Hilary’s Smash Burgers

a simple and glorious burger for your Memorial Day…..

Smash Burger new
Double Smash Burger

I love friends who cook!

I told you previously about my good friend David Henden, and his wonderful salsa and marinara. I will inevitably write about my friends Tiffiny and Jeff, both marvelous cooks. But for your Memorial Day weekend, I’m bringing in my good friend Hilary (and her partner Pilot) to tell you about these amazing burgers

Hilary and I work together on Guy’s Grocery Games. She produces, I edit. We’ve become fast friends and are both obsessed with cooking. (I told you about Hilary previously in this post about the marvelous Panang Curry we discovered how to make while working on Guy’s.)

She’s a terrific cook and a wonderful friend. We, along with every burger fan in Los Angeles, fell in love last year with a specific burger made at Burgers Never Say Die.

Whoa. Probably my favorite burger ever.

Hilary and Pilot figured out how to make them at home! Let me tell you, these burgers are %#$@ incredible. So here is Hilary in her own words. You will thank us both by Monday Night.

Smash Burger new
Double Smash Burger


 My boyfriend got me hooked on cheeseburgers and lucky for us we live in the burger capital of America… Los Angeles. Every weekend we venture out and find the newest, hottest trending burger. We like them all – fancy steakhouse burgers, dive bar burgers, pop up parking lot burgers, weird too many ingredient burgers, if it has “burger” in the name – we’ve tried it.

 Lately “smash burgers” are all the rage. One of our favorite burger spots is called “Burgers Never Say Die,” which initially originated in someone’s backyard as a “pop up” until the line grew so long down the driveway that they finally had to open up a brick and mortar right down the street from Tom. The burgers are simple, not too many toppings and so good you have to order two (they even have a sign that says so!)  And best of all, they have a crispy cheese/meat texture around the edges, which I call a “meat skirt.”

So this burger recipe is inspired by BNSD and since quarantine – we just have to get our weekly burger fix and this recipe never lets us down.

Smash Ingredients in focus
Ingredients for Smash Burger


1 pound of Ground Beef yields four burgers/ eight smashed patties
1 package of Hamburger Buns
Sliced Yellow American Cheese
4 Tablespoon of Bacon Fat, Beef Tallow, or Oil of Choice
Finely Minced White Onions
Relish or pickles (I prefer dill, not sweet)
Hot Sauce
Butter for the toasted buns
Kosher Salt
Garlic powder

**Use ground beef that has at least 15% fat content. Or better yet, if you can find 50/50 ground beef/ground bacon, use that. One pound of ground beef will yield eight golf ball-sized meat balls/four servings.

**We used potato buns this time, but regular old cheap buns works, just don’t get fancy with brioche because they fall a part


Large Cast Iron Skillet
Burger Press

**We don’t have a burger press, so we are improvising with a stainless steel spatula and meat tenderizer


Place your cast iron over medium high heat, add a few pads of butter and toast your buns.

While your buns are toasting, form eight golf sized burger balls, generously season with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a sprinkle of garlic powder.

After buns are toasted, remove and set dress your buns now if you do not have a sous chef helping because the next part of this recipe goes very quickly!

Here is how I build mine:

 Bottom Bun – generous squirt of ketchup and as many white onions as you like

 Top Bun – thin slather of mustard (I use Tracklements Strong English Mustard), a spoonful of mayo (Duke’s Mayonnaise), a dash of hot sauce (Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce), and some relish or minced up dill pickles (Claussen Pickles).

 Add about one tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan

 Place two hamburger balls to pan and smash down as hard as you can, using your burger press or spatula & meat tenderizer, until the patty is a quarter-inch thick. The goal is to let the meat get crispy on the bottom, so let it cook for at least a minute or until there’s a little bit of red juice left on top.

 Flip both patties and add cheese. Normally one slice of cheese per patty, but our cheese is thin so we’re using two slices per patty.

 Once the cheese has started to melt, stack one patty on top of the other and let cook for another 30 to 45 seconds.

 Clean pan out with a dry paper towel before adding another tablespoon of bacon fat and two more patties

 Place the double patty on top of your bun and enjoy — before your girlfriend starts acting like a jerk and yells at you.




4 thoughts on “Hilary’s Smash Burgers

  1. The key to any great burger is buttering and grilling the buns.
    This recipe has that covered. Thanks for sharing.

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