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burger and fries in a paper lined basket
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3.67 from 3 votes

Smash Burgers

Recreate a delicious fast food-inspired smash burger in your home kitchen with fresh ingredients and a tangy, creamy sauce. “Smash burgers” are thin, so they cook fast.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: burgers, easy dinner, fakeout takeout
Servings: 4
Calories: 504kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $9.00


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Grill Pan or Griddle
  • Flat Spatula


Smash Burgers

  • 1 lb Ground Beef (preferably 80% lean chuck)
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 4 slices American Cheese (see note)
  • 4 Soft Hamburger Rolls (we like potato rolls or brioche-style rolls)
  • Optional toppings - Shredded Iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced white onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo

‘Special Sauce’

  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (substitute soy sauce)


  • If you want to make ‘special sauce’, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  • Divide beef into 4 even portions (these will be 4 oz each - no need to weight them, but just in case you wanted to) on a large sheet pan. Use your palm to gently press down on each portion so it is about 1/2 -inch thick. Season the beef on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large griddle to medium heat. Add butter, moving it all around on the griddle as it melts.
  • Add burger patties and use a sturdy flat spatula to press very firmly down on the burgers until the patties are slightly larger than your burger buns. The edges should be uneven (craggy edges will get nicely browned).
  • Cook the burgers, without moving them, until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip burgers and top with cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  • Toast buns, if you’d like. (Note: I find that with really soft burger buns, they are sometimes better untoasted because it really highlights the golden crispness of the burger patties.)
  • Spread sauce over inside of buns. Fill with burger patties and any toppings you’d like. Enjoy with fries!


Special Sauce - Totally optional, but this is a fun creamy, tangy sauce that takes the burgers up a notch. 
Ground Beef - Be sure to use 80% because these contain more fat that will cook out and result in nice thin, but still juicy burgers. A leaner beef won’t result in patties that are quite as thin and smash burger-worthy. Keep in mind that because these burgers are “smashed” they are quite thin and use less ground beef than other thicker burgers. If you’d like more meat in your burgers, you can use two of the thin patties per burger (note that you’ll need to double the ground beef and seasoning to make 4 servings with double patties). 
American Cheese - We have found that there aren’t many places where you need processed, individually wrapped slices of American cheese, but a homemade smash burger happens to be one place where it just works. Those cheese slices are the right thickness and melt perfectly. If you’re opposed to this cheese, don’t hesitate to use another favorite sliced cheese. 


Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1350mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 309mg | Iron: 4mg