Double Patty Smashburger
Prep time: 30 minutes (inactive and optional, but recommended)
Cook time: 7 minutes
There are people that like burgers and then there are burger nerds. For this post, I had my burger nerd friend over to cook. Guest cooks rule!
Our goal? To recreate the Burgers Never Say Die burger.
Why? Because those burgers are straightforward, delicious, and as of this post, only available in Glendale, CA for a few hours on Sundays.
Ideally you are using a griddle and not a skillet. The biggest benefit of a griddle is that there are no pan sides preventing you from smashing the shit out of each patty. The griddle should also allow you to cook at least four patties at a time.
Unfortunately, the cast iron griddle didn't make it to this burger party. I'll just say it was a logistics issue that had something to do with a trip to Mexico and a train delay. We improvised with a large skillet.
Next you need something flat to smash with. The heavier and wider the spatula the better. We used a Smashula. Seriously, I wasn't kidding about that burger-nerd friend thing.
Now, the cheese. American cheese melts great. Definitely make one with American cheese – it is classic. It also looks great in photos. American cheese will also stay good in your refrigerator for 6 months according to the expiration date on the package we used. That's a good thing... right?
If you want an alternative to American cheese, try Colby Jack. It still has a lot of some orange color and it melts nicely. I do not recommend cheddar cheese because it doesn't melt very quickly and just doesn't look as appealing on a smashburger.
Whatever you do, don't call it a flatburger.
This recipe is for eight smashburgers. For four smashburgers, divide the number of potato rolls, pickle chips, slices of cheese and the amount of ground beef by the number two.
Plan on two smashburgers per person.
- 8 potato rolls
- 2 pounds of ground beef (80/20)
- 16 pickle slices
- 16 slices of cheese (pick one type)
- colby jack
- condiments (choose two, but not two mayos)
- yellow mustard
- spicy mayonaisse
- freshly ground black pepper
- neutral oil (grapeseed or vegetable)
Mise en place
(Set yourself up for success before you start cooking)
- Take the beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to cook. If you choose to skip this step, you will just need to spend more time "texturizing" the meat (see Step 1)
- I also like to take my pickles, cheese and condiments out of the fridge at least 30 minutes ahead of time so that they aren't cold.
Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Now we need to texturize the meat for 60 seconds. The goal is to get "jagged points" in the ground beef because we don't want a smooth patty. Use an ice cream scoop (or a large spoon) to break apart the meat. The idea is to put the spoon in the meat and gently turn and lift the spoon. The jagged points will lead to more crispy brown bits on each patty, which results in a more flavorful smashburger. The burger nerd told me very matter-of-factly that this is the Shake Shack Theory.
If you are working with ground meat that you just took out of the refrigerator, spend two full minutes texturizing.
Place a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat. If using a skillet, it needs to be big enough so that you can smash down at least two patties. Since these are double patty burgers, only cook an even number of patties at one time.
Place a medium size skillet on medium low heat. This one needs to be big enough to hold the bun, cut sides down.
Add oil to the large skillet/griddle. Add some butter to the medium sized skillet. Once the butter has started to melt, toast the bun cut side down.
Take two, 2-ounce scoops of meat. Place them in the pan and smash them down as flat as you can with a metal spatula. Let me repeat the flat as you can part because it is important. Now season with salt and pepper and cook for two minutes. We are looking for the meat to be cooked up the thin sides of the patty, and at two minutes we should be there.
Check on the bun. If it is browning turn the heat down to low. We do not want to burn the bun.
Flip each patty over and season with salt and pepper. Top each patty with a slice of cheese and cook for 1 minute. If you are using America cheese add it after 30 seconds – it melts really fast.
Plating! Place the bun on a plate. Stack the patties on the bun. Add two condiments to the top side of the bun. Use one pickle slice to spread the condiments. Lay that slice and another pickle slice on top of the condiments.
Repeat starting at step 4 until you have made all 8 burgers. Only add oil or butter as needed. You may want to wipe your burger skillet/griddle so that any bits that are left behind don't start to burn and smoke.