Chuck’s Grilled Smashburgers with Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Make your next cookout a smashing success. Smashburgers pre-date cheeseburgers and were classically topped with grilled onions. This recipe mixes the best of both worlds.

Cooking spray

1 medium white onion, halved and then thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cast iron flat-top griddle (see Notes)

1 stick unsalted butter

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

6 slices American cheese (see Notes)

6 brioche buns

Special equipment

Parchment paper, cut to a size to cover your burger-cooking surface

Meat press, a clean brick or a heavy flat ceramic plate (see Notes)

Instructions: Allow ground chuck to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Spray a 1/3 cup measuring cup with cooking spray, fill it with ground beef (don’t pack it too tightly) and then shape the meat into a ball. You should have enough meat to make 12 balls. Set them on a plate at room temperature while you make the onions.

On the stovetop, heat a medium-size skillet set over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and allow them to slowly caramelize, stirring occasionally. (The heat needs to be fairly low, and it’s easier to control on the stove than on the grill.) If the onions start to burn, add a tablespoon or 2 of water. It will take about 45 minutes to get them caramelized. When they are done, take the pan off the heat and place the onions in a small bowl.

While the onions cook, set up your grill with an indirect setup with all of the coals occupying one half of the grill and nothing on the other. For gas grills, light the burners just on one side. Once coals are ignited and the grill is burning at high heat, place the griddle over the middle of the dividing line between the hot and cold zones of the grill, close the lid and allow the pan to heat for 10-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Remove the lid from the grill and butter the griddle liberally. It should immediately begin to sizzle.

Place 6 meatballs at a time on the griddle (or whatever you have room for depending on what you’re using), allowing them plenty of space to expand during the smashing process. Cook the meatballs, not stirring not flipping, for 1 minute with the lid open.

Then cover the cooking surface and the meatballs with parchment paper. Firmly and quickly press down each meatball with the meat press until you feel like you can’t press down anymore. Remove the press and paper and season each patty with the salt, pepper and garlic mix. Cook for 3 minutes with lid open, flip and season the other side of the meat Cook for 3 additional minutes, then top each patty with a slice of cheese. Cook until cheese is fully melted, about another minute. Transfer the patties from the griddle onto a plate or pan and cover them.

Butter the griddle again and repeat the cooking process for the remaining 6 meatballs. Transfer them to the plat when done.

Place the brioche buns cut-side down and toast on the griddle for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how toasted you want the buns.

Assemble your smashburgers by stacking two cheesy patties per bun and topping with the caramelized onions or whatever other condiments you prefer.

Notebook: You can also use a thick, heavy-gauge, all-aluminum sheet pan (not your average nonstick baking sheet) or a cast-iron skillet.

Nothing says classic Americana more than gooey, evenly melting American cheese, but you can use any sliced ​​cheese.

You can use anything heavy that can smash the patty flat can work such as a brick, a flat metal lid or even a can of vegetables.

Makes 6 burgers

Chuck Blount, Express-News Taste writer

Leave a Comment