Sizzle And Stack: The Ultimate Smash Burger Recipe With Caramelized Onions

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Smash burgers have taken the burger world by storm. These beauties boast a thin, crispy patty with a juicy, flavorful center, achieved by a unique cooking method. If you’re looking for an easy-to-master recipe that delivers restaurant-quality results, look no further. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from ingredients to technique, to create the perfect smash burger in your own kitchen.



80/20 ground beef (around 2 lbs for 4 burgers)

  • Hamburger buns
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, like canola or vegetable oil
  • Yellow onion (thinly sliced)
  • Optional toppings: Cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise

  • The Smash!

    This is where the magic happens. Here’s how to achieve that signature smash burger crust:

    1. Divide the Beef: Divide your ground beef into four equal portions. Form each portion into loose balls.
    2. Season Generously: Season the beef balls generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
    3. Heat Up the Pan: Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over high heat. Add a thin layer of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
    4. The Smash: Once the pan is ripping hot, carefully place a beef ball on the griddle. Using a metal spatula, firmly press down on the patty, smashing it thin. Aim for a patty about 1/4-inch thick.
    5. Sear and Season: Sear the patty for 2-3 minutes per side, or until a nice crust forms. Season the cooked side with additional salt and pepper.

    Onion Magic:

    While the first patty cooks, add your sliced onions to the empty space on the griddle. Let them caramelize slightly, about 3-4 minutes, until softened and golden brown.

    Stack and Serve:

    1. Cheese Time (Optional): If using cheese, add it to the patty during the last minute of cooking so it can melt nicely.
    2. Bun Toasting: While the burgers cook, toast your buns on the griddle for a touch of warmth and crispness.
    3. Assemble the Masterpiece: Spread your favorite condiments on the toasted buns. Top with the cooked patty, caramelized onions, and any other desired toppings.

    Nutritional Facts (per burger, without bun and toppings):

    Calories: 480

  • Fat: 37g
  • Saturated Fat: 18g
  • Cholesterol: 130mg
  • Sodium: 320mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 31g

  • Remember: These are approximate values and can vary depending on the specific fat content of your ground beef.


    Smash burgers are a revelation in the world of at-home grilling. They’re incredibly easy to make, require minimal ingredients, and deliver a flavor and texture that rivals any gourmet burger joint. So ditch the frozen patties and give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

    Smash Burger FAQs:

    1. What kind of ground beef should I use?

    For the best results, use ground beef with an 80/20 fat ratio. This ensures a juicy burger with a flavorful crust.

    2. Can I use a different type of pan?

    While a cast iron skillet is ideal for achieving a crispy crust, you can use a heavy-bottomed griddle in a pinch.

    3. How can I tell when my burger is done?

    The best way to check for doneness is to use a meat thermometer. Aim for an internal temperature of 160°F for medium-rare burgers.

    4. What are some other topping ideas?

    The possibilities are endless! Get creative with crumbled blue cheese, sauteed mushrooms, crispy bacon, or even a fried egg.

    5. How can I reheat leftover smash burgers?

    Reheating in a skillet over medium heat is the best way to preserve the crispy texture. Avoid microwaving, as it can make the patty soggy.