Smash burgers recipe

Master the art of the smash burger with this easy-to-follow recipe.

Transform 1 pound of ground beef into 4 juicy patties with unforgettable crispy edges. You can also create 2 double burgers for a heartier meal.

As legend would have it, the smash burger first made its smashing debut in the 1930s after an employee in a restaurant smashed a burger on the grill using a can of beans. The rest is history and smash burgers have recently become a sought-out retro favourite on menus all over Calgary.

These “better burgers” are thin, pressed burgers cooked on a flat top over high heat causing them to form a brown crispy edge or crust, while keeping the center juicy. They can be made any time of the year on an indoor griddle, stainless steel skillet, or in a cast iron fry pan.

Choose ground beef that is 80/20 (80 percent lean ground beef with 20 percent fat); lean ground beef will work in a pinch but won’t offer as much flavour. Burger toppings are subjective, certainly add whatever toppings you enjoy. Buns should be simple and just the right size, not too big and not too small. Our perfect smash burger toppings include American cheese slices or individually wrapped cheese slices, shredded iceberg lettuce, bacon and burger sauce, along with sliced tomatoes, onions and pickles.

Alberta Beef Smash Burgers

Indulge in a timeless classic with these Alberta Beef Smash Burgers.


  • 1 large cast iron frying pan, or griddle
  • 1 flat metal spatula
  • 4 6-inch pieces of parchment paper


  • 1 lb regular ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or cooking oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 brioche or potato burger buns


  • 1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 white onions, sliced
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • pickles
  • cooked bacon
  • burger sauce (recipe below)


  • Divide the beef into 4 equal portions and gently form each into a ball. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.
  • Prepare all the burger toppings and set aside.
  • Heat up a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add oil and once it starts to smoke, place one ball onto the flat surface, and top with a piece of parchment. Using a metal spatula or burger press, firmly smash the patty down evenly to about ¼ inch thickness. If there is room in the pan repeat this with another ball. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until all burgers are made.
  • Prep your burger bun.
  • Cook the patty for 2-3 minutes per side or until brown and crispy. Carefully flip the burger over and add a slice of cheese. You can put a lid over top if needed to help the cheese melt. Cook an additional minute and transfer to your prepared burger bun. Stack two of the burgers or enjoy as a single.
  • Serve with fries, salad, fresh vegetables and extra pickles.


Burger Sauce: Mix together half a cup of mayonnaise, 2 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp mustard, pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tsp of pickle juice and a dash or two of your favourite hot sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.