A smash burger, also known as a smashburger or smashed burger, is a type of hamburger that is made by flattening a ball of ground beef with a spatula or other flat cooking implement onto a hot griddle or skillet. The result is a burger that has a crispy, seared crust on the outside and a juicy, flavorful center.
Why are Smash Burgers Better?
Smash burgers are considered to be better because of their crispy, caramelized exterior and juicy interior. This is achieved by flattening the beef patty quickly and aggressively with a flat metal spatula, creating a larger surface area for Maillard reaction (browning) to occur. Additionally, the high heat and quick cooking time helps to lock in the beef’s natural juices, resulting in a flavorful and juicy burger.
History of the Smash Burger
The origins of the smash burger can be traced back to the early 20th century, when hamburgers first became popular in the United States. At the time, hamburgers were often cooked on a griddle or skillet, and the patty was flattened with a spatula to increase surface area and promote even cooking. However, it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that the term “smash burger” began to be widely used, with the first “Smashburger” restaurant opening in Denver, Colorado in 2007.
Smash Burger Techniques
One of the key techniques to making a great smash burger is to start with high-quality beef. Ground chuck, which is made from the shoulder of the cow, is a popular choice because it has a high fat content, which helps to keep the burger juicy and flavorful.
When making a smash burger, the beef is shaped into a ball and then placed on a hot griddle or skillet. The patty is then pressed down with a spatula, which helps to create a crispy crust and also causes the juices to be released, resulting in a juicy and flavorful burger.
Another important technique is to use a hot griddle or skillet. A cast iron skillet is a popular choice because it can withstand high heat and it helps to create a crispy crust on the burger. The griddle or skillet should be preheated to at least 350°F (175°C) before cooking the burgers.
Toppings and Condiments
Smash burgers are typically topped with traditional hamburger toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. Some popular condiments include ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and pickles.
Bun is also an important part of the burger. A traditional burger bun is a good choice, but some people prefer a more substantial bun, such as a brioche bun, which is more substantial and holds up well to the juices from the burger.
Variations of the Smash Burger
There are many variations of the smash burger, including: -The Classic Smashburger: A classic smash burger typically includes lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, and a special sauce. -The Spicy Smashburger: A spicy version of the smash burger includes toppings such as jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and a spicy sauce. -The Mushroom Swiss Smashburger: This variation includes sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. -The BBQ Smashburger: This version is topped with BBQ sauce, crispy onions, and cheddar cheese. -The Veggie Smashburger: A veggie burger patty made with a variety of vegetables and grains is used instead of beef patty.
A smash burger is a delicious and satisfying burger that is made by flattening a ball of ground beef onto a hot griddle or skillet. The result is a burger with a crispy, seared crust on the outside and a juicy, flavorful center. The key to making a great smash burger is to use high-quality beef, a hot griddle or skillet, and the right toppings and condiments. With so many variations to choose from, the possibilities are endless.