If the secret to a great smash burger is maximizing its crispy surface area, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting an even press on the burger patty. The best tool for the job would be a burger press, but such a specialized tool might not make sense for most folks to keep in their kitchen. Bon Appétit recommends simply smashing your burgers down onto the griddle or cast iron with a spatula. This might be a convenient and easy way to do it, but it might not get the best results.
Cook’s Illustrated points out that spatulas typically provide an uneven press because the handle is offset from where you’re applying force. This means that you’re not getting as much pressure on your burger as you need, and it may produce an uneven patty. Instead, the magazine recommends using a small saucepan. By safely gripping both sides and pressing down with your hands, you’ll be able to get an even amount of heavy pressure going straight down onto the burger.
As Hospitality Magazine adds, you can also follow in the footsteps of Kentucky’s early smash burger pioneers and use a large can of beans (or any large can) to smash the burgers. Just be sure to clean it off before it goes back into the pantry.
Any way you smash it, you are in for a crispy, savory twist on a classic burger.