The Best (IMO) Burger
I often get cravings for those deliciously amazing burgers from quick-serve burger places but I hate having to run out and get one. Most of all you end up paying like $12 for $3 worth of meat. Every-time I made a burger at home or on the grill it turned into a flavorless puck of meat. How the heck do those places get their burgers so thin and full of amazing flavor? Enter the Smashburger technique.
1 lb of 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef
4 Slices of Bacon
4 Tomato Slices
Green Leaf or Iceberg Lettuce (Green Leaf is prettier!)
4 American Cheese Slices
4 Hamburger Buns (high quality potato buns are best)
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
½ cup of Mayo
Getting that burger joint flavor is all about searing the meat at a high temperature. To get that you will need something to smash you meat (heh). I started by using my wife’s teapot. That made a good burger but did not go over well with my wife. Mysteriously, I received a cast iron burger smasher for Christmas. Do a search on Amazon and you will find one.
- Divide your meat into four .25 lb portions. Roll them into balls. No need for bread crumbs or eggs or anything. Just fatty meats. We are not making meatloaf, we are making burgers. You can save the other portions for later or make 4 burgers. Season the meatball with garlic powder and seasoned salt.
- Cook your bacon, slice your tomato, and rinse enough lettuce for four burgers. You know what? Get anything else ready you want to stack on these burgers. It’s up to you.
- Mix the Mayo and Sriracha in a small bowl (Don’t buy Sriracha mayo, just make it).
- Slice your buns, butter the sliced sides, and place on a warm skillet to slowly toast them. Keep an eye on them. It’s really easy to burn. Having nice buns is paramount to making a delicious burger. Fancy bakery potato buns are awesome. Untoasted boring white buns are the worst.
- Heat your skillet with a little oil on it. Once to gets hot, its ready for your little meatball of joy. I experimented with multiple skillets, including a cast Iron. I found the non-stick worked best considering we will really be pressing that meat down hard. It tends to stick to anything else. The last thing you want is to peel away a layer of the meat when you flip it. That is where the flavor lives; flavortown.
- Throw your meatball on the hot skillet, place a square piece of parchment paper on top of the meatball, then smash that meatball down with your preferred device. Press down hard and hold it there for about 15 to 20 seconds. This is the important part, the meat is going to caramelize and you will get that delicious flavor you get that the burger place. Leave it there for about 2 minutes.
- Flip the burger and let it sit for another minute or two and throw your cheese on it. That’s right, American Cheese. Why? Because it gets super gooey and delicious on burgers. Speaking of the flip, make sure you have a nice rigid spatula to scrap under your meat.
- Finally, assemble your burger as you desire.
- Eat the burger with a friend, in my case, my wonky eyed cat joined me.