The Smash Burger

The Smash Burger…really, its should be called a Smash Cheeseburger, but, let’s move on.

This long-time, O.G. diner method of cooking a burger is still the best method. It’s a purist burger-lover’s burger. Nothing added to the GB except S&P. Only a couple condiments. Basically, you take 4-ounces of 80/20 ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat), very loosely shaped it into a ball. This step is very important, do not compress the meat, leave it loose. After seasoning all over with S&P, place it on a very hot flat griddle or cast-iron skillet with a small amount of canola oil. With a rigid spatula or meat press, smash the burger down to about 3/8-inch. Let it cook until you start to see moisture appearing on the surface of the patty. Don’t move it around or peak! Now flip the burger and let it cook for about a minute. You’re aiming for that jagged, crispy edge on the patty that adds so much flavor. Add a slice of American cheese (of course, you could use a different cheese, but that would be against the law in some states). Let it cook about 1 1/2 minutes longer as the cheese melts. Lightly butter a small potato bun or brioche bun. Make sure it’s a small bun as you don’t want to overwhelm the taste of the beef. Griddle the bun until golden brown and dark brown around the edges. The build order is below as is the all-important burger sauce recipe and minimal condiments. Let’s go!


  • 1-lb good 80/20 ground chuck (this makes 4 burgers)
  • 4-small brioche or potato buns
  • Unsalted butter
  • canola oil
  • Burger sauce (recipe follows)
  • 4-slices American cheese
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Crispy onions (I use French’s or you can make your own)
  • Whole mayonnaise


  • After griddling your patties as described above, build the burger in the following order from top to bottom: BUN, BURGER SAUCE, CRISPY ONIONS, SHREDDED ICEBERG, 3-4 DILL PICKLE SLICES, AMERICAN CHEESE SLICE, BURGER PATTY, MAYONNAISE, BUN.
  • Burger sauce recipe: 1/4 cup whole mayonnaise, 2-tbsp ketchup, 2-tbsp dill pickle relish plus 1-tsp juice, 1-tbsp Sriracha, S&P. Mix all in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • A few reminders: Make sure you leave the ground beef ball loose. For a nicely browned surface, don’t touch the patty until it is ready to flip. Let the cheese melt. Use 80/20 ground chuck. Use small buns. Don’t skimp on the burger sauce. Make sure the griddle is very hot. Serve immediately!