Smash Burgers

I’m sharing something that is far more technique than recipe. I mean, it’s tough to call ground beef and salt a recipe, though giving naturally raised (ideally grass-fed) beef the respect it deserves by adding nothing but flavour-enhancing salt speaks to the power of quality ingredients.

The key is in the cooking and the secret to that is a dense, heat-soaked cooking surface. Since I don’t have a several hundred pound commercial flattop at home, my go-to is a Baking Steel. It’s ten kilograms of dense steel that holds heat better than any other cooking surface a person can lift alone. If you don’t have a Baking Steel, use the heaviest griddle or cast pan you have access to and be sure to have it as ripping hot as possible before putting the beef on it.

If you eat bread, you can put the patty in a bun, but my favourite way to serve it is on a bed of greens with all the usual burger toppings including crispy homemade bacon. This same meat/salt ratio and technique works beautifully with ground pork, lamb or poultry. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Time: 10 minutes (plus preheating time)

Serves: 4


450g regular ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
4g kosher salt



Preheat a Baking Steel, griddle or heavy cast pan on high heat on an outdoor gas grill or stovetop.

Use your hands to combine the beef and salt.

Shape into four equal balls.

Place the balls on the cooking surface, squishing flat with a spatula.

Cook for 90 seconds and turn, squishing again. Cook for an additional 90 seconds.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Get the PDF and nutrition info

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