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Smash Burgers

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Smash Burgers are my latest obsession! Thin, charred, flavorful beef patties with melted cheese and all the fixings of a perfect burger are sandwiched between two buttery buns.

A smash burger is placed on a wooden cutting board next to some fries.

Smash burgers are pretty much everywhere right now, and it’s not hard to understand why! This is a food trend I have a feeling will stick around for quite some time, until it becomes a real staple in American cuisine for years to come. I mean, it’s essentially just an all-American burger, just with thin patties and buttery buns!

Why are they called smash burgers? Well, the name isn’t really very creative. When you cook the patties, you press down hard on them to create the best thin shape – essentially, you’re smashing them! If you have little hands running around the house, they’ll probably love helping you press these burgers. After all, don’t all kids crave some form of smashing things?

The buns are pretty mouthwatering all by themselves here. After being generously buttered up, I like to toast mine until they have a slight crunch to them. They’re soft, buttery, and just crisped up enough to add some texture to each bite. Between the notably buttery buns, smashed and seasoned patties, and gooey cheese, there’s a whole lot to love in these easy to make burgers!

Two burgers are on a wooden cutting board with fries, sliced tomatoes, and extra buns placed next to them.

What You’ll Need:

  • Ground Beef – I used 80/20 ground beef and had great results.
  • Butter – Go ahead, use salted butter for a little extra flavor!
  • Buns – Brioche hamburger buns are the best for this recipe.
  • Seasonings – A medley of seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder are what give the patties their mouthwatering flavor.
  • Cheese – You can use any cheese you’d like! Both cheddar and American cheese taste great in these burgers.
Pickles, tomatoes, and fries are placed next to two smash burgers.

How to Make Smash Burgers

For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Prepare the patties. Divide the ground beef into 8 balls, then refrigerate them.

Toast the buns. Butter the buns generously, then place them cut side down on your frying pan. Cook over medium heat until toasted. You can also bake them at 350°F for 5 minutes, if preferred.

Smash the patties. Place a ball of meat on a heated frying pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over the ball and use a spatula to hold it flat. Press down to create a thin patty, then season the meat.

Cook the patties. Cook the patties for about 2-4 minutes per side.

Add cheese. Add a slice of cheese to each patty as soon as they’re done cooking, that way the cheese melts over the hot burgers.

Enjoy! Place the cheesy smashed patties between two buttery, toasted buns with all of your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Two smashed burger patties with cheese are between two buns, with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Common Questions:

How long will smash burgers stay fresh? In an airtight container in the fridge, any leftover patties you have will stay fresh for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating them back in the pan, not the microwave!

I always add eggs or other binders to homemade burgers – doesn’t this recipe need them? No, if you have chilled meat pressed onto a hot pan, it will not fall apart. I haven’t used eggs in my burgers in a long time. And the flavor is amazing!  

I don’t have a cast iron frying pan – will these still work? Yes, use the frying pan you have, just make sure it is hot when you add the meat, and don’t crowd the pan. Or make these on a griddle!

I usually make burgers by adding the seasoning into the meat – will that work with this recipe? I find that the best burgers are made with as little handling of the meat as possible. When you mix spices into the meat, your burgers will not be as tender. You’ll want to sprinkle some on after you’ve pressed the meat.

How can I be sure that my beef is fully cooked? In order to be safe to eat,  beef burgers must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.  

How do I know when to flip the patty? You’ll know the patty is ready to flip when juices begin to pool on top of the patty.

Is there an easy sauce to add to these burgers? Sure – you could mix  ⅓ cup mayonnaise with 2 Tablespoons barbeque sauce, or ⅓ mayonnaise with 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard. Or check out all the sauces I have here.

Two cheesy patties are stacked and are being removed from the frying pan.

Sink your teeth into more of my favorite burgers!

Turkey Spinach and Feta Burgers

Bulgogi Kimchi Burger

Lemongrass Pork Burgers

Hot Pepper Garlic Chorizo Cheeseburger

Smash Burgers

Sink your teeth into these smash burgers that are perfectly juicy and tender!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 double burgers
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 2 pounds (907 g) 80/20 ground beef
  • ¼ cup (57 g) of salted butter, melted
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning salt
  • Pepper – to taste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 8 slices cheese

Optional Garnishes:

  • Sliced tomatoes, sliced purple onions, shredded lettuce, dill pickles, etc.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.


  • Divide the ground beef into 8 equal portions. Gently shape each portion into a ball. (Handle the meat as little as possible.) Place the balls onto a plate or cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (The meat will stick together better if it goes onto the grill hot.)
  • Prepare pieces of parchment paper to use while smashing the burgers.
  • Next, you may choose to toast the burger buns. Butter them generously. Then either place them cut side down on a grill or frying pan and cook over medium heat until they are toasted. Or, place the buttered bun cut side up on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until toasted.
  • Heat a cast iron frying pan to medium high heat. Then place one of the balls of meat into the pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over the ball and use a spatula to hold it flat on the ball and press down hard on the spatula (use a meat mallet or meat press) to create a thin patty. Once you remove the parchment paper, sprinkle on a little seasoning salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (to taste, I use a sprinkle of each).
  • Add and press balls but do not crowd the pan. You will need to do a couple of batches. (Do not crowd the patties or they will steam rather than grill.)
  • Cook the patties for 2-4 minutes or until charred and brown on bottom (the patties are ready to flip when the juices begin pooling on top.) Do not disturb, move, poke, or flatten the patties while they are cooking. The only time you will move them is when you flip them. Flip them over (make sure to scrape up the browned bits from the pan) and allow to cook for another 2-4 minutes (or until cooked to your desired doneness.)
  • Add a slice of cheese to every patty as you remove the burgers from the grill so the cheese melts over the hot burgers.
  • Place the burgers on the buns and add whatever optional garnishes you prefer.

Recipe Notes

Leftover burgers may be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.


Serving: 1 double burger | Calories: 1292 kcal | Carbohydrates: 45 g | Protein: 63 g | Fat: 95 g | Saturated Fat: 46 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27 g | Trans Fat: 3 g | Cholesterol: 391 mg | Sodium: 4486 mg | Potassium: 742 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: burger recipe, grilled burgers, grilling recipe
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