WARNING: This is not a healthy recipe…but it’s delicious. If you’re looking to cut some pounds, or you’re watching your cholesterol, this recipe isn’t for you and you should go check out our Easy Grilled Asparagus. Even if you are watching your waistline, make these bad boys on your cheat day.
Smash burgers are very popular throughout the US, and are served many places such as Steak and Shake, In-N-Out, and … Smashburger. By putting a spin on the classic hamburger by enhancing the texture, flavor, all while utilizing a simple process makes this a must try dish at home. It will easily slide into your dinner rotation for countless meals to come.
This recipe combines a juicy burger that has a fantastic crispy exterior, with melted cheese, and classic toppings. It’s easy enough to put together on a weeknight with very little planning, and can be served alongside fries, potato salad, onion rings, or anything else you might find at a barbecue. If I had to choose my last meal, this would probably be one of my top 5 choices. Give it a shot and you won’t be disappointed!
Servings: 5 to 6 (makes 6 burgers, but the cook gets a double bacon cheese burger)
- 2 lb ground beef, 80/20, see tip #1 below
- 6 slices of American cheese
- 12 slices of thick cut bacon
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 6 to 12 burger sized leaves of romaine lettuce
- 6 brioche buns
- spicy brown mustard
Plate 1 – tomato, cheese, lettuce, American cheese, bacon (once it’s been cooked).
Plate 2 – a couple of sheets of paper towel
Plate 3 – brioche buns, separated and ready to receive burgers
Plate 4 – 6 loosely formed ground beef balls. They should be somewhere in between a golf ball and a baseball…leaning towards a baseball.
- In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, cook the bacon until it’s crispy, then set aside. See tip #2 below.
- Pour off all but a few tablespoons of bacon fat and set the heat to medium high.
- Place two of the ground beef balls into the pan.
- Using a solid spatula, press the beef into a patty around a 1/2 inch thick. See tip #3 below.
- Once the first two have been in the pan for around a minute, arrange them so they are close together and add a third ground beef ball and flatten it as described in step 4.
- After the burgers have been on the first side for 5-6 minutes, flip them. Please don’t skip tip #4 below…it could make the difference between a acceptable burger and an amazing burger.
- After the burgers have been on the second side for about 4 minutes, place a slice of cheese on each burger.
- Once the cheese is melted and the bottom is crispy, transfer the burgers to the paper towel on plate 2, then to a bun on plate 3.
- Repeat steps 3 through 8 for the remaining 3 burgers.
- Add the toppings on plate 1 and the mustard to the burgers. See tip #5 below.
- Get your face ready to receive these tasty morsels and dig in.
- Ground beef comes in a variety of lean to fat ratios, and we’ve suggested using 80/20 for this recipe. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to make these amazing burgers you’re not looking for a healthy recipe. We’re already essentially frying them in bacon fat, so 80/20 should be good, but if you were going to waiver from 80/20, go fattier rather than leaner. It’s no secret that fat tastes good, so don’t shy away from it with this recipe and make the best burger possible. You can eat a salad tomorrow.
- Do yourself a favor and cut the bacon in half prior to cooking it. This makes it fit in the pan better, and easier to cook. These burgers can’t handle full size pieces of bacon anyways, so your just getting ahead of the game by cooking them at the proper size, and saving yourself the trouble of breaking them in half later.
- This is a learn-from-my-mistakes moment. If you try to use a slotted or perforated spatula during this step, as you smash the beef into patty form, the beef will tend to squeeze its way into the holes the spatula and stick. Once it’s stuck to the spatula, it’s not easy getting it off in one piece. Using a spatula like this one, you’ll avoid this problem.
- The surface texture you’re looking for is crispy. There should be dark brown spots all over the patty. This texture is what sets this burger into a league of it’s own. Don’t be afraid to flip the burger back if you don’t see the crispy texture you should.
- I really feel like 3 – half pieces of bacon are optimal for each burger. This leaves 6 halves for snacking, which is what I like to call the cooks pay.
- different type of cheese – Traditionally, smash burgers are made with American cheese, but I’ve used a variety of different types and the burgers always taste fantastic.
- different buns – any bun works, I just think brioche buns are the best.
- onion – I honestly intended to use red onions for this recipe, but I think I just forgot because I was so excited to scarf these burgers down.
- pickles – this would be a traditional smash burger topping that I neglected to use for this batch.
- sauces – I really think that classic flavors go a long way, but you could always soup your burgers up with some chipotle mayo or garlic aoili.
- hot sauce – …I put it on everything…minus ice cream.
A good pasta salad is one of those versatile dishes that is at home sitting next to anything from a hot dog to a salmon fillet. The combination of pasta, fresh herbs, fresh veggies, meat, cheese, and dressing come together to create a dish that is a staple of family parties and barbecues. I put together this dish for a Fourth of July barbecue, and it really hit the the spot. It was a delicious addition, along side the grilled chicken and potato salad.
A couple of things to keep an eye on that will elevate this dish are pasta firmness and serving temp. While al dente is considered optimal for warm pasta dishes, having al dente pasta that’s cold isn’t necessarily the best. I’m most certainly not telling you to serve pasta mush, but going a bit past al dente can create a more pleasant texture. The serving temperature will also have an effect on the dish. Pasta salad that is fresh from your almost freezing refrigerator isn’t ideal. If your eating pasta salad really cold, you’re missing out on a big chunk of the flavor. Allowing the pasta salad to warm up a bit will allow the flavor to bloom and reach its full potential.
- 24 oz. tri-colored rotini
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 5 slices of 1/4 inch thick salami, cubed
- 8 oz. mozzerella cheese, 1/4 inch cubes
- 2 tbps minced fresh basil
- 2 tbps minced fresh parsly
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 4 tbps lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp honey
Bowl 1 – cooked, cooled pasta, make sure this bowl is large enough to mix all ingredients
Bowl 2 – extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, red pepper flakes, honey
Bowl 3 – tomatoes, onion, salami, mozzarella, basil, parsley
- Cook the rotini al dente and drain in a large colander. Once the pasta has mostly cooled, place in bowl 1.
- Pour 3/4 of the contents of bowl 2 into bowl 1 and stir until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Pour bowl 3 into bowl 1. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Doing this step after you’ve already mixed the dressing and pasta keeps the tomatoes from being beat up too much.
- Add additional dressing from bowl 2 if desired.
- cheese – pepper jack, colby, or feta
- red pepper
No summer BBQ is complete without a heaping mound of delicious potato salad sitting next to whatever Uncle Jack has been endlessly fiddling with on the grill for the past two hours. This recipe combines great fresh flavors, good balance, and fantastic texture, all while avoiding the heaviness that many potato salads suffer from. This is a great dish to take to a BBQ or potluck since it can be made ahead of serving time. Don’t pass up on putting this recipe together for your next BBQ, get-together, or just a weeknight dinner.
Servings: 6 – 8
- 3 lbs. of peeled russet potatoes, cut into 1.5 inch chunks.
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 green onions
- minced white and light green portion
- chopped dark green onion
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped. Check out our Boiled Egg Experiment.
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayo
- A few dashes of smoked paprika
Bowl 1 – raw potatoes
Bowl 2 – eggs, potatoes (once they’re cooked). make sure the bowl is large enough to mix everything
Bowl 3 – sour cream, mayo, minced green onions, salt, oregano, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, red onion
Bowl 4 – chopped green onions
- Fill a 6 qt. stockpot with about 4 qts. of water to a boil over medium high heat.
- Once the pot is at a rolling boil dump bowl 1 (raw potatoes) in…carefully.
- After adding the potatoes the boil will slow down, but should return after about 5 minutes.
- Once the boil returns, boil for an additional 9 minutes (14 minutes in the pot all together), then pour into a colander.
- Allow the potatoes to cool in the strainer, gently moving them around to dissipate the heat every few minutes.
- Once the potatoes are fairly well cooled, add them to the eggs in bowl 2.
- Combine all of the bowl 3 ingredients and mix them together. Keeping the eggs and potatoes separate in this step keeps them from being broken down further.
- Add bowl three into bowl two and gently mix together.
- If you’re serving the potato salad in a different bowl, transfer it now.
- Top the potato salad with a couple of dashes of smoked paprika, then sprinkle with the chopped green onions.
This potato salad will leave your fellow BBQ guests craving seconds. The flavors and textures in this dish combine to make a simple potato salad that is something truly fantastic.