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Love Smash Burgers but Miss the Kiss of Smoke? Kenji to the Rescue!

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    Love Smash Burgers but Miss the Kiss of Smoke? Kenji to the Rescue!

    I'll be trying this technique for sure.

    Thin but Juicy Char-Grilled Burgers Recipe - NYT Cooking (nytimes.com)

    Detail behind the recipe:
    A More Flavorful Burger Recipe - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

    Let us know how it goes!


    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment

    I pre-smash my smashburgers between two squares of parchment paper, pre-cut (comes in a box). It says "waxed" on the box but it is not like wax paper, it's like parchment paper.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	51jE1r6crHL._SL1000_.jpg Views:	0 Size:	37.6 KB ID:	1066297

    Then I season and store them in the fridge until I'm ready for them. Fridge storage is particularly important for the waygu ground beef that I purchase because the fat softens quickly at room temp.

    I like this pre-smashing step because I got tired of smashing over a hot griddle with grease popping on my hand and arm and the burger sometimes sticking to the smasher (spatula or round burger smasher) in the process, even if the smasher is oiled. Once I tried parchment paper between the smasher and the meat on the griddle. Duh. You can imagine. The paper caught fire immediately.

    I like using the parchment squares because I can use them to help transfer the meat to the grates/griddle without my hands getting all greasy. I'm pretty snappy about doing that, and I've never caught the paper on fire that way, BTW.

    I like Kenji's method of pre-smashing the burgers 4 at a time with two cookie sheets and parchment paper. I would, after smashing and seasoning, cut the parchment into 4ths so each burger can be handled separately as they are put on the griddle/grill. He removes the burgers from the parchment paper as he puts them on the grill, from the looks of it. I would keep the parchment on one side to help transfer them to the hot grill/griddle.

    Sounds like Kenji needs to be introduced to Grill Grates or a Grill Grate Griddle, though.

    Last edited by fzxdoc; July 25, 2021, 09:27 AM.


    • das85
      das85 commented
      Editing a comment
      Even better! Thanks for posting, will give this a try.

    I’ve been saying this for a couple years now; maybe Kenji is lurking here?

    Simpler: form the balls of meat. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on a paper plate, and roll the ball around in it until it is well coated. Smash it flat with another paper plate. Remove it to your holding platter, and repeat. You can get four patties in before you need new paper plates (they get sticky).


      For those who prefer visual over paywall print: How to Grill Burgers (That are Big on Flavor, Not in Volume) | Kenji's Cooking Show - YouTube


      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice video, especially at 1.5 playback speed. Thanks!


      • FireMan
        FireMan commented
        Editing a comment
        Dripping fat on the coals, delicious cancer & reasonably sized burger! All important points!

      • Michael_in_TX
        Michael_in_TX commented
        Editing a comment
        I really like Kenji's table for his Kettle. Hmm....I might be able to fabricate something like that....

      I don’t know. I guess there are different techniques for different people. What ever works best for you is what you should use.

      My wife and I like the smashing little meat balls into the griddle method. We learned this method a LONG time ago from a place called White Manna in Hackensack NJ (https://www.whitemanna.com). I’ve been going there with my wife for 30+ years and she’s been going there for 50+ years, long before this current smashburger/slider craze.

      They (and we) put the meat balls on the griddle and smash the meat onto he griddle with sliced white onions on top of the meat using an unslotted spatula. Flip them once, put on the cheese, then put the top of the roll (Martins potato) on the cheese and the bottom of the roll slightly offset on top and cover with wax paper for a couple minutes so the rolls absorb some steam and get a little moist. Then take off the wax paper and the bottom roll, use the spatula to take the meat and roll top off the griddle, put the roll bottom under the spatula and slide out the spatula and you’ve assembled your little burger. Add pickles and ketchup and you’re ready to eat. Delicious!
      Last edited by kjbarth; July 25, 2021, 12:10 PM.


      • pkadare
        pkadare commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, that's how you make smash burgers, I do the same without the onions. This is simply a different process that creates a thin burger which you cook over charcoal. So not a smash burger but a thin burger with some flavour from the charcoal. This is not intended to replace smash burgers, just another method to make delicious burgers.


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