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do you smash your burgers?

do you smash your burgers fairly flat or do you cook thick burgers?

I am going to be cooking burgers soon for about 12 people. I have never smashed before, I always make big thick fat burgers. No reason other than it is just how I have done it. So I am looking to improve. I figure with smashing they'll cook faster.

If you do smash I assume you pre-smash before grilling? I saw one article where they put the patty meat between saran wrap and use a pan to smash. that seems to make sense, plus I can have them all smashed before hand

I will also be making these on the grill and not a griddle (unless a griddle is just that much better. I have one I use a few times a year for pancakes)

so: smash or no?
Boom
«1

Comments

  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 2,946
    I prefer 3 ounce balls smashed on the Blackstone (or equivalent) 
    XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, Ardore Pizza Oven
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • EggMcMicEggMcMic Posts: 333
    I typically use 4oz balls. Sometimes 3oz.

     I put them as a ball onto the hot griddle, let sit for 20-30 seconds, roll over and smash. I found by getting a little char on one side I seldom have any sticking to my spatula. Perhaps there is an easier way, but this works for me.

     I try to smash them as quickly and thin as possible, season, and flip to a different section of the grill (not cooled off by meat=better sear).

    EggMcMcc
    Central Illinois
    First L BGE July 2016, RecTec, Traeger, Weber, Campchef
    Second BGE, a MMX, February 2017
    Third BGE, another large, May, 2017
    Added another griddle (BassPro) December 2017
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,390
    only went to smashing with the blackstone and its on a screaming hot DRY griddle surface smashing on the griddle. on a grill a thicker burger making sure to dimple the middle so its not shaped like a football after being cooked. either way, cheese goes under the burger as it comes off the grill and onto the bunn=)
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 12,252
    edited March 13
    I grill mine in a thick / plump form fashion....as I enjoy a nice mid rare burger.
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,610
    edited March 13
    I wouldn't suggest doing Smash Burgers for a group of people until you're comfortable with the process. 

    Whether smashing is an improvement, it's not, it's just a different end result. Smash Burgers will be more like a really good fast food-style burger. 

    Here's everything you need to know...

    Article
    https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/03/the-food-lab-maximize-flavor-by-ultra-smashin.html


    Recipe
    https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/03/ultra-smashed-cheeseburger-recipe-food-lab.html
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,677
    edited March 13
    Smash our fav no doubt . . But 100% need griddle.  I am not sure it’s good for a crowd since a smashed burger takes up so much surface area.  Do you want everyone to eat at once?  If so I’d go thick normal burgers as you can cook all or majority at one time rather that batch by batch by batch.

     Also do you have a large cast iron piece to use?  I use this big round one, and can smash 4 at a time (but I always do two pattys per burger).  If you only have normal cast iron skillet, you prob can only fit (2) balls at a time - not worth effort for crowd.


     Look up the “serious eats” instructions for how & when to smash - maybe try it on your own before a group to test?

    EDIT @SonVolt nailed it, see his response above, even has serious eats link I referenced.
    Columbus, Ohio
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 2,222
    thanks everyone

    sounds like I need to make some burgers this weekend for a test run
    Boom
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,313
    I buy gourmet burgers at my butcher and grill them on grill grates for 8 minutes at 400 dome. Best burgers I have ever had. I went to a Smashburger once and did not care for it.
  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 4,164
    edited March 13
    For me (don't have a Blackstone) it's not worth the effort.  I prefer the traditional "thick" burger.
    Large and Small BGE
    Morton, IL

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,610
    As stated above, you absolutely need a big-ass scorching hot FLAT griddle with minimal sides*. A cast iron skillet, even a big 17-incher is going to be frustrating unless you're only doing a few burgers.

    Smashing takes up mores cooking space than you think...

    You gotta have plenty of room to get in there with a stiff (steel) spatula to flip...

    *The sides of a skillet can get in the way of smashing/flipping... 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 7,063
    My suggestion would be doubling up the beef patties for the guys in the group. One small smashed up patty doesn't go very far. With that being said, it's always nice to have an extra set of hands. One person smashing/seasoning and the other person flipping behind you. Works slick for big groups. 
    Minnesota
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,390
    something organized i would go with the big burger with great toppings. unorganized or last minute smashed, looking at cheese, ketchup, some jalepino spread, smashed.  smashed is for when i get off the boat after 8 hours, from lighting the blackstone to eating is 3 minutes. smashed is about crunchy exterior with the juice running out, its 3/4 exterior crust to 1/4 center juiciness/ grease
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 14,490
    Given the size of group and the real estate required for smashburgers, I’d just cook regular burgers and call it a day. 
  • SlippySlippy Posts: 165
    I have been tempted to pick up a Kettle Q for smash burgers. https://tinyurl.com/yyvlk8p7 

    Rockwall, TX  •  LBGE, Big Hat Ranger offset smoker, Really old 22" Weber Kettle, Pile of Pecan and Post Oak... 
  • BotchBotch Posts: 7,628
    Anyone else notice that a 1/4-lb burger sounds so much more substantial than a 4-oz burger?  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,704
    Given the size of group and the real estate required for smashburgers, I’d just cook regular burgers and call it a day. 
    Good point.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,390
    Botch said:
    Anyone else notice that a 1/4-lb burger sounds so much more substantial than a 4-oz burger?  
    i make 2 ounce smash burgers =) 4 ounce would be huge.  i like them almost all crust
  • AcnAcn Posts: 2,822
    Slippy said:
    I have been tempted to pick up a Kettle Q for smash burgers. https://tinyurl.com/yyvlk8p7 

    I have one, it works well, although it's not great for crowds or large batches of things.  You also need to pay attention to how much fat is getting thrown off too, that trough isn't huge.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • SandtreeSandtree Posts: 32
    The idea is to maximise contact with the cooking surface and so you really need to smash on the surface.  Personally I think very high temp smash burgers, stacked if needs be, is better than a traditional thick burger but they take more effort if done in volume so at a minimum practice 
    London, UK

    New LBGE Owner
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,610
    Slippy said:
    I have been tempted to pick up a Kettle Q for smash burgers. https://tinyurl.com/yyvlk8p7 


    I think a 14" Lodge Pizza "stone" would work better than that flimsy thing. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 4,164
    Slippy said:
    I have been tempted to pick up a Kettle Q for smash burgers. https://tinyurl.com/yyvlk8p7 

    I found this a couple year back at TJ Maxx for $20.  Fits perfectly in a large.
    https://shop.lodgemfg.com/griddles-and-grill-pans/double-play-reversible-grill-griddle.asp
    Large and Small BGE
    Morton, IL

  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,343
    @FanOfFanboys, I imagine you have the idea, now, but just in case, your original post treated smash burgers as thinner, and cooking faster, and wondered about "smashing" before grilling.  Nope.  If you form a thin patty first, and then grill it over an open fire, or even fry it in a skillet, it's not a smash burger.  The whole point of smash burgers is that by putting a ball of meat on a very hot metal surface and then smashing it down onto the hot metal till it's flat and thin, you are forcing more of the meat to stick onto the metal and get brown.  It increases the amount of meat surface that gets really brown compared to otherwise similar burgers that didn't get smashed down onto a very hot metal surface.  Especially if you put two in a bun, as others above said they do, you wind up with TONS of browned meat flavor, because (a) they're smashed down onto the hot griddle and (b) you have 4 surfaces rather than just 2.

    I like smash burgers, probably make them more often than regular burgers, but they're not my favorite.  My favorite is a thick burger seared briefly over a very hot direct fire, not on cast iron or any kind of griddle or skillet, and very pink inside.  That's dangerous to do with regular store bought ground meat because of scary bacteria that are around, these days.  But if you grind your own beef, it's less dangerous.  For me, those are way better than smash burgers because it's more like a steak -- you get both the seared beef flavor from the outside and the medium-rare beef flavor from the inside, and they are super juicy.

    I agree with some others above, if the meal will be soon, I'd make the burgers the way you have been, and experiment with smash burgers when you're not cooking for guests.

  • SlippySlippy Posts: 165
    Slippy said:
    I have been tempted to pick up a Kettle Q for smash burgers. https://tinyurl.com/yyvlk8p7 

    I found this a couple year back at TJ Maxx for $20.  Fits perfectly in a large.
    https://shop.lodgemfg.com/griddles-and-grill-pans/double-play-reversible-grill-griddle.asp
    I have considered that as well. 
    Rockwall, TX  •  LBGE, Big Hat Ranger offset smoker, Really old 22" Weber Kettle, Pile of Pecan and Post Oak... 
  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,234

    Smash vs grill is 50 / 50 for me - love both methods.

    Smash is a very quick cook. I'd say too quick if you haven't practiced first.  Everything (toppings, buns, plates) needs to be ready before you even put the meat on. 

    Phoenix 
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,610
    blasting said:

    Smash vs grill is 50 / 50 for me - love both methods.

    Smash is a very quick cook. I'd say too quick if you haven't practiced first.  Everything (toppings, buns, plates) needs to be ready before you even put the meat on. 



    Yep! Even tho it's quicker I find it more stressful b/c of the pre-prep that needs to be done. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • EggNorthEggNorth Posts: 1,180
    I cook both, some like smash, some don't.  Smash on the Mini Max while regular cooking on the Large.  Always with meat I grind at home.
    Dave
    Cambridge, Ontario - Canada
    LBGE (2010), Mini Max (2015)
  • JeremiahJeremiah Posts: 6,299
    If you have the 36 or 28 inch blackstone then smash away.... but if just a large egg or the like, I’d go traditional. 
    Slumming it in Aiken, SC. 
  • ShurdaddyShurdaddy Posts: 25
    Since buying a Blackstone, I have not thrown a burger on my Egg. 
    Lewiston, MN  LBGE
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,390
    not sure how the prep is more for smash burgers other than rolling it into little balls which i do friday night before the weekend, for me its light the blackstone, two trips to the kitchen, smash and flip the burger, put cheese on lower bunn and add burger, serve. maybe a prep cook is needed to slice the tomato =)  im eating in four minutes, the burgers are cooked from lighting the griddle til done, 3 minutes.  with egged burgers theres 45 minutes from light the grill, then theres descisions, sauted onions, guacamole, mushrooms and swiss, heat up some leftover chili.....
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