In 2007, restaurant veterans Rick Schaden and Tom Ryan founded Smashburger in Denver, Colorado. What set their burgers apart was the way the burgers were formed on a hot, flattop grill over high heat, and smashed into shape under weights. This technique sears the burgers and give them better flavor. Smashing the burgers goes against everything we have been told about frying up a burger, yet it works. Today Smashburgers are served in 37 states and 9 countries.
As we head into the busy season in my kitchen, I am always on the lookout for meals that are easy to prepare and yet offer up satisfying flavor. While I’ve seen the Smashburger Restaurants, we’ve never actually eaten in one. Then, as luck would have it, I found a Copycat Smashburger recipe on line. Just how close it is to the real deal, I couldn’t tell you. However, my guys loved them. These really are good burgers.
Smashburgers with Dill Smashburger Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon dill pickle juice
Combine the mayonnaise, mustard and pickle juice in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
4 slices bacon
2 teaspoons butter
1 1/3 lbs Ground Chuck
salt to taste
pepper to taste
4 slices American cheese, optional
4 Green Leaf Lettuce Leaves, optional
4 Thin slices Red Onion, optional
8 Dill Pickle Hamburger Chips, optional
Smashburger Sauce, above
Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium heat for several minutes. While the griddle is heating, take a square of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold in half, then in half again, forming a square with four layers. The square should be just slightly larger than the desired size of your burger. Repeat this with a second foil square. Have a large can or small, heavy skillet at the ready. Small cast iron skillets work beautifully.
Once the griddle is hot, fry up the bacon to a nice golden-crisp. If possible, use a thick sliced bacon. Once cooked, remove from griddle and hold on a paper towel to soak up the grease.
Whip the griddle clean with a wad of paper towels, taking care not to burn your fingers. Lightly brush the griddle with butter and toast the buns cut-side down until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm until ready to assemble.
Divide ground chuck into four portions and gently form into four loosely packed balls. If necessary, brush the griddle with more butter and add 2 balls of beef. Immediately and carefully, press the aluminum foil down on each ball with your palm to form the patties. Place can or skillet over the foil and cook the burgers for about a minute under the weight.
Remove the can or skillet and the foil, season the burgers and continue cooking, without moving the burgers. While the first burgers continue to cook, get the next two patties on the grill. Repeat as before, then continue to cook all the burgers until their juices bubble up through the top and burgers are well browned. Using a spatula, flip burgers and continue to cook. As the burgers cook, break the bacon strips in half and place on top of the burgers.
If desired, during the last few minutes of cooking, add 2 slices on cheese on each burger and let it melt over the meat.
To serve: Spread the mayonnaise mixture on the buns. Place lettuce leaves, pickle chips and sliced onions on the bottom bun (all optional). Top with burner and top bun. Serve immediately.