I freely admit that I love a good burger but I personally have never been to a Smashburger in my life. I have heard of them before but the nearest one to me here where I live in New York is almost twenty miles away so unless I happen to be driving by one and saw it I don’t think I would go out of my way just to find the burger. Though to hear people talk about how great the burgers can be there, maybe it would be worth the trip. With all of hubbub surrounding the burgers they have to offer I wondered if there was a copycat recipe floating around on the Internet where I could just try to make one of my own just like they do there. I was not very surprised when I found one pretty quickly through Epicurious. Upon taking a look at the recipe it seems as though they use ground brisket as part of their recipe, something I am not likely to find here unless I asked a butcher to do it for me specifically. I opted to use ground chuck instead and the rest of the meat involves ground sirloin, which I don’t typically buy because it does tend to cost more but for this occasion of testing a recipe I figured it was worth a shot. So then I set about trying to make the Smashburger.
Copycat Classic Smashburger and Secret Sauce
For the Burgers:
3/4 pound freshly ground sirloin
1/4 pound ground chuck
2 tablespoons butter, plus more if needed
4 potato rolls
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices American cheese
Four 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices
4 burger-sized pieces green-leaf lettuce
Secret Sauce, recipe to follow
For the Secret Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons pickle juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
To make the secret sauce, stir the mayonnaise, pickle juice, ketchup, mustard, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder together in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary and then set the sauce aside.
For the burgers, in a large bowl, use your hands to gently combine the ground sirloin and ground chuck (or ground brisket if you can find it or make it yourself). Divide the mixture into four equal-sized, loosely meat pucks about 2 1/2 inches thick. Place the patties on a plate lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Transfer the plate to the freezer and freeze the patties for 15 minutes. Do not exceed the freezing time.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle, large cast-iron skillet or large stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and place the potato rolls, cut side down, in the pan. Cook the rolls until the cut sides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. You may need to do this in batches depending on how big of a cooking space you have and use additional butter if needed. Place the toasted buns on four plates and reserve the griddle or skillet.
Remove the patties from the freezer. Increase the heat under the skillet to high and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the skillet. Heat until the oil begins to smoke. Working one at a time, add a patty to the skillet and immediately press a large spatula flat on top of the patty. Use the handle of another large spatula to hammer the first spatula down, smashing the patty until is about 1/2-inch thick. you will have to hammer longer and harder than you might originally think to do this right. Press down and slide the spatula to remove it without tearing the patty. Generously season the patty with salt and pepper. Repeat the smashing process with the remaining hamburger patties.
Flip each patty when the first side is deeply browned and crisp with craggly edges, about 2 minutes long for medium doneness. Season the cooked side generously with salt and pepper, then add a slice of American cheese and continue to cook the patty until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the cooked patties to the bottom of the burger rolls. Top each burger with the tomato slices and the lettuce. Spread the tops of the buns with the Secret Sauce and place the top bun on the burger and serve.
Cast iron will serve you really well here if you have it as you can get that great sear and crust on the burgers when you smash them. I did find you had to press down and hammer pretty strongly to get the desired effect, but if you like your burgers crispy in that way this is a good way to try them. They do come out nicely and I did like the sauce you add to them rolls as it does lend some great flavor. According to the website, potato rolls are also a must here and they do seem to add something to the dish. I put some bacon on Sean’s because that is the way he likes them and I served these with some very easy homemade oven fries, which I will be sharing the recipe for tomorrow. It’s a pretty good burger and if you are hung up on the Smashburger flavor it’s worth a try to make one yourself.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!