Ultimate Smashed Burgers: Juicy, Crispy, and Irresistible

Best Homemade Classic Smashed Burgers Recipe

Discover the secret to making incredibly juicy smashed burgers with a deeply caramelized crust that will have your taste buds dancing. This classic recipe breaks all the rules in the best way possible!

Forget everything you’ve heard about never pressing down on your burgers. We’re about to unleash flavor like you’ve never experienced before. Get ready to join the smashed burger revolution!

The Science Behind Smashed Burger Magic

The key to these mouthwatering burgers lies in the Maillard reaction – a complex series of chemical reactions that occurs when proteins are exposed to high heat. This process creates hundreds of new flavor compounds, resulting in that irresistible browned crust and intensely beefy taste.

By smashing the patty, we maximize contact with the hot cooking surface. This leads to more browning, more flavor development, and a juicier interior. It’s a win-win-win situation for your taste buds!

Timing is Everything

The trick to retaining juiciness while achieving the perfect crust is to smash the burger within the first 30 seconds of cooking. At this stage, the fat is still solid and the meat’s juices are locked within the muscle fibers. Smash early, smash firmly, and prepare for burger bliss.

Three Golden Rules for Smashed Burger Success

Rule 1: Choose Your Skillet Wisely

Opt for a heavy-bottomed stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron skillet. These materials provide steady, even heat distribution crucial for developing that coveted crust.

Rule 2: Smash Early and Smash Hard

Use a sturdy metal spatula to press down firmly on the meat puck as soon as it hits the hot skillet. Don’t be shy – really lean into it!

Rule 3: Leave No Crust Behind

When flipping, make sure to scrape up every bit of that flavorful crust. It’s burger gold, and you don’t want to waste a single morsel.

Classic Smashed Burgers Recipe


  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 16 to 20 ounces (455g to 570g) ground beef, divided into four 4-ounce portions (see notes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cheese slices (if desired)
  • Four toasted burger buns
  • Toppings and condiments, as desired


  1. Prepare your skillet by adding oil and wiping it around with a paper towel. Set it over medium heat and let it preheat for about 5 minutes. While waiting, gently shape each portion of ground beef into a cylindrical puck about 2 inches tall. Season generously on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Crank up the heat to high and wait for the skillet to start smoking. Add 2 beef pucks and immediately press down hard with a stiff metal spatula until they’re about 4 to 4 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. For extra smashing power, use a second spatula to apply pressure on top of the first.
  3. Let the patties sizzle undisturbed until a glorious golden-brown crust forms, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using the edge of your spatula, carefully scrape and flip each patty, making sure to capture all those delicious browned bits. If you’re adding cheese, now’s the time!
  4. Cook for about 30 seconds longer for medium-rare perfection. Transfer your masterpieces to toasted buns, add your favorite toppings, and prepare for burger nirvana. Clean the skillet with a paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining beef pucks.

Pro Tips for Burger Perfection

For the ultimate flavor experience, ask your butcher to freshly grind beef for you, or grind it yourself at home. A blend of short rib, brisket, and chuck or oxtail meat will elevate your burgers to gourmet status. If grinding at home, proper care of your meat grinder is crucial.

For best results, cook only two patties at a time in a 12-inch skillet. If you’re working with a smaller skillet, cook one patty at a time for optimal crust formation.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
443 Calories
24g Fat
26g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 443
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 885mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 112mg 9%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 427mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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