved this smash burger recipe. It was a HUGE hit at our house and it has become a weeknight staple! Let us know your thoughts on this tasty smashed burger in the comments section below!

You can also catch more behind-the-scenes content from Hey Grill Hey on social media by searching @HeyGrillHey.

Smash burgers arranged on a wooden cutting board.

Homemade Smash Burger Recipe

Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
These Homemade Smash Burgers are the ultimate juicy restaurant burger lovingly grilled in your own backyard. They're buttery, crispy, and made with good, simple ingredients. There's no need to spend a ton of dough in a burger joint when you can make your own amazing smash burger at home!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 8 mins
Total Time : 18 mins
Servings : 8 people
Calories : 598kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds 85/15 ground chuck
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • ¼ cup clarified butter (AKA ghee)
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Seasoning (or equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder.)

Homemade Burger Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 dill pickles
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill. Preheat your flat-top grill, griddle, or 12" cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Form the meat patties. Divide the ground beef into 8 even sections. Loosely form the meat into balls and set aside.
  • Make the homemade burger sauce. Combine all ingredients for the burger sauce in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Grill the onions and smash the burgers. Spread some clarified butter on the grill or cast iron skillet and add the onions. Grill the onions until they start to soften. Divide the onions into 8 sections on your grill. Place a meat "ball" on top of each pile of onions and smash the ball flat with a spatula.
  • Grill the smashburgers. Season the flattened meat patties with Beef Seasoning and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip the burgers, add a slice of American cheese to each patty, and continue grilling for 3-4 minutes.
  • Toast the buns. While the burgers are cooking, melt more clarified butter on the cast iron skillet next to the burgers and place the buns cut side down on the grill. Brush more butter on the tops of the buns and toast for 1-2 minutes until the buns begin to turn golden brown. Do not flip.
  • Assemble the smashburgers. Remove the buns and meat from the grill. Place a dollop of burger sauce on the bottom bun, top with a cheesy patty and grilled onions, and finish with a bun. You can also make these with a double patty and 4 buns, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 4mg
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