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!
What is a Smash Burger?
As the name would suggest, a smash burger is a burger that has been formed by giving it a good smash on the griddle 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!
Ingredients for Smash Burgers
Start by gathering the following ingredients:
- 2 pounds 85/15 ground chuck. Aim for this 15% fat so the edges will have that signature crunch.
- 8 slices 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 a sesame topped bun. 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 Seasoning. If you don’t have any of this awesome seasoning, you can also use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Here’s what you’ll need for the homemade burger sauce:
- 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.
How to Make a Smash Burger
Making the perfect smash burger is all about timing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Season the beef. Season the flattened patties with the beef seasoning and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the burgers, add one slice of American cheese to each patty, and continue to grill until the burgers are cooked through and getting nice and crispy on the edges.
- Toast the buns. Add more clarified butter to the 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.
- Assemble the burgers. Place a dollop of burger sauce on the bottom bun, then top with the cheesy burger patty and caramelized onions. Finish off with a buttery top bun.
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:
Cooking dinner for your friends or family should be easy. If you’re looking for the ultimate way to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero, join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full access to all my meat, rubs, sauces, and meat buying masterclasses, podcasts, and so much more.
Need some rubs and sauces to go with this smash burger? Patio Provisions sells Hey Grill Hey Signature products for a great price. Best of all? They’re delivered straight to your door!
Homemade Smash Burger Recipe
- 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
- 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 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 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.