Wimpy and uneven burgers can make you question your burger-making skills. So what should you do? You need to get a smash burger press!
That’s right. If you want to welcome your guests to juicy, delectable, and good-looking burgers, you need a partner. Our comprehensive guide on the best smash burger presses is your ticket to finding the right one.
By the end of this article, not only will you have a list of 5 fine smash burger presses, but you’ll also have a buying guide that will guide you through every step of the buying process and answer any questions you might have about such presses.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What Is a Smash Burger?
A smash burger is a type of hamburger characterized by its cooking method and distinct characteristics. The method involves taking a loosely packed ball of ground beef and smashing it onto a hot cooking surface like a griddle or a pan. The smashing process creates a thin patty with a bigger surface area. You put it to sear and allow it to cook evenly.
This basically results in a patty that has a crispy exterior but a juicy interior. Plus, it’s really nice, tender, and easily chewable. It’s ground beef, so chewability is a given.
In simple words, this ground beef technique enhances flavor and texture—making smash burgers a popular choice for many burger enthusiasts.
The 5 Best Smash Burger Presses Reviewed in Detail
At the first spot, we have the Cuisinart Smash Burger Kit. It’s an all-in-one solution for creating juicy and flavorful burgers. You get a burger press with raised edges, a seasoning shaker, burger papers, and a specialized spatula.
The kit is made from durable stainless steel and cast iron and offers everything you need for perfectly smashed patties for your next burger party.
The Cuisinart Burger Press Bundle includes a 6.5-inch cast iron smash burger press with a 9-inch stainless steel melting dome. The heavy-duty press ensures perfectly shaped patties with crispy edges and juicy centers.
The melting dome, on the other hand, concentrates heat for even cooking and adds that smoky flavor. Both pieces feature durable stainless steel handles. However, keep in mind that these two items are not dishwasher safe.
BBQ Dragon offers a number of excellent and innovative cooking products. This one’s a rectangular smash burger press. It weighs 2.9 pounds and allows for even cooking.
It’s also particularly effective for making grilled cheese and paninis, and removing excess fat from meats. In addition to its shape, the unique needle-tipped probe makes it stand out among others.
The Blackstone 5349 Smash and Sear Press has a 7-inch diameter—so it’s large enough to handle sizable patties while ensuring they get a proper sear. It’s crafted from durable stainless steel (unlike most cast iron presses we’ve reviewed above).
This also makes this smash burger press dishwasher safe, making clean-up a breeze. Additionally, the press comes with a 1-year warranty.
JENNY FRIDA's BBQ accessories offer a dynamic duo for burger-making. Firstly, there’s a round patty-making mold that’s going to give you uniform-sized patties every single time. Then there’s a smash burger press that’ll let you have thin and well-caramelized ground beef patties for your smash burgers. Both tools are crafted to provide a consistent and uniform patty—it’s just that the smash press better aids in cooking evenly and draining excess fats.
How to Choose the Ideal Press for a Smash Burger
Selecting the perfect smash burger press might feel overwhelming with so many options out there, but worry not! Here are some key factors to consider:
Look for high-quality, non-stick materials like cast iron or heavy-duty aluminum. These materials ensure durability and deliver effective heat retention for that perfect sear.
Size and Shape
The press should be slightly larger than the size of the bun you'll use. A round-shaped press is generally more common. But square or rectangular options can also give your burgers a unique look!
A press with a larger surface area ensures that the patty gets evenly smashed.
A comfortable, ergonomic handle is essential for effective smashing. Look for ones with a solid grip and preferably some heat resistance so your hand stays safe.
Raised Edges or Flat
Some presses come with raised edges to keep the juices in, while others are flat for a more traditional smash. Your choice depends on whether you want a juicier burger or one with a crispier crust.
While higher-end options often offer more features and durability, there are budget-friendly presses that do the job quite well. Balance your needs with your budget to make the right choice. Keep in mind that there isn’t much of a price range when it comes to these presses. You’re looking at a price range that falls between $4 and $20.
Are Burger Presses Worth It?
Are burger presses worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. Especially if you're after consistency, efficiency, and that gourmet touch. A burger press takes the guesswork out of forming the perfect patty. It ensures that each one is uniformly sized and shaped.
This means burgers receive even cooking, every single time. No more dealing with burgers that are charred on the edges and raw in the middle. Plus, it's a time-saver—essential when you're feeding a crowd.
Is a Smash Burger Press Different From a Usual Burger Press?
Yes, a smash burger press and a traditional burger press serve different purposes and yield distinct results. However, both are, in fact, designed to help you create the perfect burger.
A smash burger is made by placing a ball of ground meat on a hot griddle or skillet and then using the smash burger press to flatten it down forcefully. This technique creates a thin patty with increased surface area. Once seared on a hot surface, it results in a crispy, caramelized exterior. The process of smashing the patty enhances its taste and juiciness by creating more contact with the cooking surface.
A traditional burger press, on the other hand, is primarily used to make a uniform patty before cooking. The goal is often to create a thick, juicy burger with consistent shape and size. It's perfect for people who enjoy a well-proportioned, evenly-cooked patty that holds together well on the grill or stovetop.
So, in summary, a traditional burger press aims for uniformity and thickness pre-cooking. A smash burger press is all about achieving a crispy, seared exterior during the cooking process. Despite their differences, you might find people using both the terms interchangeably and overlapping their use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I use oil or butter for smash burgers?
For smash burgers, it's common to use a small amount of neutral oil—the goal is to prevent the burgers from sticking to the cooking surface. For enhancing flavor, it’s best to use unsalted butter or olive oil. However, any canola or cooking oil should do well, too. If you’re concerned about burning them, know that the high heat and quick cooking method of smash burgers keep them safe from charring usually.
Are smash burgers different from a regular burger?
Smash burgers and regular burgers are different mainly in how they're cooked and how they taste. For a smash burger, you start with a ball of ground meat that you "smash" flat onto a hot skillet or griddle using a spatula or special burger press. This technique gives the burger a crispy and flavorful crust. Since the meat cooks quickly at high heat, it remains thinner but still juicy.
In contrast, regular burgers are often shaped into patties before they even hit the grill or skillet. They're usually thicker and can be cooked to your preference—from rare to well-done. These burgers don't have the crispy edges that smash burgers are known for. But still, they can be juicier on the inside, especially if you like them less than well done.
How do I smack a burger without it sticking?
The key is to get parchment paper and unsalted butter. The unsalted butter is applied on the surface of the griddle or the skillet. Then, the meatball is placed on top of that butter, and parchment paper is placed on top of the ground beef (meatball). The final step is then to place the smash burger press carefully on top of the parchment paper (right above the meatball), and carefully press it. Once you press it with enough force, the ground beef will form a nice thin patty.
When you pick up the press, the meat will not stick to the press, thanks to the parchment paper used.
How do you make smash burgers that don’t fall apart?
The secret ingredient here is fat. Your meat needs to have at least 20% fat content, as it will help the ground meat stay sticker when it’s raw. The other consideration here (that’s just as important) is the skillet or griddle’s temperature—it needs to be piping hot.
When it is hot, your patty forms a shape and crust on top of it as soon as it’s pressed. The third precautionary step to prevent it from falling apart is the flipping part.
You need to have a spatula large enough to flip the whole patty at once. Finally, allow the meat to sear undisturbed for a few minutes. Let it form a delicious crust on both sides that will not only add texture and flavor but also serve as a natural adhesive, keeping your burger in one perfect piece.
Finally, make sure you choose the best smash burger press for your needs. If you see yourself getting more use out of your press, get the BBQ Dragon’s Rectangular smash burger press, as that’ll help you get nice sears on your paninis, sandwiches, and even steaks!
About the Author
Tamara J. Sims
As a seasoned kitchen and food writer, Tamara has a remarkable ability to weave words together, transporting readers to the heart of the culinary world. Tamara’s articles are written with an engaging blend of insightful commentary, honesty, and real-world examples based on personal experiences. She has the ability to captivate seasoned food enthusiasts and novice cooks alike.
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