Smashed Burger is a process of preparing hamburger patties by cooking loosely packed beef mince ball into a very hot skillet by pressing it flat with a spatula as it cooks causing a Maillard reaction.
So what is the difference between a normal burger with a smashed burger? Well it’s the process where your patty is prepared, and this process gives it that amazing flavour you cannot get from a normal burger. Sounds hard to believe but there is a science behind it. Basically smashed burger is just like your normal burger but when cooked it is smashed.
First it start with the meat, like with any burger patty. Fatty steak cuts that are minced are the best, 30% fat nothing more nothing less, this is the best ratio for the juiciest and most flavourful burgers. Next mince the meat then season it just with salt and freshly ground black pepper, form into a loose ball, just enough for it to stick together, do not overwork the meat otherwise the proteins get too tough. Once your beef balls are ready, heat up a very heavy skillet, on stove top on the highest heat you can get from your stove and once it starts smoking you are ready. Put the beef ball into the hot skillet, using a flat spatula with no holes, with the help of another tool, push the spatula down the pan to flatten, press the burger ball hardly to the really hot surface. This will cause a Maillard reaction which is basically a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives the burger its distinctive flavour. At these higher temperatures, caramelisation and subsequently pyrolysis (final breakdown leading to burning) become more pronounced giving the beef a really wonderful taste.
After this it’s all up to you how to garnish your burger, you can add anything you want but for me, I keep it simple, served with cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise and ketchup in a nice burger bun. Trust me once you do this, you won’t go back to the normal way of doing burgers, it’s amazing!
Season the mince with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Divide it into four portions then form them into large balls.
Heat a heavy cast iron skillet, until it starts to smoke. On batches place the ball into the skillet without oil then press it with a heavy spatula as it cooks for a minute, applying pressure all the time. Flip the burger then cook for another minute then continue to press with the spatula.
Place a slice of cheddar on top, cover the skillet with a dome cover, remove from skillet then let it rest. Do it with the remaining patties.
To assemble burgers, on each burger bun, apply one heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise, top it with shredded lettuce, then the rested burger patty and a smear of ketchup. Serve!