Smash Burgers with Homemade Spicy Ketchup

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Every excellent burger maker has a special recipe. The ideal burger mince, spices, and toppings. Even the kind of bun they use.

I’m always modifying one aspect of my smash burgers. I’m very pleased with how these turned out, and I believe it’s only right that I share the recipe with you.

I cooked them on my Weber Kettle over a griddle grate for additional smoky flavor, but you can easily make these on a gas griddle or cast iron skillet as well.

Why do you smash the burger?

Smash Burgers with Homemade Spicy Ketchup

A smash burger is made by squishing the hamburger patty with a big spatula or a weighted burger smasher.

This will result in a thin burger patty with more surface area to crisp up on the exterior.

If you’ve never heard of the Maillard reaction, I guarantee you’ve experienced it, and I’m sure you enjoyed it.

If you’ve ever eaten toast, roast meat, chocolate, or drunk beer, coffee, or condensed milk, you’ve had the Maillard reaction.

It is responsible for the characteristic taste of browned food. A chemical interaction that occurs in food and drinks between amino acids and reducing carbohydrates.

By pushing the burger patties down in a smash burger, we increase the surface area for the Maillard process to occur. With each swallow, we get more of that delicious flavor we all want.

This reaction typically occurs at temperatures ranging from 140F to 165F and occurs fast. As a result, there is a delicate line between charring and burning our food to produce the Maillard reaction. Remember, we’re dealing with sugars, and we all know how rapidly sugars burn at high temperatures.

Items that will help you cook these are:

  • A flat top grill (I used a Weber with a griddle)
  • Heat proof gloves
  • A spatula
  • A burger smasher

The ideal meat to use for burgers

I discovered that combining beef brisket with chuck steak yields the ideal fat-to-meat ratio. I’ll go into the specific ratios later in the recipe.

Following that, this is as vital as the meat selection. The best way to grind beef.

Some may be surprised to learn that you can have both fine and coarse mince. If you do not have your own grinder, just ask your local butcher to handle the grinding for you; they are typically more than willing to assist you.

If you hire a butcher, ask him to run the meat through his grinder just once and on the coarse setting. You’ll want two-thirds brisket point muscle to one-third chuck steak.

That is the ideal burger meat smash ratio. Believe me, I’ve tried everything.

What condiments to use

The condiments are just as important as the meat.

When I created this recipe, I was striving for a comparable flavor to the renowned burgers that were promoted with a clown on the front and what seemed to be a Scottish background, no names supplied here. I’m certain you’ll figure it out.

Despite the fact that it was the foundation of this concept, I wanted them to be better.

Pickles would always be on the menu. I like trying new flavors of pickles, and recently I’ve been enjoying the bread and butter kind. As a result, they were handed this recipe.

The mustard came next, and I chose to stick with good old American yellow mustard. I had something in mind for the ketchup, so I only wanted to preserve the mustard as a familiar taste.

The bun on the bottom I believed it needed a lighter taste and something a bit different. So I selected Kewpie mayonnaise, which is a Japanese mayonnaise with a great creamy texture and taste that was ideal for my burger.

The ketchup came next, and I chose my spicy variation to give this burger a little bite.

Not too much heat, but enough to alert your taste senses that something is off.

Last but not least, we need a high melt cheese, and the finest available is American Cheese, so I went with what I knew worked.

The spicy ketchup recipe and ingredients may be found farther down in this recipe.

Setting up your grill for the smash burgers

I used a 22 Weber kettle and a flat griddle hotplate for this meal. This is required to get the burger patties nice and flat. To that end, any flat top grill would do, as will a flat cast iron pan.

Begin by burning a chimney starter full of briquettes; after completely lighted and ashy, put them in two charcoal baskets.

After that, set the flat top griddle on top of the lighted charcoal. After that, replace the cover and let it heat up for 10 minutes.

While the hotplate is heating up, start measuring out your mince combination of brisket and chuck beef and weighing it out to 3.5 ounces for each burger patty and rolling them into balls with your hands.

Now is a good time to start creating the spicy ketchup; this may be done ahead of time if necessary.

Place all of the ingredients, which are given below, in a saucepan. Stir this for a few minutes over medium heat until everything is dissolved. Allow to cool before transferring to a sauce bottle.

The hotplate should be approximately 570F to 600F, which is the ideal searing temperature for the burgers. Lightly oil the hotplate and then set the burger patties on it. Each burger will need two patties. As they are put on the blazing hot griddle, you should hear a loud and straight sizzle.

Sprinkle with kosher salt and flatten each burger with a burger smasher. I prefer to place a sheet of baking paper between the burger and the smasher; this not only saves time cleaning the burger smasher but also prevents it from sticking throughout the crushing process.

Because these burgers are now so thin, they will cook in no time. In a minute or two, you’ll see some liquid developing on top of each patty; this is your cue that the burgers are ready to flip.

Once flipped, top each burger with a slice of cheese and lay your burger buns on the hotplate to brown slightly.

The cheese will virtually melt before your eyes, so remove the buns from the oven after a minute.

Spread some Kewpie mayonnaise on the bottom bun, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon. Add two burger patties and cheese to this, along with a generous splash of spicy ketchup and mustard, and a few pickles on top.

Smash that top bun and dig into one of the most delicious burgers you’ve ever had.

The crispy outer layer of the burger, the melting cheese, the soft brioche bread, and a combination of mayo, spicy ketchup, mustard, and the acidic crunch of the pickles all combine to produce one amazing taste and sensory explosion.

Other delicious burgers to try

  • Big Mac Copycat Smash Burgers With Crispy Bacon
  • Reverse Seared Smoked Hamburgers
  • How to make Smoked Smash Burgers at Home
  • Grilled Mediterranean Lamb Burgers
  • Smoked Burgers With Fennel and Pear Slaw


What is smash burger sauce made of?

Smash burger smash sauce is traditionally created with mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, and minced pickles.

What kind of sauce does Smashburger have?

What exactly is Smash Sauce? Smash Sauce is a basic mayonnaise-based sauce with lots of yellow mustard, as well as a few minced dill pickles and pickle juice for extra acidity.

How to season a smash burger?

Ingredients for Smash Burger Seasoning: salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Seasonings for burgers: salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder.
Mayonnaise, ketchup, spicy brown mustard, minced pickles, pickle.

Is burger sauce made of ketchup and mayo?

What ingredients go into burger sauce? Burger Sauce is often a creamy spread created from ketchup and mayonnaise, with other mix-ins to make it distinctive and flavorful. It’s often referred to as special, house, or secret sauce.

What is the difference between a Smashburger and a smashed burger?

The cooking procedure distinguishes smash burgers from conventional burgers. A Smashburger is flattened or crushed during cooking, resulting in a crunchy outer crust and a juicy inside. A standard burger is not shattered, resulting in a less crispy burger.

Do you use oil with smash burgers?

Apply oil to the heated surface. Place ground beef balls onto heated skillet in batches if necessary. Smash burgers flat using a flat wide spatula. Season with salt and pepper to taste (or your preferred rub).

Do smash burgers need binder?

Unlike conventional burgers, you need massage this meat a little to help it bond together. All it takes is some gentle rubbing followed by packaging it into two-ounce balls.

Why are my smash burgers tough?

How to Make Smash Burgers

As with conventional burgers, you’ll want to start with extremely cold meat. If the beef heats up while you’re cooking the burgers, the fat might separate, leaving the burgers sticky when forming patties and difficult when cooked.

Why does Smash Burger taste better?

Smashing the burger creates a sear on the exterior of the meat, locking in all of the juices and taste. Because there is less surface area for the fat to flow onto the heat source, this approach also helps to reduce flare-ups on the grill or griddle.

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