Bacon Cheese Smash Burgers
Smash burgers on the grill are easier than you might think and have that great smoky taste you just can't get on a cast iron pan or griddle. We make ours on a Green Mountain Grill but you can use whatever grill you like. They have a fantastic crispiness to the edges and juicy interior you'll love!
I make the delicious crisp bacon ahead of time in the oven. Check out my easy method for Restaurant Style Sheet Pan Bacon.
I store the bacon in the refrigerator in a plastic container or sandwich baggie until I want to use it. It's perfect to have on hand when you just want a few pieces for a sandwich or burgers like these.
I fold up the crisped slices of bacon in a foil packet and throw it on the grill just before the burgers are finished to warm them up.
So how do I get smashed burgers on the grill without smashing them right through the grate?
I pre-smash them between sheets of plastic wrap with this awesome turner I recently bought for my husband that's made by Victorionics - Swiss Army. Since we have this great new grill and his very favorite thing in the world to order at a restaurant is a bacon cheese burger I thought it might come in handy. I was not wrong. It's a superb tool that I highly recommend!
When you smash a burger like this you can see it forms lots of cracks and scalloped edges that are exactly what you want. The more the better, as this is what makes the edges crisp up and give you great caramelization which equals divine flavor and texture.
It's also important to make sure you have enough fat in the burger you use. The leanest beef will result in a dry burger. Since the beef I have is fairly lean I add a tablespoon of grape seed or canola oil to help insure a juicy burger with crispy edges.
When I have time, I like to make my own burger buns too. Check out my recipe for Soft Sourdough Burger Buns!
To warm the buns, we love them griddled with a brief kiss of real butter and a sprinkle of Mel's Secret Spice Blend.
I did not have time to make the soft sourdough burger buns on this occasion so the buns pictured are actually bakery hard rolls that are surprisingly soft unless you crisp them in the oven. They griddle up perfectly and are just the right size for 1/4 - 1//3 pound burgers. Kaiser rolls are another one of my favorite go to's for larger burgers like my recipe for Real Pizza Burgers. We have discovered some really horrible pizza burgers over the years so we decided it was time for us to make our own recipe. I use mild Italian sausage instead or hamburger. Mmmmmm, tasty!
Follow along with the pictures in the gallery below to discover how easy it is to make your own smash burgers at home without heating and smoking up the house this summer.
I do have another method for making burgers that's perfect for adding extra ingredients to or for making stuffed burgers. Try this Perfectly Formed Burger Patty method if you'd like to stuff your burger with some Blue Cheese or other goodness.
If you like your burger straight up, we really prefer this smash burger method now. I season the beef with a little garlic and onion powder then Superman shakes on some salt and pepper just before adding the cheese while he's grilling.
That's it, add the cheese, bacon and your favorite condiments for the perfect smash burger off the grill.
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Bacon Cheese Smash Burgers
Cooked Bacon, 4 - 6 half slices
4 large slices of cheese (your choice)
4 burger buns
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon quality neutral flavor oil
salt and pepper
condiments as desired
Cook the bacon ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for easy sandwich topping.
Prepare the buns with a light touch of real butter and Mel's Secret Spice Blend. (click the link for the easy recipe)
Start pre-heating your grill to 400 degrees then add the garlic, onion powder and oil (if using) to the beef and mix well. Divide the beef into quarters for 1/4 pound burgers.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface then top with a nice round 1/4 pound ball of the ground beef mixture. Cover that with another sheet of plastic, then use the back of a large metal turner for smashing the burger. You want it to be evenly smashed for even grilling. Your burger should have lots of rough edges.
Move the burger to a plate leaving the plastic wrap intact and repeat the procedure with the rest of the burger making four equal size patties. It's okay to stack these up.
At the grill, peel the plastic from one side of one burger while holding it in one hand then flip the burger onto your other hand and remove the other side of the plastic before placing the burger on the hot grill. Grill with the lid open until the burgers begin to sear and char a little on the edges then turn them over. ( About 5 minutes )
Meanwhile, place the bacon you want to use on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Fold and seal the edges to form a packet then place the packet of bacon on the grill with the burgers.
After turning them, season the burgers with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, add the buns cut side down to a cast iron pan that you have pre-heated to medium.
While the buns are toasting, add some cheese to the burgers. You pick the cheese, we used some provolone here.
Remove the burgers when the edges are crispy and caramelized and the cheese is just melted. About 8-10 minutes total.
Toast the buns to a nice golden color with crispy edges, then remove them from the griddle pan. (4-5 minutes)
Remove the Bacon from the grill and open the packet. Top the burgers with the bacon, fresh lettuce, tomato, red onion and your favorite condiments.