Get ready for delicious, juicy smash burgers cooked to perfection on a Blackstone griddle. With mouthwatering flavors and irresistible caramelized crusts, this recipe will teach you how to make restaurant-quality smash burgers at home with just a few basic ingredients and about 15 minutes.
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Smash burgers are all the rage right now, but they have been being served up in diners and greasy spoons for ages. In the summer I cook them outside on the Blackstone, but in the winter months, they can be made indoors using a cast iron skillet or griddle.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Smash burgers are made with the same ingredients as traditional burgers and can be customized by changing up the toppings or seasoning. Here's what you'll need:
- Ground Beef - Stick with an 80/20 ground chuck for the best texture and to prevent dry burgers.
- Yellow Onion is optional, but adds SO much flavor!
- Oil - Use an oil that is suitable for very high heat. I used avocado oil, but rendered bacon grease would also be amazing!
- Salt and Pepper - I prefer to keep the seasoning very simple. You can add your favorite burger seasoning if you would like.
- Hamburger Buns
- American Cheese or your favorite cheese for burgers (or no cheese at all)
- Burger Sauce and/or your favorite burger toppings. I've included the recipe for my favorite burger sauce but feel free to swap it with whatever you like.
See the recipe card for quantities.
To make great smash burgers you will need some sort of cast iron griddle. I use a Blackstone (more about that in a minute) but you can use any brand that you like. You can also make these burgers indoors on a cast iron griddle placed on the stovetop.
In addition to a griddle, you will also need a long spatula, parchment paper, and something to smash the burgers with. I use a burger press, but if you don't want to invest in one of those a flat spatula will also work.
What is the best Blackston Griddle?
Now about the Blackstone. I have a small 22" Blackstone. I chose it over one of the larger varieties because of its portability and because it is about 200$ cheaper than larger models. At the time I wasn't sure how much I would use it and so getting in at a lower price point was much more appealing to me.
Over the past year, I have added a small stand and hood to my griddle. Which makes it really easy to use in the summer, but then store away in the winter. You can find all of my favorite Blackstone tools and accessories here! (affiliate)
How to Make Smash Burgers on a Blackstone
Before you can start cooking the burgers, prepare the burger sauce if desired. Next, preheat the griddle over medium heat until it reaches about 425 degrees.
Tip: Avoid overhandling the ground beef. We are making burgers, not meatloaf 😃 Work them just enough so that they are roughly a ball shape and then stop.
While the griddle is preheating, portion the beef into 3-ounce portions (about ¼ cup each) and cut the onion into very thin strips.
When the griddle is preheated, coat it in a thin layer of oil. Place some of the onion in a small pile then top them with a ball of ground beef. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: If you don't have a burger press, just place the blade of the spatula over the burger and press down on it with a coffee mug until the burger is smashed to your liking.
Use a burger press to smash the meat into the onion. Hold the press while applying pressure for a few seconds then. If you find that the press is sticking to the beef, place a layer of parchment paper over the beef before pressing it.
Let the burgers cook until the top is just beginning to brown then flip them, being sure to scrape the griddle under the burger as you scoop the patty. Top the burger with cheese if desired.
Let the burger cook for a few more minutes, then stack two patties and place them on a bun with any desired toppings and serve immediately.
Note: Smash burgers are usually served as 'doubles' with two patties since the individual patties are small and thin. Feel free to adjust the serving size to suit your appetite.
Tips for the Best Smash Burgers
This recipe is for a basic smash burger. Here are some great ways to take these classic burgers to the next level:
- Use quality buns and toast them - Use a high-quality bun (I prefer brioche or pretzel buns) Spread the inside with a thin layer of butter and toast them right on the griddle.
- Don't use lean beef - Good smash burgers need a decent amount of fat to prevent them from being dry. Stick with an 80/20 ground chuck for the best burgers.
- Don't overwork the beef - Avoid mashing or mixing the meat. Handle the beef just enough to portion it and roll it roughly into a ball. Overworking the beef will alter the texture of the burgers.
- Season the beef - Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper just before smashing. You can add burger seasoning if you like, but it isn't necessary.
- Make sure your griddle is HOT - Don't skip preheating the griddle. When it is hot enough you should see it smoking and a temperature gauge should read 425 degrees.
Be sure to check out my upside-down cheeseburger casserole for all the flavors of a delicious burger, with the ease of a casserole!
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover burgers in the fridge in a sealed container. Be sure to store the burgers and toppings separately. To reheat them, I like to wrap them (bun and all) in foil and bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until they are heated through.
Leftover burgers will keep in the fridge for about 5 days as long as they are tightly sealed.
While a Blackstone griddle is specifically designed for smashing burgers, you can still achieve similar results on a regular grill by using a cast-iron skillet or a heavy-bottomed pan that can tolerate high heat.
Preheating the griddle properly and ensuring it is adequately seasoned with oil before cooking can help prevent sticking. Additionally, avoid flipping the burgers too early and gently release them using a sturdy spatula. Read more about properly seasoning a griddle here!
You can certainly give it a try. Good smash burgers need to have a decent amount of fat to prevent them from being dry so you may need to use a ground turkey with a higher fat content or add extra fat. For a vegan impossible smash burger recipe check out this post.
Aim for a thickness of around ¼-inch when smashing the burgers. This allows for a good sear and ensures even cooking throughout.
- Don't overwork the ground beef. Roughly shape it into a ball and then let it be.
- Smash burgers cook really quickly, make sure to have all of your tools and ingredients (including buns and toppings) close by before you start cooking.
- Burger Press
- Metal Spatula
- Parchment Paper cut into 4-5 inch squares or rounds
- 1 ½ lb 80/20 Ground Beef
- 1 Large Yellow Onion optional
- ¼ cup Avocado Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 Hamburger Buns
- 8 slices American Cheese optional
- If desired, prepare the burger sauce before you start on the burgers, up to a few days in advance. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl or jar and store it sealed in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Preheat your griddle on medium-high heat until it is smoking and reaches 425°
- While the griddle is heating divide the beef into 3-ounce portions (about ¼ cup). Shape each portion into a ball. Use a mandolin or a knife to slice the onion into super thin slices. Prepare the cheese slices, buns, and be sure to have the salt and pepper close by. These burgers cook really quickly so having all of your tools and ingredients ready to go is key!
- Lightly oil the griddle surface. Make 4 piles of about ¼ cup of sliced onion on the griddle, then set a ground beef ball on top of each pile. Season each ball liberally with salt and pepper.1 Large Yellow Onion, ¼ cup Avocado Oil, 1 ½ lb 80/20 Ground Beef
- Use a burger press to smash the meat into the onion. Hold the press while applying pressure for a few seconds then remove the press. If you find that the press is sticking to the beef, place a layer of parchment paper over the beef before pressing it.
- When the burgers are just a little more than halfway cooked through (the tops will be mostly brown, with some pink spots), use a spatula to flip the burgers to the second side. Be sure to scrape under the burger So the crispy 'crust' and onions stay with the burger.
- Immediately after flipping, top the burger with a slice of American cheese. and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.8 slices American Cheese
- Stack 2 patties on top of each other and place them on a bun with your favorite burger toppings.4 Hamburger Buns
- Repeat the process with the remaining burgers and enjoy!
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.