Smash Burgers (with a Secret Sauce)

By Polly Conner
March 30, 2021

These Smash Burgers rival any fast food chain. When grilled correctly, the edges are perfectly crispy and the middle is still juicy and flavorful. The addition of our secret sauce truly takes them to the next level. Serve on a potato bun or brioche bun which will soak up the juice. If you really want to go ALL IN on a burger, this is your recipe!

Smash burger with toppings on a brioche bun

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What IS a Smash Burger?

A smash burger is a burger that has been formed by giving it a good smash on the griddle when cooking. Smash burgers are popular in burger joints because they cook really fast and are extremely juicy with gorgeous, crisp edges. Think: Freddy’s, Steak and Shake, or In and Out Burger. Because of their thin nature, we recommending serving 2 patties on each bun.

What Ingredients do I Need?

Guys, these are simple.

Like, REALLY simple.

Ingredients for the Burger:

  • Ground beef – A higher fat percentage is preferable. I’d go with an 80% lean.
  • Seasoned salt – We use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.
  • Cheddar cheese slices – Optional, but if you’re going for it (which you are with this recipe), you might as well go for the cheese, too.
  • Bun – You’ll want to use a lighter bread like a brioche bun or potato bun. Make sure you toast them, too!
  • Toppings – This is really up to you! You could top with lettuce, tomato slices, and cooked bacon. I highly recommend using our Secret Sauce below, too!

Ingredients for the Secret Sauce

  • Mayonaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Pickle juice
  • Chopped pickle

So, basically all of the great things that go on a burger are combined to make a delicious sauce. Yum!

Hand holding a smash burger

What Equipment Do I Need to Make a Smash Burger?

This smash burger recipe is made on the grill. However, you can for sure make it in a skillet as well. Either way, you are going to need some sort of cast iron to cook them on and something firm to press down on it. Here are a few options:

My husband has a Kamado Joe, so he got a reversible cast iron griddle like in the picture below.

Smash burger on the grill

The second piece of equipment you’ll need is a burger press.

If you really want to do it right, I’d use a cast iron press with NO ridge around the edge. That way you can really press that meat out flat. We made the mistake of getting one with a ridge around the edge which prevented us from smashing it as much as we wanted.

Tip: If burgers are sticking to your press, spray it with cooking spray or place a piece of parchment between the meat and press. My husband prefers the parchment paper option.

Burger press on top of a ground beef patty

Can I Freeze Smash Burgers?

Yes! I almost always double and freeze burger recipes. Making freezer meals will save you lots of time and money in the long run. Not to mention the great feeling of having a freezer stocked up with amazing freezer meals!

Freeze For Later: Season the ground beef with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and mix it in gently by hand. Loosely roll ground beef into golf ball sized meat balls. You should have 10-12 meat balls when you’re done. Place them in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze.

To Prepare: Let ground beef safely thaw using one of these methods. Cook according to recipe.

Smash burgers prepared for the freezer

What Should I Serve with Smash Burgers?

Side dish options for burgers are fun and easy! To help you get you started, here are some ideas:

Smash burger on a plate with toppings
Print

Smash Burgers

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 burger patties (56 servings) 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the Burgers:

  • 2 pounds 80/20 lean ground beef 
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)
  • 1012 slices cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 56 potato buns or brioche buns, toasted

For the Secret Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle

Instructions

How to Make on the Grill

  1. In a large bowl, use your hands to gently combine the ground beef and seasoned salt. 
  2. Loosely scoop and roll the meat mixture into golf ball size portions. You should create 10-12 meat balls from 2 pounds of meat. 
  3. Pre-heat the grill to 400°F with the cast iron on the grill as it pre-heats. Brush with avocado oil. (See stovetop directions below.)
  4. Working in batches if needed, place the meat balls on the hot griddle and smash flat using a cast iron press to form 4″-diameter patties (craggy edges are your friend). (Tip: If burgers are sticking to your press, spray it with cooking spray or place a piece of parchment between the meat and press.)
  5. Cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes and then flip. 
  6. Add a cheese slice to each patty, if desired, and cook for about 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Serve 2 patties per toasted bun with a drizzle of our Secret Sauce and/or your favorite burger toppings.

How to Make on the Stove

Follow Steps 1-2. Brush a 12-inch cast iron pan with oil and set it over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes to pre-heat. Set two portions on opposite sides in the skillet and firmly press down on them with a cast iron press (or large metal spatula) until they are about 4 inches wide. Cook the patties, undisturbed, until the outer edges are dark caramel brown. Flip the burgers and cook 1 minute. Add cheese and cook until desired doneness, about 1 more minute for medium-well. Follow Step 7.

Freeze For Later: Season the ground beef with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and mix it in gently by hand. Loosely roll ground beef into golf ball sized meat balls. You should have 10-12 meat balls when you’re done. Place them in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Let ground beef safely thaw using one of these methods. Follow Steps 3-7.

Smash burger on a plate with secret sauce

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