Pretzel smash burgers

Smashing Pretzel Burgers

Smashing Pretzel Burgers

Is it just me, or are smash burgers all the rage these days? I’m not mad about it. You can certainly roll through a drive thru or local gastropub and get a good one, but what if you could make better ones at home? The guests at your cookout will rave about these Smashing Pretzel Burgers. With a little bit of prep beforehand, cooking time is minimal. That gives you more time to criticize Aunt Karen for putting raisins in her potato salad. Seriously, what is her deal?!

The key to good smash burgers is simplicity. Meat, cheese, sauce, bun. Introducing too many toppings takes away from the star of the show: that well-caramelized and crispy beef. I’ll leave that to your artistic interpretation and taste, but these specific burgers go hard in the paint.

Sourcing quality beef is important. If you can, have the meat department or butcher grind a chuck roast or tri tip to accomplish the golden burger ratio of 80/20 lean to fat. Figure ¼ to ⅓ pound per patty and assume plenty will want a nice juicy double. Roll into portioned (weighed) balls and keep in the fridge on parchment paper until ready to cook. Do not season the beef until it hits the cooking surface. A griddle is nice, but if you have a cast iron skillet or regular frying pan it’s still going to rock your world.

    • ~3lb ground chuck or tri tip (makes 10-12 patties)
    • Amigo All-Purpose Seasoning Blend (link)
    • Sassy Sauce (recipe link)
    • Caramelized or French Fried Onions
    • Sliced Cheese (I am partial to white American, Cheddar, or Muenster)
    • Optional BEER CHEESE (recipe link) instead of sliced. Pairs incredibly with the pretzel buns
    • Pretzel Hamburger Buns (The good ones are in your grocer’s freezer section!) *lightly toasted with butter

Get your cooking surface good and hot (medium-high) and smash the patties into a thin circle using parchment paper to prevent sticking to your bludgeoning weapon. Season the top side liberally (optionally add a swirl of yellow mustard like In-N-Out). Once the Maillard Effect has crisped up the exterior of the patties, it will be easy to flip the patties over. Press again lightly, then dust with more seasoning and add sliced cheese if using. We’re looking for crispy all over. Let the burgers rest a couple of minutes before building your perfect burger.

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