Smash? Smoosh? Smaooshed?
Call it whatever you want but smash burgers are an all American classic. We teamed up with Alex from Smooshed Burgers to show you his signature burger! Check out his instagram page right here!
Want a visual guide? Watch the video!
The Sizzling History and Mouthwatering Technique of Smash Burgers:
Burgers have become an iconic culinary delight, evolving from simple sandwiches to culinary works of art. Among the many burger variations, the smash burger has emerged as a favorite, capturing the hearts and taste buds of burger enthusiasts around the world. In this blog post, we'll explore the fascinating history of smash burgers and delve into the techniques that make them so irresistibly delicious.
The history of smash burgers can be traced back to the early 20th century in the United States. It was during this time that burger joints and diners started popping up, aiming to serve tasty, quick, and affordable meals to the masses. The concept of smashing burgers on the griddle originated from the need to cook burgers quickly to meet the growing demand.
The hallmark of a smash burger lies in its thin, crispy, and caramelized patty. To achieve this, a specific technique is employed, involving the following steps:
1. Meat Choice
Choose high-quality ground beef with a decent fat content, typically around 80/20 (80% lean meat and 20% fat). The fat helps keep the patty moist and flavorful.
2. Patty Prep
Divide the ground beef into portions, typically around 2 to 4 ounces each, and shape them into loose balls. Season the balls generously with salt and pepper or your preferred seasonings.
3. Smashing the Patty:
Preheat a heavy cast-iron skillet or griddle over high heat until smoking hot. Place a portioned ball of ground beef onto the hot surface and use a sturdy spatula to smash it down firmly. Apply pressure to create a thin patty, around 1/4 inch thick. The smashing action helps to develop a crust and enhances caramelization.
4. Caramelization and Maillard Reaction:
Allow the patty to cook undisturbed for about a minute, allowing it to develop a beautiful crust. The high heat triggers the Maillard reaction, resulting in a flavorful browning effect. Flip the patty and cook for another minute or until the desired level of doneness is achieved.
5. Cheese and Assembly:
For a classic smash burger, add a slice of American cheese to the patty shortly before removing it from the heat. The residual heat will melt the cheese perfectly. Transfer the patty onto a toasted bun and add your desired toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and condiments.
The appeal of smash burgers lies in their combination of simplicity and flavor. By cooking the patties thin and on high heat, the smash burger achieves a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the juicy, tender interior. The intense heat also results in a concentrated flavor, making each bite burst with savory goodness.
While traditional smash burgers are delicious in their simplicity, experimentation can take them to new heights. Consider adding unique toppings like caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, or even a fried egg to create your signature smash burger. Additionally, playing with different cheese options, such as blue cheese or pepper jack, can add an exciting twist.
Smash burgers have come a long way since their humble beginnings, captivating the hearts of burger aficionados with their irresistible flavor and delightful simplicity. Whether you're a burger purist or love to experiment with toppings, mastering the technique of smashing a patty and savoring the unique taste experience is sure to make you a smash burger enthusiast. So, gather your ingredients, preheat that griddle, and embark on a culinary journey to create your very own mouthwatering smash burger masterpiece!
Want to be comfortable while you make it? Pick up a Grillslingers Tank!