Easy Smash Burger Recipe


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Burgers aren’t just for summertime anymore! No grill? No problem! These smash burgers cook up thin and crispy in sizzling butter heated in a piping hot cast iron skillet right on your stove! They are simple (just ground beef and salt!) have perfectly crisp, scraggly edges and that signature butter burger flavor – and the best part is, you can get them on the dinner table in about 15 minutes!

Overhead shot of a basket with two smash burgers and waffle fries in it

You’ll Love This

  • If you’re from Wisconsin, chances are good you’ve had a butter burger from the region’s favorite fast-food chain – Culver’s. It’s a burger unlike any other – crisp edges, buttery flavor and it’s smashed perfectly thin so you can stack them high with your favorite burger toppings – deluxe style or with the works; whichever you prefer! This smash burger recipe is as close as you can get to a Culver’s butter burger at home – and dare I say, these might actually be better!
  • This easy smash burger recipe makes it possible to enjoy fresh, homemade burgers all year round. I’m not going to lie – these smashed butter burgers are better than any burger on the grill. What makes them so good? It’s all about the butter! Sizzling butter in a piping hot large cast-iron skillet is what gives the burgers their signature golden-brown crust and crispy edges. It’s the perfect way to add flavor, texture, and color to smashed ground beef.
  • They’re simple. The burgers are made with just ground beef and salt. We only use grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef in our kitchen at home and when you make these burgers, I highly recommend you do the same! Purchasing locally raised beef ensures that you are getting a high-quality product and also helps out your community by keeping the money local! Grass-fed, locally raised beef tastes better than any ground beef you’re going to buy at the big box grocery store. And when the ingredients are this simple, that flavor makes all the difference.
White marble counter top with cutting board filled with ingredients to make homemade smash burgers

Instructions

Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Divide ground beef into 4 equal parts and gently form into balls. Season on all sides with Kosher salt.

Cast iron skillet with melted butter in it

Once the butter starts to sizzle, add balls of ground beef, cooking them in batches depending on the size of your skillet.

Cast iron skillet with melted butter and a ball of ground beef in it

Smash them into the pan using the flat end of a spatula with a wooden spoon handle pressing down heavily on top of it. Your goal is to smash the burger until it’s slightly larger than the size of your bun.

A large spatula and wooden spoon smashing a ball of ground beef into a buttered cast iron skillet

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until a dark golden-brown crust forms.

Cast iron skillet with homemade smash burger in it

Flip burgers, divide cheese evenly between burgers, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Cast iron skillet with homemade smash burger in it topped with shredded cheese

Assemble burgers by placing the lettuce on the bottom bun. Then place the burger on top of the lettuce. Then add tomato, onion, pickle, and your favorite burger sauce and enjoy!

Overhead shot of a basket with two smash burgers and waffle fries in it

Tips

  • 80/20 ground beef is the best lean to fat ratio for this easy smash burger recipe. Anything leaner and the burgers will end up dry and flavorless. Anything with more fat could work but might end up being a little too greasy as it’s cooked in the butter. However, fat = flavor, and in this smash burger recipe that concept is paramount!
  • Smash the burgers until they are about half an inch larger than the bun you’re serving them on, as they will shrink as they cook. Smashing them slightly larger will ensure that even when they shrink they will still cover the surface area of your bun!
  • Give the burgers a smash in one fluid motion, and don’t smash them again after that. After the initial smash, any flattening of the burger is just going to smash all the juices out of it. Smash once, then flip, and add cheese!
  • After adding the shredded cheese to the burgers, cover the cast iron pan with a large plate (or a lid if it came with one) for the last minute or so of cooking. This will allow the cheese to melt but keep the burgers nice and crispy.
Overhead shot of a basket with two smash burgers and waffle fries in it

Pair Burgers With

Print

Easy Homemade Smash Burgers

Burgers aren’t just for summer time anymore! No grill? No problem! These smash burgers cook up thin and crispy in sizzling butter heated in a piping hot cast iron skillet right on your stove! They are simple (just ground beef and salt!) have perfectly crisp, scraggly edges and that signature butter burger flavor – and the best part is, you can get them on the dinner table in about 15 minutes!

  • Author: Kylie Lato
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb. ground beef (80/20)
  • 4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup fresh greens or shredded lettuce
  • sliced pickle chips
  • sliced red onion
  • sliced tomato
  • 4 pretzel buns (or bun of your choice)

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Divide ground beef into 4 equal parts and gently form into balls. Season on all sides with Kosher salt.
  2. Once the butter starts to sizzle, add balls of ground beef to the pan. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your pan.
  3. Smash burgers into the pan using the flat end of a spatula with a wooden spoon handle pressing down heavily on top of it. Your goal is to smash the burger until it’s slightly larger than the size of your bun.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until a dark golden brown crust forms.
  5. Flip burgers, divide cheese evenly between burgers, and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  6. Assemble burgers by placing the lettuce on the bottom bun. Then place the burger on top of the lettuce. Then add tomato, onion, pickle, and your favorite burger sauce and enjoy!

Notes

80/20 ground beef is the best lean to fat ratio for this easy smash burger recipe. Anything leaner and the burgers will end up dry and flavorless. Anything with more fat could work but might end up being a little too greasy as it’s cooked in the butter. However, fat = flavor and in this smash burger recipe that concept is paramount!

Smash the burgers until they are about half an inch larger than the bun you’re serving them on, as they will shrink as they cook. Smashing them slightly larger will ensure that even when they shrink they will still cover the surface area of your bun!

Give the burgers a smash in one fluid motion, and don’t smash them again after that. After the initial smash, any flattening of the burger is just going to smash all the juices out of it. Smash once, then flip, and add cheese!

After adding the shredded cheese to the burgers, cover the cast iron pan with a large plate (or a lid if it came with one) for the last minute or so of cooking. This will allow the cheese to melt but keep the burgers nice and crispy.

Keywords: smashburger recipe, the best smash burger, smashed burgers, smash burgers recipe





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