How to Make Smash Burgers Without a Spatula

How to Make Smash Burgers Without a Spatula

There’s something about a smash burger that regular burgers can’t give you. Maybe it’s in the way a flatter burger browns better, making it more aromatic and flavorful. Or in how it comes out chewier and drier, just like the drive-thru burgers your family used to eat on road trips when you were growing up.

Whatever it is (and I can’t put my finger on it), one thing’s for sure: a well-made smash burger is damn right delicious. In fact, it’s probably one of the best burgers you’ve ever had.

Should You Smash Your Burgers?

Regular burgers vs. smash burgers

Partly thanks to the success of Smashburger, one of America’s fastest-growing restaurant chains in the last few decades, partly thanks to burger historian, author, and filmmaker George Motz and his show on First We FeastBurger Scholar Sessions, in recent years, smash burgers became a thing.

True to its name, you make a smash burger by pressing it down with a spatula as soon as you put it on your frying pan or flat-top grill. If, for some reason, you don’t have a spatula in your home kitchen, Lifehacker recommends that you pre-smash the burger by pressing down on the meat firmly with the bottom of a heavy skillet.

When to Add Cheese to Your Burger?

Cheese melting on burger

It’s an open secret that cheese makes everything better. Especially when it comes to building the perfect burger. Seriously, I dare you: try to name one person who doesn’t like melted cheese on a juicy burger!

Enjoying burgers is one thing; making them is another. When talking to others on the topic, one of the questions I often get asked is, “When should I add the cheese to it?”

Three Ways to Tell If Your Burger is Done

Three Ways to Tell If Your Burger is DoneJens Mahnke (via Pexels)

Every burger recipe will instruct you to do roughly the same: find good meat, shape your burger, season it with salt and pepper, and cook it to your desired level of doneness.

If you’re here, then you probably agree with me that that’s easier said than done. In fact, burgers can be notoriously hard to get right. You can easily overcook and just as easily undercook them; what’s hard is getting them right.

Whether you’re about to cook burgers on the grill, stove, or in the oven, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a hit or miss. Here are the three best ways to tell if your burger is done.