The Potato Masher Hack For Smash Burgers In A Flash

Smash burger on dark table
Smash burger on dark table - Alexander Wallstrom/Shutterstock

Smash burgers are one of the easiest burgers to make because they cook up in a flash, and there are so many ways to add flavor to them. But if there is one challenge to creating the perfect smash burger, it's making sure the patty is as flat as can be. The burgers tend to shrink and cook up as they heat, so you need a solid method for ensuring they don't get too thick. And if you don't have a burger press, then that's where your potato masher comes in.

Potato mashers are round pieces of metal, typically with holes in them, that help you easily break up cooked potatoes. But, like most kitchen tools, they have multiple uses. In this case, that rounded shape makes an excellent tool for shaping ground meat into a burger. Plus, the large top handle helps you get enough weight onto the patty to easily flatten the meat.

Read more: The Unexpected Meat You Need To Avoid Grilling At All Costs

Use A Potato Masher For The Perfect Smash Burger

Round metal potato masher
Round metal potato masher - Bonchan/Getty Images

Potato mashers usually have holes in them, which means you don't want to place it directly on the meat; otherwise, you can assume the meat will come through the holes, and your burger patty will turn into a mess. A quick fix is to just place a piece of parchment paper between the meat and the masher. Plus, the meat won't stick to the parchment paper, meaning you can easily use the paper to transfer the patty right to the grill or pan once it's made. This method also keeps the potato masher clean, so it's one less thing to wash, and makes your smash burger process easier.

A standard spatula would work, too, but spatulas don't have the top handle that potato mashers have. If you have to use a spatula, you might have to place some weight on the base of the spatula itself to get the burger as flat as possible. You can still use the parchment paper trick for this tool as well, though.

Other Ways To Prepare The Perfect Smash Burger

Smash burger with fries
Smash burger with fries - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

While there are specific burger masher tools out there, you might not have one in your kitchen. Another alternative for easy smash burgers is to use the bottom of a cooking pot. Take your smallest pot, add a piece of parchment paper on top of the meat, then smash the burger with the pot; the weight and shape of the pot will help you easily flatten the burger.

Your smash burger's shape is important, but its flavor is where it's going to shine. Before buying ground beef, know what to look for. Use a high-fat ground beef, such as 20%, when preparing your burgers; this will keep them nice and juicy. Anything too lean, such as 7% fat, will give you a drier burger. Season the beef with plenty of kosher or sea salt, and add any additional spices you'd like. A little black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika will all add a nice flavor. Smash burgers are typically made with American cheese, but you can use any cheese that melts easily. Monterey Jack offers a mild flavor, while pepper Jack adds some spice. For a rich, nutty flavor, try using Gruyère (this will taste even better if you top the burger with caramelized onions).

Read the original article on Daily Meal.