Prep Beef Patties In A Waffle Iron For Crispy And Easy Smash Burgers

Smashing foods is all the rage right now, and burgers are no exception. In fact, burgers may be one of the most popular foods leading the trend. Cooking your patties this way means they stew in their own juices while the meat browns, which leads to more succulent burgers. It also increases the surface area where a charred crust can form. The typical method for making smash burgers involves using a grill press or spatula to flatten your patty while cooking it in a pan on the stove. If you go this route, you'll typically need to flip and smash again. But, to skip a couple of steps (and dirty dishes), substitute your skillet for a waffle iron.

When you use a waffle maker for its primary purpose, you're already sandwiching a batter between two hot griddles (that leave grill-like grid marks), so why not do the same thing with burger meat? If you use this device instead of the typical method, you can bypass the manual smashing (because the waffle iron will do it for you) while achieving the same effect. Plus, using a waffle iron in general is far more hands-off than turning on the stove.

How to make a smash burger using a waffle iron

So, how do you go from a freshly formed patty to a crispy, yet juicy burger using only your waffle iron? You'll want to start out with fairly thin patties to make your waffle maker's job as easy as possible, though you can form balls instead if you'd prefer. When choosing the meat for your burgers, go for the leanest possible. Since these irons aren't made for cooking excessively greasy foods, we want to avoid too much oil dribbling down into the crevices. But, as with any patty you're about to smash, make sure to salt it generously on both sides right before it hits the heat.

Before you start cooking, you'll want to ramp up your iron to its highest temperature so it's ready to go as soon as you lay your meat down. Working one at a time with your patties (unless you're making sliders, in which case you may be able to hack multiple at once), place them in the center of the iron and smash the top down. The beauty of making your burgers this way is that they'll cook fast, so you may be good to lift the lid after just four minutes, no flipping required. To sneak in a little melted fromage, add a slice of American cheese and press the top down for just a few seconds before transferring everything to a plate.