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The Best Homemade Smash Burgers

I’m gonna show you how to make the best homemade smash burgers. If I were to open a small restaurant or food truck, it would be centered around burgers. I literally love burgers so much, it’s not even remotely funny. Guys…seriously…I have a problem. I love burgers more than anything else. They’re just handfuls of perfection. They hit every textural note I’m craving. If I go to a restaurant, the first area I scan is the burger selection.

Homemade Smash Burger Feature

Burgers are my love, and the one thing I crave the most! It’s just so satisfying, rolling that tender juicy meat around in your mouth, coated with creamy cheese, a zesty sauce, buttered bun…maybe some toppings, maybe not. I love over-the-top burgers, and I love simple burgers. These are the best homemade smash burgers, period.

Although I love just about any kind of cheese on my burger, nothing melts like deli American cheese. Yeah, I said it. But it HAS to be the deli kind — not the American cheese in those flimsy plastic wrappers, the kind you have to ask them to slice for you at the deli counter. It melts better, tastes better, and you feel less guilty eating it. It’s worth walking up to the counter and letting them hook you up with a few slices. Do yourself a favor though, and ask for them to make it “two-slice thick”. These burgers are equally amazing with some good quality cheddar. You can use any kind of cheese you prefer.

As for beef, make sure you’re using an 80% lean, 20% fat blend. You could go leaner, but why? Seriously…why? The best thing about biting into a juicy burger is that it’s JUICY. That flagrant stream of fat running down your forearm and dripping onto your plate, and pooling in the corners of your mouth is what makes the burger experience worthwhile. Don’t play yourself.

What kind of bun should you use? Brioche or potato bun! There’s nothing more luscious than buttery brioche or potato bun, soaking up all the burger juices and melting into the entire sandwich. I mean, yeah you could absolutely use whatever you want, but I highly recommend brioche buns. Keep this burger simple, if you can. It’s mostly about the beef and the cheese. My favorite toppings for a smash burger are raw sweet onions, pickles, and a creamy burger sauce. Once again, use whatever you want — it’s your burger baby!

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You don’t have to “smash” these. This recipe is good for ANY kind of burger base. The reason smash burgers are so popular, is because of their signature crust. When that flat nooks & crannies’ like surface area crusts up on a super hot cast iron pan, flavor happens. If you’re not into smash burgers, you can form these as regular patties, and cook accordingly. Do the world a favor, though — please don’t smash your burgers once they’re already flattened. You’re gonna just push all the juice out, and that’s a damn shame.

More CarnalDish Burgers

Thanksgiving Turkey Burger

All American Burger

Bacon Mushroom Swiss

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The Best Homemade Smash Burgers

The Best Homemade Smash Burgers


Description

The CarnalDish Burger Juice is what makes these burgers so amazing!


Ingredients

Units

CarnalDish Burger Juice

Burgers

  • 1 pound ground chuck (80/20)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Cheese, any kind you choose)
  • Brioche buns, buttered and toasted
  • Toppings of choice (try to keep it simple if you can)

Burger Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of sugar, to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients for the burger sauce, and set aside in the fridge. Mix all the Burger Juice ingredients together in a small bowl. In another medium-sized bowl, add the beef. Pour the Burger Juice into the beef, and gently break it up with a spoon or your hands and GENTLY mix thoroughly. Do not over-work your meat, be very very gentle with it. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, scoop into 3-4oz sized balls. Cover the burger balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of a half hour. You want the meat to be super cold. You could also pop into your freezer for about 15 minutes.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until SUPER HOT. Drop a tiny sprinkle of water to test it, if it immediately sizzles and bounces around and disappears, it’s ready. No need to add oil, there’s plenty of fat in the burger. Remove your burgers from the fridge or freezer and sprinkle them with kosher salt and pepper. Place about 3 to 4 balls in the skillet, leaving room for them to be smashed down. After 30 seconds of searing, smash them all the way down until they can’t be smashed anymore, with a large heavy skillet. Leave them alone and let them cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or when the edges start to turn brown. Flip them over and immediately place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. When the cheese melts, they’re ready, about 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  3. Build your burger with the toppings of your choice and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
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Recipe rating

  1. Jennifer says:

    These were ridiculously good. One thing – my burgers shrank a bit – is that normal and if not, how do I stop it? Either way, these were a flavour bomb!!!

    • Chef Resha says:

      Happy you enjoyed them as much as I do! Shrinkage is totally normal and expected. Try making them just a tad larger by adding a little more meat to each portion and pressing them out as much as you can.

  2. Zakariya says:

    Hi

    This recipe is great. When I made them at home it was perfect more or less. I’m going to use this recipe in my new burger shop. The problem I’m having is that I’m using a chrome plated griddle. When I made it the first time it burnt the bottom (not caramelised it but burnt it).

    Do I need to season the griddle ? If so what would be best?

    If not then I’m a bit stuck as it’s a gas griddle and hard to regulate the temperature at 400-425F

    • Chef Resha says:

      it could be the worcestershire sauce that’s causing the burning. try the recipe without it, OR definitely pre-grease the griddle a bit to create a barrier. hope it turns out well for you 🙂

  3. MonsterMind says:

    Your recipe looks great and I’m going to make it tonight. One thing I do find extremely annoying those is when humans just say “salt and pepper to taste”. Give us the precise measurements you use and then we can change it from there!

    • Chef Resha says:

      LOL, well…if I gave you a measurement, and it was too salty, then it would ruin the whole thing. That’s the thing about seasoning (salt, in particular). Everyone has their own threshold of what’s perfect and what’s not. You can always add salt, but you cannot take it away. So I leave it up to you to create your own perfectly seasoned sauce, because only you know what you like. I definitely tell you guys how much salt to add in most recipes, but for things like this, you’ve gotta make it your own. So, add a little…taste it, adjust. that’s how you become a more instinctual home cook. I hope you enjoy the recipe, it’s really yummy.

  4. Harry Beaver says:

    Im from Scarbrough and there is a business here under the name of Simbas hot chicken which is run by a ( don’t really wanna say it) hefty looking lad that makes burgers off this recipe. The burgers are actually shit but the meat is absolutely delicious. I hope this loser learns how to actually run a kitchen.

  5. Dane says:

    I’ve made this burger multiple times and always received great feedbacks! Thank you so much! My husband requested it for super bowl!

  6. Stefanie says:

    The best burgers that I have EVER made. Make these burgers, trust me.

  7. Jason says:

    Gave these a try and the burgers turned out Fantastic! Only small change I made was to add an egg yolk to the “burger juice” to thicken it up and help bind the meat a little bit more. So flavourful and juicy.

    I may try adding a little left over bacon fat in place of some of the butter next time to add another layer of flavour.

  8. Nadine says:

    Absolutely AMAZING!! These were so simple and DELICIOUS!!!! I didn’t have liquid smoke so I added smoked/sweet paprika! My hubs had 6 and my picky 5 year old son LOVED THEM! At first he wouldn’t even take a bite but once he did, HE WAS HOOKED!!!!!

  9. Kimberly says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Can this be made without mustard or ketchup (allergies)
  10. Michael C says:

    This recipe is spot on and I absolutely love the sauce.

  11. Rob says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    The recipe is valid, however the burgers need to be cooked at a temperature less than inaccurately portrayed. My cast iron pan practically exploded in a smoky mess when I added the burger balls to the pan ★★★★
  12. Laska Lloyd says:

    This is our go-to smash burger recipe. A beautiful combination of flavors! The burger sauce is next level. Good for dipping fries and tots in as well as a burger condiment. We’ve made this on the Blackstone and in a cast iron skillet on the regular stove. Fantastic every time!

    Thanks for sharing-

  13. Amazing so juicy and full of flavour by far the best and easiest way to make your own burgers. Friends always comment on how amazing they are.

  14. suzanne says:

    Ummmm so good!!

  15. Kimberly says:

    Best burger I’ve EVER made at home. It’s a burger lovers dream! I will never make them the “regular” way again!!!

  16. Jay says:

    Fantastic!! Made this last night and the family loved them.

  17. ashok says:

    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

  18. Frederick Johnson says:

    Absolutely awesome burgers – made my 10-year old happy (and me too and I don’t usually like burgers!). Love the fish sauce addition. Thanks Chef!

  19. Lisa says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    How long do you leave the burger juice in the fridge for after mixing before adding to the burger?
  20. Davina says:

    I loved this burger.

  21. KarenM says:

    Fantastic burger and the burger sauce is great! The only thing I can say is don’t crowd the pan.

  22. Leah says:

    I sub Impossible burger meat in this recipe and it turns out mind blowing! I use a cast iron griddle pan on the grill with a solid metal spatula to SMASH. You can also sub liquid smoke with smoked paprika.
    I’m pescatarian and use vegan worcestershire and regular fish sauce, but still amazing though if you need to skip the fish sauce for full veg. SO GOOD!!!

  23. Sean Dent says:

    Outstanding from such a simple recipe and probably the best burgers I have ever had. I only added caramelized onions, cheese and the burger sauce. Nothing further needed and trust me, your taste buds will be thanking you!

  24. Chad Barlow says:

    I make a lot of burgers and everybody agreed that these were the best ones so far.

  25. Erin R. says:

    Absolutely divinely delicious! Perfect for the pickiest of burger lovers. All flavors and textures meshed well and accompanied each other much like a symphony. Love this and will pass it on.

  26. Derek in Boston says:

    I’ll forego the hyperbole of other comments that this is the best burger they’ve ever had, but this is a rock solid delicious recipe and will be my go-to smash burger at home now.

    I used 85/15 black angus and they turned out fantastic. I did cast iron on the grill.

    Thanks, Chef Resha!

  27. Teresa Crane says:

    These burgers were absolutely AMAZING! My husband and I both think these are the best burgers we have EVER had. Not kidding. How can you go wrong with butter in your burger?! Thank you for a fun dinner!

  28. Hina says:

    These were amazing!!! Tasted better than any burger I’ve had. Just one question can I add a little less butter. I felt the beef I get has high fat content anyway so the patties were breaking apart though I fixed it and they came
    Together when I put the cheese on top and tasted fantastic. Can I reduce the butter ratio?

  29. Shayla says:

    These were Awesome !!!!! Friendly tip , you can you Soy sauce as a sub for fish sauce ?

  30. Daniel Hoffmann says:

    These are super fire!

  31. Mike says:

    I followed this recipe exactly as written. I was surprised what a difference the buns made to the overall taste of the burger. The only condiment added after making these burgers not on this recipe was chopped onions. The burger sauce with the these burgers is all that was needed for a great taste. This will be my go to recipe for burgers during this summer when cooking outside on the flat top. Thanks again for posting this recipe.

  32. Josh Peterson says:

    This is the first comment I’ve ever left on a recipe website. This is the best burger, hands down, by far I’ve ever made. Even my wife who hasn’t eaten red meat in 10+ years had a bite! The fish sauce sets it apart. Honestly great work!

  33. J Leger says:

    This was my first attempt at a smash burger…..I was not disappointed.

    I only had some old freezer burnt grocery store buns and these were some of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was the burger juice or technique but all I can say is that I will be making them again. The change I made was to add some grated chalet (not chopped) and duck fat (just a bit). They were completely cooked (which my wife likes) but still juicy with a nice crust to the meat.

    I can’t way to try them again with a proper bun.

  34. Kristi says:

    Tried this recipe yesterday and didn’t change a single thing. These were *by far* the best burgers we have ever had. AMAZING recipe. Thank you so much! We will definitely be making these again! YUM.

  35. Kim Hardin says:

    SO good! My family absolutely loved and will make again and again! Truly one of the best burger I’ve ever had! Thank you for the recipe!!

  36. Isaac says:

    Just whipped this together for dinner today and it might be the best burger I’ve ever made! And so quick and easy.

  37. MARK S NICKERSON says:

    I plan to make these tonight as I have been making smash burgers for years now but never anything but S&P on the burgers. I made the burger sauce so it could sit and let all of the flavors marry and I can tell you that the sauce is absolutely amazing on it’s own. I think it would be great on many different proteins. It would be great on fried fish. I can’t wait to try the entire recipe, especially the burger juice. I use fish sauce in so many recipes and no one ever knows. Resha, you’ve got it going on!

    I will follow up with the final results after dinner. BTW… I never leave reviews but thought this one worthy of a response.

  38. Max says:

    Wow! I’ve never made better burgers. The idea to add the buttery “burger juice” takes the whole thing to another level. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

  39. Hannah says:

    I just made these tonight because most smash burger recipes I was finding are only beef and salt. These are amazing!! Super savory and super juicy. The sauce is excellent as well. Just a little bit of kick and combos incredibly with the cheese.

  40. Mattea says:

    So let me say that this is theeeeeee best burger recipe I have ever tried!!! The flavor, the juiciest, just everything!!! This will definitely be my go to burger recipe!!! Thank you Chef Resha for sharing this one!

    • Jason says:

      These where the best burgers I’ve made. Super tasty and juicy. I made these on my new blackstone and the only problem I had was they fell apart when I smashed them but was able the salvage them. I think I didn’t roll them tight enough.

  41. Debbs says:

    I reaaaaally want to try this recipe but I don’t have fish sauce or liquid smoke! Will it be ruined without either? any subs?

    • Chef Resha says:

      I highly recommend you get those two ingredients, because they can be used in so many other dishes. But if you want to just make these burgers now, you can skip it. Just know, they will be better with the fish sauce and liquid smoke added.

  42. Meg says:

    Oh my freaking lord. I have never taken the time to comment on a recipe, and I have found some good ones, BUT THIS! WHOA! I followed it to the T and it was the best burger I have ever had hands down! better than Five Guys, Better than Smashburger! Better than MY signature garlic pepper crusted burger! I will be eating another one tonight!! I don’t eat fish, but I used the fish sauce. This was the juiciest burger I have ever had!! Thank you! Do you think I could smash them and freeze them?

  43. Gina says:

    Best burger ever. Only problem I had was sticking to the pan I was using for the press. Next time, I will put parchment paper over burger before pressing, tip I got from another site.

  44. Karens says:

    These are hands down, the very best burgers I have ever made – and I have many years of cooking for a good-sized family behind me. In fact, they are better than any I’ve had in any restaurant in years.

  45. Rachel says:

    The recipe came out very great. It was very juicy and the brioche bun was fantastic.

  46. Karens says:

    Great method and great flavor. Thank you. Keeping this in the weeknight rotation.

  47. Chelsea says:

    This recipe came out great! Although I did make a few changes–added some bacon, BBQ sauce, and some jalapenos. It was very juicy and the brioche bun was fantastic.

  48. Sarah says:

    These were so awesome! My family were begging for me to make them again the very next day! I think the burger juice makes such a big difference.

  49. Matty B. says:

    Dear sweet Jesus. Fish sauce in a burger. I wish I could say this was my idea… So good.

  50. Alison Harris says:

    Oh sweet baby Jesus in a manger. That was delish. Followed the recipe to a T and wouldn’t change a thing— which I almost NEVER say. Thank you!

  51. Beryl says:

    This recipe came out great! Although I did make a few changes–added some bacon, BBQ sauce, and some jalapenos. It was very juicy and the brioche bun was fantastic.

  52. Lisa says:

    Very easy to follow the recipe! must try it. Thank you much for sharing this amazing post!

  53. Mike G says:

    This recipe is a winner all around. Burgers are delicious, perfectly cooked, and great for a summer meal in the yard. I did adjust and add a bit more fish sauce, and I’ve found that having a proper smashing utensil is definitely helpful. Thanks so much for this!

    One question: There’s usually a buildup of grease and fried cheese remnants when I get to the second half of the batch. Should I just empty the cast iron out or does it even matter?

  54. Gregio Mar says:

    I really want to try this recipe but I absolutely cannot stand even the HINT of fish in my foods. Sad I know. Does the the fish sauce add a fish flavor in addition to it’s depth?

    • Jennie says:

      I also struggled with fish sauce …..
      You will not taste anything that resembles fish in this recipe….. but not all fish sauces are the same…… I recommend choosing one that is just anchovies and salt… not as funky!
      I now enjoy using it in all kinds of dishes as umami!
      I also recommend making the “beautiful burger buns” recipe from King Arthur Flour website…. they are the perfect bun as it holds up so well without being mushy or falling apart!

    • Chef Resha says:

      I promise you won’t taste anything but umami/savoriness. it’s called fish-sauce, and smells funky in a good way, but doesn’t taste like fish at all. Trust me.

      • Kimberly says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
        I don’t have any fish sauce on hand. Can I replace it with something else?
  55. Lisa says:

    O.M.G!! This burger is amazing! Made this for my family and we could not believe how much flavor it had. My 21 year old ate TWO ?. This will become a staple in my household. Thanks for sharing!?

  56. Erica Bratchette says:

    Omgoodness, delicious smdh chef be on point with these recipes

  57. Sharen Démoisé says:

    Yummy-Yummy

  58. Allison says:

    This recipe is a gift through and through. A cast iron skillet made for a crusty burger and the sauce was tangy and sweet, yet not overpowering. American cheese is the only way to fly.
    Perfect cure for a hangover or when you’re craving something better than the drive-thru. Thank you!

  59. Ateya says:

    BEST DAMN BURGER EVER!

  60. Brent says:

    Burgers taste great. My only issue is they tend to cup. I think it’s from overworking the meat?

  61. Ula says:

    Out! Stan! Ding! Wouldn’t change a thing!

  62. MacKenzie Collins says:

    Can’t wait to try these!!! Would they work on the grill instead?

    • Derek in Boston says:

      I wouldn’t recommend doing smash burgers directly on the grill, as they are thin and won’t hold their juices well without sitting in them, as they do in a pan. Do as Chef Resha says in the second part of her reply – put the cast iron onto your grill on High, close the lid, and give it all a good 10 minutes to get wicked hot. Then make the burgers in the pans as normal. Be sure not to use any kind of latex grip or anything on the pan handles — just put them in by themselves.

    • Chef Resha says:

      yup, but just form them into patties for the grill, instead of balls — otherwise they’d fall between the grates lol. Or, if you want to smash them, use a cast iron skillet over the hot coals and proceed as normal.

  63. Nicolle Macias says:

    Made this recipe and they turned out delicious. I am confused about the burger sauce in the directions. Can you clarify how you use the sauce? Is it worked into the meat with the juice or just used as a spread?
    Thanks!

    • J K says:

      Step 1 line 3 says “Pour the Burger Juice into the meat…GENTLY mix thoroughly.”

    • Rob says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      Silly question lol
    • Derek in Boston says:

      It’s a condiment for the final burger – just spread on the bun as you would mustard, ketchup, or mayo. It’s great!

    • Jeff says:

      You put the burger sauce on the bun.

    • Karen Wilson says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      Hi did you receive a reply as to what to do with the burger sauce? thank you
  64. Jenn says:

    In the pan I used to melt the butter for the Burger Juice, I also used to fry the burgers and it came out extra delicious. Carnal Dish is where I go when I want to make it a great meal. I love the flavorful takes on what would usually be a basic meal.

  65. nne says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    is it distilled vinegar being used?
  66. Sara says:

    I couldn’t find fish sauce thanks to quarantine but it still turned out superrr delicious. better than mcdonalds and tasted like it’s from a high quality restaurant. this will definitely be my go-to burger recipe from now on. thank you so much❤

  67. Sofia says:

    Perfect recipe

  68. Savanah says:

    Wow! I made these tonight for dinner and I think this is the best burger I have EVER had! Absolutely delicious!

  69. Roland Robert Macdonald says:

    I just made these for m th family. I also browned up some mushrooms in garlic butter and used swiss cheese. Everyone in my picky family was very very happy with these burgers!!! Highly recommend

  70. kschlag says:

    The best burger I’ve ever made, and easily one of the top 5 burgers I’ve ever eaten. Will absolutely make these again and SOON!

  71. Gabrielle Johnstone says:

    GIRRRRRRL! These were so amazing. You’re amazing for putting this all together. The fish sauce….OMG! You did that.

    • brett harmon says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      What exactly is fish sauce? Tartar or cocktail sauce?
  72. April says:

    I just made these last night, and let me say this; those were be BEST homemade burgers, I’ve EVER made! Shout out to you, Resha! You’re the bomb! ❤️

  73. Allison Johnson says:

    These were the best burgers I’ve ever made. Don’t skip any steps. Buy the fish sauce lol. Worth it,

  74. Jasmine Smith says:

    My boyfriend doesn’t eat beef so I tried the recipe with ground turkey. I was a little worried because turkey is really dry. This was the juiciest turkey burger I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to make it again

    • Arriana says:

      Just made this with turkey and it literally is the best burger I’ve ever made. So simple yet so juicy and delicious. I even took a stab at the the burger sauce and kept it simple with pickles and grilled onions. Resha you don’t miss!!!

    • Andrew ish says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      Sounds like you have a girlfriend not a boyfriend
    • Tim little says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      Did you use the fish sauce with turkey ?
    • Tim L says:

      Should I use the fish sauce if I sub beef for turkey ?

      • Gordon Ramsey says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
        I would use the fish sauce with turkey, and add an extra lime 🙄🙄🙄 ★★★★★
      • Ash Holey says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
        Shut up