The Top Tip To Keep In Mind For Perfect Smash Burgers Every Time

You may be in the camp that believes smash burgers are better than regular ones, and that's perfectly fine. But to be a true connoisseur on the supremacy of the smash burger, you must know how to make easy smash burgers that come out with perfectly seared and slightly crunchy patties bursting with moisture and flavor. The key tip is to form balls or hockey puck-like shapes with your ground meat rather than smashing it into thin patties while it's still raw. You then press on the balls or hockey pucks of meat once they're in the pan or griddle and let them develop a delicious crust.

Be careful not to make the balls too compact, however. As with regular burgers, keeping the meat loosely packed results in juicier patties. Handle the ground meat minimally to ensure that it retains as much fat and moisture as possible. Don't worry about turning it into perfectly shaped balls or hockey pucks, since you're going to smash them later anyway. Loosely packing the meat also creates a larger surface area when you press down on it, making it easier to crisp up evenly as it cooks.

Timing is important, too, when smashing the patties. You must do it within 30 seconds of placing the ground meat in a preheated skillet. The meat must also come chilled, straight from the fridge. Both factors will help it retain its juices even as the heat starts to tighten its protein structure and squeeze out liquified fat.

Smash the patties only once so they stay juicy

Once you've put the ground meat in the pan, it's tempting to press on it multiple times while you wait for it to cook. However, that's a common mistake people make when cooking smash burgers, leading to thin, dry patties. To keep the meat juicy even after you've smashed it, press down on it firmly until it flattens into a ¼-inch thick patty, then leave it to cook for a minute and a half so it forms a brown crust. Then, flip it so the other side gets similarly seared.

To make sure your smash burger patty is even in thinness so it gets cooked uniformly, the trick is to use the right smashing tool. Experts recommend using a burger press or mallet rather than a spatula because the handle placement on the latter means you would be exerting uneven force on the meat. However, a wooden spoon pressed against a spatula works in a pinch. You could do it the way they originally did during the 1960s, too, and use a large can of beans to smash the ground meat. Just remember to clean the can thoroughly before and after use.

When making multiple smash burgers, avoid overcrowding the skillet so there's space for you to smash the meat. Cook patties in batches, then transfer the cooked ones to an aluminum tray. Cover them with aluminum foil, then keep them warm in an oven until you assemble your smash burgers.