This smash burger recipe creates a tender juicy burger right in your skillet. Within minutes you'll have the best cheeseburger with crispy edges and a toasty bun ready to feed your family!
Smash burgers taste so good because they are cooked in their own juices which creates a signature crispy edge and a ton of flavor. This recipe is so easy and fast that you'll be amazed at how little effort results in so much deliciousness! These are my kids' favorite burgers, and quite possibly Ben's, too.
What is in a smash burger?
A smash burger is simply ground beef smashed in a hot skillet. This skillet can be on the stove top or your grill. We do both depending on the day! The only items you need to make smash burgers are beef, seasoning (salt and pepper), cheese, and your buns with toppings! Gather these ingredients:
Grocery List for Smash Burgers
- Ground chuck (80/20)
- Hamburger buns (potato buns are the best!)
- American cheese slices
- Seasoned salt and pepper
- Optional toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, burger sauce, mayo, etc.)
- Butter (for toasting the buns)
What are your favorite burger toppings? I'm simple and like mine with a sliced tomato, lettuce and mayo. Some days I might do it up with crispy bacon and grilled onions, or sauteed mushrooms. If you have a favorite burger sauce recipe, send it my way. I'm on the hunt for a great one!
There were so many times we would grill a burger on the grates only to turn out a dry, flavorless patty. I had often wondered how to make burgers juicy? The trick is to not let all the juice fall between the grates, but instead let the meat cook in its own fat. No, this might not be the healthiest burger, but I can guarantee it's much more delicious!
How to make smash burgers
It is so simple to make these skillet burgers. You only need a large pan, nonstick helps but cast iron rubbed with oil is great. Use either your stove top or your grill.
- Season ground beef with seasoned salt.
- Shape meat loosely into ¼lb rounds.
- Heat pan (and oil if not using nonstick).
- Place meat rounds onto hot skillet and smash with spatula or meat press.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and place cheese slice on each.
- Cook about 1 minute more until cheese is melted.
- Transfer to toasted buns and serve with desired toppings.
Click here for full recipe ingredients and instructions.
Before you cook the patties, you will want to toast the buns. Trust me, don't skip toasting your buns! It's simple to do. Just brush each bun (top and bottom) with a thin layer of butter and place on the hot skillet for about 1 minute. Again, do this BEFORE cooking your burgers because you want the buns ready!
Do I need a burger press?
You do not need a burger press to make these smash burgers. Although they're helpful, they're not absolutely necessary. You can get the job done with your basic spatula. That's what I use, even though I do have a burger press on my wishlist. Some day I'll get one, but I'm in no rush to have yet another tool taking up space in my kitchen.
American cheese is the only way to go with these. It's the most melty cheese and lends to the traditional American cheeseburger taste. Some claim the sliced cheese from the deli department is best, but I am just fine with the good ol' single wrapped kind that is ALWAYS in my fridge.
Of course, if you want to create other versions, feel free to use any cheese that suits! Maybe try a slice of Swiss with sauteed mushrooms? Pepper jack with crispy bacon and jalapenos. The possibilities are endless!
What to serve with smash burgers
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 tablespoon butter (more or less, as needed)
- 1 lb. ground chuck beef (80/20)
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (more or less, to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 4 slices American cheese
- desired toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, mayo, etc.)
- Heat large nonstick skillet (or cast iron skillet brushed with oil) over medium-high heat. Spread thin layer of butter on inside of buns and toast in skillet (butter side down) until lightly browned; set aside.
- Season meat with 1 teaspoon season salt and loosely shape into 4 equal rounds (do not overwork). Add rounds to the hot skillet (leave room to smash). Smash with a heavy spatula until thin then sprinkle with additional seasoned salt and pepper. Do not reshape or round the edges. Cook 2 to 4 minutes without touching. Flip and immediately add cheese. Cook 1 to 2 more minutes until cheese is melted.
- Transfer patties to toasted buns and layer with desired toppings.
- If you like a well-done burger, let the patty cook for 1 minute after flipping before adding the cheese. Then add cheese and let cook until melted.
- Nutritional information in an estimate only, without toppings.