Make the perfect smashburger — a thin beef patty with a caramelized, crispy crust, topped with cheese and all the trimmings — at home! All you need is your hob!

The Smashburger was made famous by a fast-casual hamburger restaurant chain of the same name that was founded in Denver, Colorado.

I live in Denver and have been working on my homemade smashburger for years, and even made a version on my own blog a few years ago. However, this recipe is officially my favorite way to make a homemade burger, especially if you don’t have access to a grill.

Smashburgers can be topped as you like, but the classic consists of a homemade smash sauce (a mayo-and-mustard-based topping) along with American cheese, tomatoes, red onions, and lettuce.

Trust me when I say that once you start making these, you’re firmly on Team Smashburger. They are the best!

What is a smash burger?

The idea behind a smashburger is that instead of letting a big, greasy burger languish on the grill to cook, you place the burger meat in a roasting hot skillet or griddle and smash it while it cooks for the first few seconds. The combination of heat and pressure results in a crispy and well-browned burger that cooks very quickly.

The smashburger is cooked over high heat with lots of pressure, which helps the beef develop a deep, rich crust. The browning process that takes place is officially known as the Maillard reaction. The end result is delicious caramelized flavor and a burger that cooks quickly and doesn’t dry out.

Bonus: The burger is pressed early in the cooking process so you don’t end up with football burgers, you know what I’m talking about – the shrunken burgers with a bulge in the middle.

The difficult part of making smashburgers at home is also a result of this Maillard reaction. You want a hot skillet that produces quite a bit of sizzling, steam, and smoke as it browns quickly in butter. You’re going to want to crank up every stovetop fan you have. I even open a window or two when cooking these at home to aid in airflow and prevent fire alarms from going off! It’s getting smoky!

The best beef for a smashburger

The best beef for a Smashburger is ground beef, which should have a fat content in the 15 to 20 percent range.

Using higher fat beef is good because as the fat melts, it will further caramelize the burger as it cooks. Besides, fat is taste! You can use a leaner cut if you can’t find one, but it’s worth asking your butcher to grind up something fresh if you can.

Perfect is the enemy of good. Any ground beef will caramelize nicely using this smash method. You can even use plant-based meat with decent results if you smash it like this.

How to make a smashburger

To make a smashburger, divide your beef into four loosely packed balls. I wouldn’t do without a scale. If you consider four loosely packed spheres, they will be of similar size. You’re buying a pound of meat for this recipe, so each burger should weigh four ounces. It ends up being a nice thin patty. Season the outside of your meatball with the burger seasoning mix.

Heat your cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Don’t use a non-stick skillet for this, as it won’t give the burger a good crust. Add some butter and spread it all around. It’s starting to brown, which is okay.

Place the meatballs in the pan and immediately apply pressure. The best way to do this at home is to wrap a second smaller pan in foil and press the beef balls firmly until very flat and sizzling, about 10 seconds at a time. Repeat with all burgers. If you don’t have a smaller pan to press down on, don’t worry. Just use a spatula.

Then allow the burgers to cook for another 60-90 seconds until the juice starts bubbling through the burgers. Season again with a pinch of burger seasoning and turn the burgers with a sturdy metal spatula. Be sure to scrape under the burger to ensure you get all the crispy bits.

Add cheese and cook for another minute or two.

Serve the smashburger immediately!

How to make smash sauce and other toppings

Smash Sauce is a classic burger sauce. I make my version with mayo, mustard, a squirt of pickle juice, and finely diced pickles. It’s a burger sauce!

Also, prep any other toppings you would like before preparing the burgers. They cook so quickly that you don’t have to worry about chopping tomatoes while you’ve already cooked the burgers.

Other ways to dress up a Smashburger

The burger is really the star of the show here, so I like to keep my toppings minimal, but you can spice up the burgers with all sorts of toppings if you like. Here are a few ideas:

  • Fry the mushrooms and use Swiss cheese instead of American cheese
  • Add roasted poblano chiles and pepper jack cheese and a slice of avocado
  • Skip the smash sauce and use a good thick BBQ sauce with crunchy onions

More great burger recipes!

  • Nacho Burger
  • Juicy Lucy burger
  • Bacon Cheeseburger
  • Swiss mushroom burger
  • Blue Cheese Burger


preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
10 mins

total time
15 minutes

4 servings

4 burgers

Smashburgers cook pretty quickly, so make sure all of your toppings are ready, including the burger sauce, before you start cooking.


For the copycat smash sauce

  • 1/4 Cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoon pickle juice

  • 1 tablespoon rolled pickle

For the burger seasoning mix

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt

For the smash burger

  • 1 lb 80/20 bottom lining

  • 4 Potato Hamburger Buns

  • 2 tablespoon butterdivided

For the toppings

  • 1/2 head green leaf lettucewashed and dried

  • 1 Middle tomatocut

  • 1/2 Middle Red onioncut

  • 6 slices american cheese


  1. Make the copycat smash sauce:

    In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, and diced pickles. Set aside until ready to assemble your burgers.

  2. Make the burger seasoning mix:

    In another small bowl, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, and seasoned salt.

  3. Prepare burgers:

    Divide the ground beef loosely into four even balls. Season the beefballs with 1/8 teaspoon burger seasoning mix. Don’t worry about covering them completely. You can add more spices during cooking.

  4. Prepare Smashburger:

    Wrap a heavy skillet (cast iron works well) with some foil, you will use this to batter the burgers. I use a smaller 8 inch cast iron skillet, but any smaller size will work.

    Turn on the fan above the stove and open a window to help air flow.

    In a large skillet or griddle (I don’t recommend non-stick), add 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the beef meatballs.

    Place the foil-wrapped skillet or spatula over the beef meatballs and smash into flat discs. Mash each burger for 10 seconds, one at a time, applying a lot of pressure. Repeat until all burgers are smashed.

  5. Season the burger with more mix and continue cooking:

    Season the smashburgers with another 1/8 teaspoon burger seasoning mix. Let them cook for about 90 seconds until the juices start to ooze out of the burger. Use a sturdy metal spatula to flip the burgers, being careful to remove any caramelization.

  6. Add cheese to the burgers:

    After flipping the burgers, add cheese (I like 1 1/2 slices per burger) and continue cooking 2-3 minutes until burgers are at desired doneness, usually medium. The burger is so thin that you don’t have to control the temperature. It’s done when the outside of the burger is well caramelized. You can continue cooking for an additional 30 seconds if you want a very well done burger.

  7. Toast burger buns:

    While the burgers cook, toast the buns. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the buns, cut-side down, and toast for 30 seconds until golden. Repeat until all buns are toasted. If you have a griddle, you can toast the buns alongside the burgers.

  8. Assemble and serve the Smashburger:

    Create a smashburger by adding some sauce, about 1 tablespoon, to the bottom of the burger bun. Pour lettuce over the sauce, then add a smashburger and finally top with sliced ​​red onions and tomatoes. Continue until all of the Smashburgers are assembled.

    Serve immediately with fries and a cold drink.

nutritional information (per serving)
728 calories
45g Fat
36g carbohydrates
43g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!