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Going to try smash burgers for the first time this week......

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    Going to try smash burgers for the first time this week......

    For whatever reason, I've got my sights set on smash burgers this week, which I have never done. (Actually, I've never cooked a burger in my life. Hey, Whataburger is just around the corner, so I do have a good reason for that lol.)

    So I've been watching video after video on these things. The basic technique seems simple enough. I've got a 10" cast iron skillet (I also have a cast iron griddle that I think will fit on the Weber Kettle, too; I may use that.) 4 oz balls of 80/20 ground beef, placed over avocado oil or ghee, smashed on a flat top, seasoned with salt and pepper, flip using a quality spatula, and lay on American cheese. When cheese melts and gets a bit crispy on the edges, they are done. Butter some buns and then build the burger. And it seems that two patties are required per burger to do this right.

    It also seems that onions grilled on the flat top are also popular with these things. I've also noticed a burger sauce that is usually some mixture of mayo, ketchup or BBQ sauce, mustard, and dill pickles is often used too.

    My first question is generally how hot do you want the cooking surface? All the videos do a range of medium to medium high, which, of course, differs wildly between flat tops. I have an IR gun, so I can measure that. 450? 500? 600?

    I'm still thinking about the sauce. I am not a big fan of ketchup (or BBQ sauce) on burgers. I may use just Japanese mayo with some dill pickle slices.

    #2
    Your method to cook is right on. My version, season meat prior to forming balls. S&P and I heat them too with a Flat Iron pepper. Which one depends on much heat desired. I do onions and cheese. Use Flat side of Grill Grates. Toast roll, I like mayo. I do use ketchup.

    Comment


      #3
      I have always done my burgers at 400.

      Comment


        #4
        In my experience, putting oil/ghee down in the cooking surface interferes with the smashburger process. You want the burger to stick to the cooking surface when you smash it down. Then you scrape under it with the stiff spatula to scrape all that crusty goodness up with the burger. Don't overcook them. About a minute after flipping and adding the cheese and they will be done.

        For the sauce, I highly recommend you try this:

        ShackSauce (makes about 1/2 cup)

        []1/2 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
        []1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
        []3/4 teaspoon Heinz ketchup
        []1/4 teaspoon kosher dill pickling brine
        []Pinch cayenne pepper
        It is not at all ketchup-y and you owe it to yourself to try it at least once, IMHO

        Also, potato rolls are the preferred bun and, while you said to butter them, be sure to them lightly toast them on your flat surface.

        Good luck and enjoy them.
        Last edited by Dewesq55; July 12, 2021, 12:47 PM.

        Comment


        • Michael_in_TX
          Michael_in_TX commented
          Editing a comment
          I may try that.

        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          I will try this sauce next time. Sounds good. Thx for posting.

        • tRidiot
          tRidiot commented
          Editing a comment
          Brioche buns for us.

        #5
        You could always go for something like Meathead’s Carolina Gold sauce which is mustard based. I am making some today actually and it goes fabulously on everything.

        Comment


          #6
          You are in for a treat! It’s going to change your view on burgers, in my opinion!!!

          for the cheese - I think shredded cheese works better for these, and you can lay it on and get the cheese crisps on the sides of the burgers. It also melts faster than sliced cheese, so that’s how i go with these.

          Seriouseats.com has a recipe for shake shack sauce, or “fake shack burgers” which is really good if you like the mayo/ketchup relish style sauce.

          enjoy!

          Comment


          • Dewesq55
            Dewesq55 commented
            Editing a comment
            By the way, while I have the Serious Eats recipe and enjoyed it, the one I posted above was provided by Shake Shack to a reporter doing a story on them. I believe they said it was "very close, but not exact." It's really good and slightly easier to prepare than the SE one. I suspect they put MSG in theirs, but don't know for sure.

          #7
          Now I need to take some burger out of the freezer! 🙄😋

          Comment


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            I’m with ya on that one Mr. Frosty. So many times here, I’ll read what someone is gonna cook, or just did, and I wind up wanting it also. And most of the time I’ll cook it within a few days.

          #8
          I typically shoot for around 500° for smash burgers on my Blackstone griddle. And I agree with Dewesq55 , don't get too carried away with the oil.

          Also, your plan reads like you will cook the patties and then butter and toast the buns. I would do the buns first, then you're all set to eat burgers hot off the griddle.

          Comment


          • Michael_in_TX
            Michael_in_TX commented
            Editing a comment
            Excellent point! Yeah, it would be nice to have somewhere to put the cooked burgers lol.

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            I need to start doing this! Right now, I wait until the end, then find myself toasting 16 buns for a cookout, but having to scrape the griddle clean first. Never thought to do the buns first. Thanks for the suggestion!

          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            The beef cooks quickly so you need your buns toasted, loaded and standing by.

          #9
          Good advice given….I’ll just mention some technique pointers.

          I find a small piece of parchment paper between my burger and spatula helps in the smashing process. Also, I tend to leave my spatula on the griddle to heat up a bit before smashing. I premeasure my ground chuck(or other 80/20 combo) into 3-4 oz balls. I keep in fridge until ready to cook. Mice en place is key to smash burgers, it goes fast.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            I also do this. Helps a lot!

          #10
          I'll go easy on the oil, after all it is primarily there until the fat in the burger starts to take over, if you will.

          One thing I have seen people do is put the onions down on the griddle then put the burger on top of that. However, when they flip, it clearly impedes crust formation, so I don't think I will do that.

          Comment


          • tRidiot
            tRidiot commented
            Editing a comment
            The "Oklahoma burger" method is to smash the ball to get the serious crust, THEN put onions on top, and when you flip, the onions cook into it. This partially steams one half of the patty while cooking the onions into it. Season this side well, also, with salt or seasoned salt or whatever, before the flip. It's a sacrifice of crust on one side of the patty - but if you do doubles, you still get lots of crust - and lots of caramelized onions!

          #11
          I like slightly smaller smashburgers - 2.5-3oz and double them up. They press to roughly the same size as a normal hamburger bun (Martins Potato Bread).

          Here is my technique.

          Heat a cast iron griddle/pan to about 400-450. I don't add any oil as you want the burger to stick at first - thats how you get it thin and crusty. Similar to au4stree I use a square of parchment and use it under my spatula when I press down, as extra precaution to avoid it sticking to the spatula. I just hold the square in one hand, press with the stiff spatula (or caulking trowel) using the other and just go down the line. Make sure you press down hard enough - want its super thin - maybe 1/4 inch thick

          As soon as the edges turn brown, use a very stiff spatula to scrape it up and flip over. Top with cheese and cook for like 20 seconds more - then stack the patties and eat. I generally eat mine plain or with hot sauce.

          Comment


          • pkadare
            pkadare commented
            Editing a comment
            Totally agree with the super thin recommendation. I see a lot of photos of smash burgers and to me, they are always way too thick to be what I'd consider a smash burger. The whole point here is that the vast majority of the finished patty should be crispy meat, not just cooked meat.

          • tRidiot
            tRidiot commented
            Editing a comment
            We do ours at 3.2-3.3oz per patty. And yes, I have my son weigh them when he's doing the meat. We actually do 20-30% pork breakfast or Italian sausage in our ground beef, also.

          #12
          I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact you’ve never cooked a hamburger. And you recently cooked shrimp for the first time. Wow! Not a knock, just amazed. I love Whataburger also, but once you’ve had a good smokey homemade grilled burger, you’ll be cooking them more and more. Another delicious topping for burgers is sautéed red onions and mushrooms…with bacon. Oh yeah!
          Last edited by Panhead John; July 12, 2021, 12:30 PM.

          Comment


          • Dewesq55
            Dewesq55 commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm not really a mushroom guy, but I like the way you think!

          • Michael_in_TX
            Michael_in_TX commented
            Editing a comment
            It is weird even to me. When I got out of grad school and was on my own for the first time I went through what I call my "Emeril Lagasse" phase for about eight years. (No really, I watched his show like twice a day.) So I cooked a lot of really fancy stuff, but "everyday" things just weren't there lol.

          #13
          I've found that if I hold my press on the patty a couple seconds after smashing and then slightly rotating the press as I lift it off, helps keep the patty from sticking to the press.

          Comment


            #14
            Never cooked a burger....I have no words for that....
            Your worlds about to take a change for the better.
            Can't add to the cooking instructions given.
            My basic toppings, bottom bun- slice of tomato, pepper and ketchup- on top of the pattie sliced kosher dills- top bun, mustard.
            Once and awhile either raw or fried onions, bacon, lettuce and hot pepper rings.
            Stay away from relish and mayo spreads, makes it a sloppy mess.
            Last edited by smokin fool; July 13, 2021, 10:24 AM.

            Comment


            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              Do you recommend real hamburger meat or ……..😂
              Don’t worry, I ain’t bringing up that s… for a looong time.

            • smokin fool
              smokin fool commented
              Editing a comment
              Dude, yer killin me

            • tRidiot
              tRidiot commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree.... the smashburger can change your life. It changed my life and my family's life. And our friends' lives...

              Now everyone wants to know when I'm doing smashburgers next!

            #15
            I reverse sear my burgers…perfect every time

            Comment


            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              +1 The smoke flavor adds a lot to the burger. Been doing mine that way for years.

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