Want to know how to make smash burger? You’ve come to the right place!!!

What’s the big deal about the smash burger anyway? How is it different than other burgers? And how do you make them if you don’t have a griddle? All burgers, if cooked right, are delicious, but what sets the Smash Burger apart is that they are cooked on a griddle and benefit from cooking in their own fat, while also getting nice caramelization and browning of the ground beef by being cooked on a griddle.

Quite frankly, the Smash burger is the delicious burger you get at the greasy spoon diner, finished with melted American cheese and secret sauce that Culminates in a juicy AF burger. I love that I can turn my grill into a griddle by simply flipping over my GRILLGRATES and channeling my inner short order waffle house cook! lol!

How do you make a smash burger?

The smash burger is a bit different from a traditional burger in that you don’t want to form a patty. Instead, you take a handful of the ground chuck and literally smash it onto the griddle or cast iron skillet. The beauty of the smash burger is that you get beautiful crispy edges of the browned burger meat that is cooked in its own burger fat.

Scroll down to see the complete photo step by step guide!

How do you cook a Smash Burger without a Griddle?

You don’t need to own a Blackstone grill to make a Smashburger. All you need are GRILLGRATES flipped to the flat side. If you don’t have GRILLGRATES then you can use a cast iron pan but if you are a serious griller then it is about time you invested in a pair of GRILLGRATES anyway. They will give you a more even cook, reduce flare ups, epic char marks (all the steak competitors use them!) and give you the ability to turn your grill into a griddle without having to buy another grill!


For the Burgers

  • 9” cast iron skillet or grill grates flipped to the flat side
  • 2 lbs ground chuck roast (80% lean, 20% fat)
  • ½ stick butter, divided in half
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 Tbsp. coarsely ground pepper, divided

For the Secret Sauce

  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tbsp. pickle relish (either sweet or dill is okay)
  • 1 dash onion powder
  • 1 dash smoked paprika


If you are looking for alternatives to a smash burger well you have come to the right place! Here are some of my most popular burger recipes:

The Juicy Lucy Burger – the juicy lucy burger is a burger stuffed with cheese on the inside as opposed to be being put on the top of the burger. It yields an ooey goeey delicious cheese filled bite that all cheese lovers can agree reaches new heights of burger perfection!

Hangover Burgers – this is my all time favorite burger for hosting summer brunches because it pairs a burger with an egg so it ties breakfast into lunch for the perfect brunch burger. Plus, it really is what you want when you have a raging hangover.

The Quinoa Burger – I’m as carnivore as they come but I still enjoy a meat free burger from time to time, and this is my go-to Vegetarian burger recipe I keep in my repertoire because they are just darn tasty! The beauty of Quinoa is that it is a high protein superfood while also being an economical burger dish to add to your repertoire.

Tools Needed

You will need a cast iron skillet for this recipe, I am a big fan of a classic lodge cast iron skillet. But any Cast Iron Skillet will do!

Want achieve those epic char marks? I suggest GRILLGRATES to make smash burgers even if you don’t have a griddle since you can flip them over to the flat side and it will instantly turn your grill into a griddle! Not to mention, they give those epic char marks for steaks when you use them on the GRILLGRATE side.

If you regularly grill, I highly recommend you check out my Grilling Tools Page  where I share the tools any serious griller should have in their repertoire

How to Make Smash Burger: Step By Step Guide

1) Sauté your onions in large amounts of butter on your griddle or cast iron skillet. These are going to make your smash burgers EXTRA because everyone loves sauteed onions on their burgers.

how to make smash burger

First sauté your onions in butter on the flat side of your grill grates which turn your grill into a griddle.

2) After seasoning your meat with salt and pepper, instead of forming them into a patty, you will instead grab a handful of meat and place it on the griddle where you will then flatten it with a spatula to get crispy edges.

how to make smash burger

How to make smash burger: instead of forming a full patty, grab the ground beef into a loose ball and then you will put it on the griddle and smash it with your spatula.

3) Flatten the burger with your spatula to get crispy edges and then flip over to crisp the other side before adding your cheese.

how to make smash burger

How to cook smash burger: Make a loose patty that will get smashed onto the griddle side of the GrillGrates.

4) Add Cheese and let it melt before placing your burger onto the bun. Layer on your onions and any other burger fixins you like.

how to make smash burger

How to make smash burger: I prefer American Cheese for it’s serious melt factor.

My favorite way to finish a smash burger is with a generous helping of secret sauce, pickles and griddled onions (which are also cooked on the griddle or cast iron skillet).


Q: What is a Smash Burger? A: A Smash Burger is a type of burger that is made by smashing a ball of ground beef onto a hot griddle or skillet. This creates a thin patty with crispy edges and a juicy interior. It’s a popular style of burger that’s become increasingly popular in recent years.

Q: Why is the Smash Burger so popular? A: The Smash Burger is popular because of its crispy edges and juicy interior, as well as the fact that it cooks quickly. It’s also very customizable – you can add whatever toppings you like to create a burger that’s perfect for your taste buds.

Q: What kind of beef should I use for a Smash Burger? A: For the best results, you should use a high-quality ground beef that’s around 80% lean and 20% fat. This will give you the right balance of flavor and texture for your burger.

Q: How do I make a Smash Burger? A: To make a Smash Burger, you’ll need to start by shaping a ball of ground beef into a patty. Then, heat up a griddle or skillet until it’s very hot. Place the patty onto the hot surface and immediately use a spatula to smash it down. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until the edges are crispy and the center is cooked to your liking.

Q: What toppings should I put on my Smash Burger? A: The great thing about a Smash Burger is that you can add whatever toppings you like! Some popular options include cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayo. Get creative and make it your own!

Q: Can I make a Smash Burger on a regular grill? A: While a griddle or skillet is the ideal tool for making a Smash Burger, you can still make a tasty version on a regular grill. Simply preheat your grill to high heat and place the patties directly onto the grates. Use a spatula to press down on the patties and create that signature crispy edge. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until done to your liking.

Okay, now it’s time to make smash burgers! You got this! If you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me @grillgirlrobyn on instagram, fb or pinterest. I love seeing your creations!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Smash burger

The Smash Burger

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Robyn (GrillGirl)
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burgers 1x


The Smash burger, is a diner style burger made on a griddle or a cast iron pan that is juicy with crispy edges paired with grilled onions and secret sauce – its the ultimate burger recipe to have in your burger repertoire!



For the Burgers

  • 9” cast iron skillet or grill grates flipped to the flat side
  • 2 lbs ground chuck roast (80% lean, 20% fat)
  • ½ stick butter, divided in half
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 Tbsp. coarsely ground pepper, divided

For the Secret Sauce

  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tbsp. pickle relish (either sweet or dill is okay)
  • 1 dash onion powder
  • 1 dash smoked paprika


  1. Mix secret sauce ingredients and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. 
  2. Very gently, form the ground beef into rough balls — just enough to give them shape without compressing the beef. (These burgers will be flattened straight on the grill to create crispy edges from cooking).
  3. Heat your grill to 400 degrees on medium-high direct heat. 
  4. Place a large cast iron skillet on the grill or, use the flat, griddle side of grill grates. Give your surface a few minutes to get nice and hot. 
  5. Add butter to the skillet and let it melt. Add onions and let them cook until translucent. Remove the onions from the skillet and set aside. 
  6. Add more butter. Working in batches, place burgers on the skillet and flatten with a metal spatula to ½-inch thick. Sprinkle the burgers with salt and pepper.
  7. Flip the burgers when the edges begin to form a nice, crispy crust. 
  8. Add cheese and continue to cook. Remove the burgers once both sides have achieved those crispy griddled edges. 
  9. To assemble burgers, slather the bun in secret sauce. Next, add a patty and top with grilled onions. Optionally, add tomato and pickles. 


I've used affiliate links in this post. I only recommend products I use myself!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Burgers, Smash Burger
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Want more grilled beef recipes? Check out these posts!

How to make Smash Burgers at Home: Step by Step Guide