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Double Smashed Burgers With Cheese

These Double Smashed Burgers With Cheese are so quick, easy, and incredibly delicious, it’s the only way I ever make homemade cheeseburgers!

Two thin and juicy burgers with a crispy and flavorful brown crust are topped with melted cheese and stacked on a bun just waiting for your favorite burger toppings. In my house, we think they’re the best hamburgers ever!

I stopped grilling burgers a long time ago – even in the summer – and I have said good-bye to thick burgers (honestly, I was never a big fan of them anyway). It’s now these burgers every time!

If you’ve never had a smashed burger before, get out your cast iron skillet, grab some ground chuck, American cheese, a bun, and whatever fixin’s you like, and get cooking. These are a must-try!

So what exactly is a smashed burger (aka smash burger)?

Made popular in recent years by the Smashburger chain of restaurants (and it’s also the way lots of diners have always made their hamburgers), these burgers are all about the way you cook them.

You put cold balls of ground beef into a really hot pan (or on a griddle), smash them down with a spatula until they are super thin, and cook until the bottoms are browned.

Then flip them over, add some cheese, and cook until the other side is browned and the cheese starts to melt. Stack one on top of the other, put ’em on a bun, and enjoy!

“But hold on,” you say.

You’ve always learned not to press down on your burgers because it lets all of the juice out. Yep, that’s generally true. But these burgers are the exception to the rule, and you’ve just gotta go with it.

Somehow, in my opinion, these burgers are a little bit magical. Even though they’re thin, cook so fast, are pretty much well-done and have that crispy crust and edges, they still stay juicy and have so much flavor.

And honestly, they’re so forgiving that, even if you accidentally overcook them a little, they will still be fantastic. You’ve just got to try them and see for yourself!

double smashed burgers with cheese being lifted out of a cast iron skillet with a spatula

Ingredients you need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Ground beef (80/20; also called ground chuck)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • American cheese
  • Hamburger bun (I use a potato bun)
  • Toppings of your choice (optional)

Special equipment needed:

  • 12″ cast iron skillet
  • Parchment paper (cut into two 6-inch squares; optional)
  • Sturdy spatula (solid without holes)
  • Meat mallet (optional; see note below)

Note: A burger press would be the ideal tool for smashing the burgers if you have one.

I use a spatula and meat mallet because that’s what I have. The mallet helps me press down on the spatula when I smash the burgers. No mallet? A potato masher, another spatula, a wooden spoon, or even a can of soup or beans can help (or you can just use the spatula alone; I just find it easier with a little help).

Another option for smashing the burgers that works well instead of a spatula is using a small pot with the bottom covered in foil.

Here’s a look at how to make Double Smashed Burgers With Cheese:

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of a cast iron skillet on a stove with text that says preheat a cast iron skillet over medium low heat for 5 minutes; the other of 2 balls of ground beef on a plate with text that says loosely form 4 ounces of ground beef into two 2-ounce balls
2 images; one of two balls of ground beef in a cast iron skillet with text that says increase heat to medium high, place the balls in the pan; the other of 2 squares of parchment paper put over the balls of meat in the pan with text that says cover each ball with a square of parchment paper
2 images; one of the balls of meat in the pan being smashed down with a spatula and meat mallet with text that says smash down the balls until flat and about one quarter inch thick; the other of the flattened burgers in the pan with the parchment removed and seasoned with salt and pepper with text that says remove parchment, season with salt and pepper, cook until bottom is browned, 1 to 2 minutes
2 images; one of the burgers being flipped over in the pan with a spatula with text that says flip the burgers over; the other of the burgers in the pan topped with cheese with text that says top with cheese, cook until bottom is browned and cheese begins to melt, 30 seconds to one minute
2 images; one of the the burgers being stacked on top of one another in the pan with text that says stack one burger on top of the other; the other of the stacked burgers being put on a pun with toppings in the background with text that says put on bun, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Because these burgers cook so fast, have your buns and toppings ready before you start cooking!
  • 80/20 ground beef is a must for these burgers because the fat content keeps them juicy and flavorful. If you use anything leaner, they will likely end up dry and crumbly.
  • Make sure the meat is cold. This helps the fat stay in the burgers, keeping them juicier.
  • I use and recommend a cast iron pan for even heating. A heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pan will work if you don’t have cast iron.
    • Don’t use a non-stick pan, though, as most are not safe when used at high temperatures (plus, you won’t get that crispy crust).
  • The parchment paper is the best method I have found for keeping the spatula from sticking to the burgers when you smash them. If you don’t have any, that’s ok. You might just have a little sticking to deal with.
  • This recipe is for one double smash burger just to show you the technique. Increase the recipe for however many burgers you need to make and cook them in batches (a second pan helps if you’re making quite a few). You can keep the cooked burgers warm in a 200°F oven until they’re all ready.
    • A large cast iron griddle is perfect for cooking larger batches. I can do up to 4 double burgers at a time on mine (it’s about 11×20 inches).
  • Want to cook these outside on the grill? Put your cast-iron skillet (or griddle) on the grill and heat over medium-high heat. Just be careful with any flames because parchment paper can burn and the pan or griddle will get greasy.
    • I actually use the grill most often because these can get a little smoky, and this keeps the smoke out of my kitchen.
  • For extra cheesiness, use 2 slices of cheese and put one whole slice on each burger patty.
double smashed burger with cheese on a bun and topped with lettuce, tomato and red onions and a plate of toppings in the background

In the summer when we’re cooking out, my favorite way to top these burgers is with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a little mayonnaise and ketchup.

I’ve also topped them with lots of sautéed onions and a burger sauce made with ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and a little sriracha (so good!). Barbecue sauce would also be yummy in place of the burger sauce.

And I’ve even turned them into a homemade Big Mac-style burger with some special sauce (aka Homemade Thousand Island Dressing), lettuce, pickles, and onions.

Lots of options!

I hope you try this Double Smashed Burgers With Cheese Recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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double smashed burger with cheese being put on a bun with a spatula

Double Smashed Burgers With Cheese

These Double Smashed Burgers With Cheese are so quick, easy, and incredibly delicious, it's the only way I ever make homemade cheeseburgers!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 1 double burger
Estimated Calories: 470

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces 80/20 ground beef, also called ground chuck (make sure it is cold)
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 1 hamburger bun, I use a potato bun

Special Equipment

  • 12" cast iron skillet
  • parchment paper cut into two 6-inch squares (optional)
  • Sturdy spatula (solid without holes)
  • Meat mallet (optional; I use this to help press down the spatula when smashing the burgers; a potato masher, wooden spoon, another spatula, or even a can of soup or beans will also work)

Instructions

  • Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  • While the skillet is heating, divide the ground beef into two equal portions (2 ounces each) and loosely roll each portion into a ball.
    Be sure to form the balls loosely and don't compact the meat, as this can make your burgers end up tough.
  • After the skillet has heated for 5 minutes, increase the heat to medium-high.
  • Add the 2 balls of ground beef to the skillet, leaving plenty of space between them so they can be flattened.
  • Place one square of parchment paper over each ball (this keeps the spatula from sticking to the meat; if you don't have any, that's ok, just be aware that you might have to deal with a little sticking).
  • Using a sturdy solid spatula without holes (I also use a meat mallet to help press down on the spatula, which makes this easier), press down the balls until they are flat and about ¼ inch thick.
    The edges will be uneven and you may even get a few holes here and there, and that's totally ok, so just leave them be and don't try to fix them!
  • Remove the parchment paper; season the meat with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook until the bottoms of the burgers are browned, about 1 to 2 minutes.
    Don't move them around at all during this time; to get that crust, you need to leave them be until they are browned.
  • Flip the burgers over.
    The burgers will most likely stick to the pan a little bit (this is ok and it's what creates that crust), so you will need to get under them and scrape with the spatula to loosen them up. I find that turning my spatula upside down makes this quicker and easier.
  • Top each burger with half of the slice of American cheese.
  • Continue cooking until cooked through, the bottoms are browned, and the cheese has begun to melt, only about 30 seconds to a minute more.
  • Stack one burger on top of the other and place on a bun.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

  • Because these burgers cook so fast, have your buns and toppings ready before you start cooking!
  • A heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pan will work if you don’t have cast iron (don’t use a non-stick pan, as most are not safe when used at high temperatures, and it prevents getting that crispy crust).
  • A burger press is the perfect tool to smash the burgers if you have one. Another alternative is a small pan with the bottom covered in foil.
  • Ground beef should be cooked to 160°F .
  • This recipe is for one double smash burger just to show you the technique. Increase the recipe for however many burgers you need to make and cook them in batches (a second pan helps if you’re making quite a few). You can keep the cooked burgers warm in a 200°F oven until they’re all ready.
    • A large cast iron griddle is perfect for cooking larger batches. I can do up to 4 double burgers at a time on mine (it’s about 11×20 inches).
  • Want to cook these outside on the grill? Put your cast-iron skillet (or griddle) on the grill and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Just be careful with any flames because parchment paper can burn and the pan or griddle will get greasy.
  • Estimated calories shown are for the burger and bun only and do not include any toppings.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

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