The One Tool You Really Need If You Want Flavorful Burgers

You might think a thick patty is best but once you start smashing your burgers, you’ll never want them any other way.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
June 08, 2021
Related To:

Classic 100 Bacon Cheeseburger

Photo by: Caitlin Ochs

Caitlin Ochs

One of the first things I ever learned about cooking burgers was not to smash the patty, for fear of losing all the savory juices. A steadfast rule-follower, I have never once given into the temptation to press my spatula down on a patty mid-sear. Honestly.

You can imagine my surprise then when (several years ago) a new fast-food burger joint opened up near me: Smashburger. I thought to myself, “There’s no way they’re smashing the patties. They’ll be dry! They’ll be flavorless! The name must mean something else.” But, sure enough, when I got to the restaurant I saw that they were serving up some seriously thin-pressed patties.

I was skeptical but, after the first bite there was no going back. That burger was the juiciest, most-flavorful one I had ever tasted.

I later learned that smashing a patty while it cooks is way different than smashing it before it hits the heat. Burgers are juicy because they include fat. So, pressing a patty before you cook it (or immediately after putting it in the pan) while the fat is solid and can’t escape, won’t cause it to dry out. And, because it’s so thin, a smashed burger is able to develop a really crispy browned crust, which gives it an insanely meaty flavor.

It should come as no surprise then that when burger night rolls around in my house, we’re making this recipe — and stacking our burger buns high with smashed patties. This burger press makes it easy; just lay a square of parchment over a ball of beef and let the heavy-duty, cast iron do its job. No sticking, no messy clean up. Just an evenly thin, ready to cook patty.

Best of all, this press makes generous 6-inch rounds. The burgers are big enough that, even though they’ll shrink a little during cooking, you’ll have plenty of crisp, cracked brown edges (the best part of any smashed burger!) peeking out of your bun.

Just don’t be surprised if, once you start smashing your patties, your friends and family ask you to make the burgers all summer long!

Related Content:

Next Up

Every Tool You Need to Make Christmas Cookies

This is everything you need to win this year's Christmas cookie contest!

You Need These Grilling Tools from Williams Sonoma’s Latest Sale

Grill everything from pizza to roasts with these must-have tools.

The 7 Kitchen Tools You Absolutely Need for Apple Picking

Apple picking season starts now. Stock your kitchen with the right tools to make the most of your apple picking haul this year!

10 Kitchen Tools You Need to Be Considered an Adult

You finally have a real kitchen (see ya, hot pot and mini fridge). Now it's time to stock it. Here are the next-level essentials that will allow you to cook, eat and entertain in style.

17 Need-To-Have Baking Tools for Next-Level Cakes

Coco Cake Land's Lyndsay Sung gives us the inside scoop on her favorite tools for making pretty and cute cakes.

7 Kitchen Tools You'll Definitely Want to Buy to Bring to Your AirBnB

Want to cook easily on vacation? These travel-friendly kitchen tools should definitely be on your packing list.

The One Kitchen Appliance Your College Kid Needs on Campus

A college senior shares the one appliance she couldn't live without.

Related Pages