The classic American cheeseburger is salty and it’s delicious. Today i am going to be teaching you the perfect way to cook this at home. We will go right from start to finish and give you the secret to the perfect burger. This is the smash burger method and I will show you how to make those very thin patties.With that being said let’s go ahead and get right into the ingredients. First off lets talk about your ground beef. Now, what’s important here is that you get the 80 20 ratio. Simply said that’s the difference between the fat and meat. You want 80% meat and 20% fat. We all know that fat means flavor! For this burger with two patties i would like each one to be a quarter of a pound so you will want half a pound of beef.
Regarding onions, you will be using some thinly sliced onions. Some good old American cheese as it melts perfectly. Some pickles that are sweet but have a nice crunch to them. For the condiment we are going to keep it very simple. Mix together some mayo and ketchup in equal portions and add some salt and pepper. Finally you are going to need some buns. I like standard simple buns but if you can get your hands on some Hawaiian or potato buns they are also excellent. Nearly forget, you will also need some butter both for the buns and for grilling the meat.
We need to talk about tools. We are making a proper smash burger so you need to have the right tools. You will want to have a nice sturdy spatula. If you can get something with kind of a sharper edge at the end and a sturdy handle then it will really help you when you scrape your burger off your griddle. If you have invested in a burger press you will need that today. They are heavy and they help you smash those burgers into the pan and give you a nice flat patty. I also use the top to my skillet, this is going to help to steam the burgers a little bit later.
For the cooking surface you need something flat. I use a cast iron griddle which is already warmed up. In fact it’s ready to start toasting those buns. You can also use a cast iron pan as long as it is non-stick. You’re just going to want enough surface area to be able to smash those burgers.
Let’s go ahead and start putting our patties together and get cooking. Take you beef and divide it into balls. You don’t need it to be perfectly balled up, in fact you want it kind of loose. You now have two loose balls and they should be lightly salt and peppered. Make sure that your griddle is warmed up and ready to go.
Toast the Buns
To toast your buns you’re first going to put a put a little bit of butter right on your griddle, Then use your buns to actually swirl it around and get an even covering so that it toasts from edge to edge. Make sure to pay attention so that it doesn’t burn and it gets a nice perfect golden brown. Once they’re done, go ahead and double check and put them off to the side.
Now you are ready to grill your patties. At this point i like to add a little bit extra butter. Add your patties seasoned side down and make sure to give them enough room between each patty so that you can smash them. Take your burger press and you need to to press down until they’re super flat. You are going to see some steam so please be careful. You may want to wear some kind of gloves to protect you. Once you’ve smashed all of your patties go ahead and add a little bit of salt on each one to season and move on to preparing your bun. I like to add a little bit of mayo on the bottom bun while the burger patties are cooking.
At this point your patties should be ready to flip. This is where your spatula is going to come in. Make sure you scrape that crust off the griddle so that it stays with the patty. You should see a beautiful crust on the patty once you have flipped it. It’s now time to put your onions and cheese on.
I like to put the onions directly on the patties because the warmth from the patty will actually help to soften the onions. Next place the American cheese slice right on top and you’re almost done. Go ahead and scoop your patties together and then cover with a lid just to help the melting process. After a short while go ahead and take the lid off and the cheese should be melted and your patties are definitely done.
Making the Finished Burger
Go ahead and place the patties onto the bun and add the remainder of your condiments. These burgers should be perfectly done and the last thing i do to make everything perfect is to place your pickles on top and then the special sauce. You don’t need lettuce and you don’t need any fancy ingredients. You don’t even have to make a sauce if you don’t want to because the flavors are fantastic without it.
If you love beef then check out our great brisket recipe.