Homemade Smash Burgers
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It’s the burger trend that has swept across the US and throughout the world – the Smash Burger! Fatty, Juicy ground beef literally smashed down into thin patties and cooked perfectly with a crispy, blackened crust but juicy and succulent inside. Topped with the quintessential American Cheese, pickles and ‘secret sauce’, rich caramelized onions, and of course served with the delectable Martins Potato Roll bun. Our Homemade Smash Burgers are simply the best burger you can eat, and what’s more – it’s super easy and fun to make!

What is the key to great Homemade Smash Burgers?

At it’s core, a burger should be simple. There is no need to overload a recipe with excessive steps or fancy ingredients. Anyone seen those crazy burgers that cost $500 each with lobster, caviar etc. We’ve even heard of a burger that has gold leaf on it. Not sure why anyone would want to eat gold, it surely can’t be good for you! The key to a great Smash Burger, or the key to any good burger is in the ingredients:

Only use Ground Beef with a high fat content

We’re not eating healthy here, make no mistakes about it. If you want healthy food then by all means head over to check out some of our delicious Salads here. If you’re making a burger, it’s got to taste like a burger, and that means fat. Get 75/25 or 80/20 ground beef. What this means is, 80/20 = 80% Beef, 20% fat. The lower fat content doesn’t carry any flavor and you’ll be left with a tasteless, dry burger. The higher the fat content, the more flavor in the burger. As many famous chefs have repeated this quote: “Fat = Flavor!”

Don’t get fancy with the Cheese – use processed American Cheese every time

Processed American Cheese is the perfect accompaniment to the fatty beef in the burger. It is also what literally all of the famous fast food burger chains use. So, by this point any other cheese just feels totally foreign in a burger. Look, we understand there is a time and place for some delicious cheese like Camembert, or Brie in a Burger or a Sandwich. However, when it comes to making a great Homemade Smash Burger – stick to the American Cheese!

What Buns to use?

There is only one choice here and that is the king of burger buns. That’s right, the legendary Martin’s Potato Rolls. There is simply no substitute for them when it comes to a perfect burger bun. If you can’t get your hands on the Martin’s brand, then pick up alternative Potato Rolls. However, we highly recommend the Martin’s Potato Rolls for optimal flavor and texture in your perfect Homemade Smash Burger

Homemade Smash Burgers Close Up
The simplest ingredients are always the best. This amazing Homemade Smash Burger just needs good ingredients to taste amazing

Like many burgers you can make your own adaptations to the recipe however you like: Love juicy tomato and lettuce on your Homemade Smash Burgers then absolutely add them! Love fried eggs? Add that too! For this recipe we’ll stick with the classic double cheeseburger option, a formidable baseline for any amazing burger creation!

Recipe Details


2 people (makes 2 burgers)

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes (However, onions will take 45 minutes)

Total time

1 hour

Homemade Smash Burgers Recipe


For the Burgers

  • 1/3 lbs. of ground beef with high fat percentage (75/25 or 80/20 fat ratio recommended)
  • Martins sandwich Potato Rolls
  • 4 slices of American Cheese
  • Sliced pickles in brine
  • 1 Yellow or Spanish Onion
  • 1 Tomato, sliced (optional)
  • ½ Romaine Lettuce (optional)
  • Salt

For the Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 4 slices pickles (finely diced)
  • Salt


  1. Begin by seasoning the ground beef with salt and breaking it up into 4 individual balls, approximately the size of a golf ball. Don’t overwork the beef as you break it up, however ensure that the balls are consistently sticking together and not breaking apart. This shouldn’t really be an issue given the high fat content of the ground beef
  2. Peel and slice the onions and cook slowly in a saucepan with a tbsp. of Butter and a generous amount of salt, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 45-50 minutes until the onions are dark and caramelized. The onions are the longest process so if you can, try to prepare these in advance so you can simply re-heat when it’s serving time. Check out our amazing, Caramelized Onion recipe here

Cooking the Beef Patties

  1. Heat up your cast-iron skillet on the stove-top on a medium/high setting. We’d highly recommend the use of a cast iron skillet for this recipe as they conduct heat so well to ensure an even cook throughout, however any large skillet / frying pan will work fine. Once the pan is hot, place the beef on the pan evenly spaced from each other. No need for any cooking oil as given the fat content of the beef they won’t stick to the frying pan
  2. Now the fun part – SMASH the beef as thin as you can once in the pan by pressing down on each ball, either with the back of your spatula, or any other flat kitchen utensil which may do the job. We also like to use a saucepan; just be careful the meat doesn’t stick to the saucepan as you’re doing it! Of course, be careful to avoid any fat spitting up at you as you do this – best to use a kitchen towel to cover your hands
  3. Let the patties cook for about 3-4 minutes until you can start to see the sides darken and begin to crisp up. At this point, flip them over then lay a slice of American Cheese on top of each patty. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and is oozing over the beef (and a bit of the pan too, don’t worry about that!)

For the Sauce

  1. While the beef patties are cooking, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard together in a small bowl with the finely chopped pickles. Mix thoroughly and then season to taste (add some pickle brine for a vinegar kick if wanted). I’m sure there’s some secret stuff going into the In-n-Out Burgers Animal Style sauce but for a home cooked replica, this comes mighty close!

Homemade Smash Burger In N Out Double Double
You can recreate the famous Double Double from In N Out Burger by adding Tomato and Lettuce. Well worth it!

Assembling the Burger

  1. Take two patties, stack them on top of each other with a spatula then put onto the bottom of your Potato roll. Top with the caramelized onions and a few slices of pickles, the secret sauce, pop the top of the roll onto the burger and serve immediately!
  2. To create an authentic In n Out Style Double Double Smash Burger, you can add sliced Tomatoes and Lettuce. Stack the burger as follows from bottom to top: Sauce, Tomato, Lettuce, Beef, Cheese, Beef, Cheese, Pickles, then Caramelized Onions!

These delicious Homemade Smash Burgers are best served with fries – you can check out our Animal Style Fries (recipe coming soon) as well as some of our other delicious Potato Side Dishes here and Happy Cooking!

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