Blackstone Griddles went viral last summer. It’s that simple. Sales exploded and many of their major products were out of stock at the height of the season. Trying to find a 22 inch Blackstone Griddle to stick in your camper last summer was like trying to buy a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas in 1983. Almost. Blackstone is still on fire this summer and they seem to be introducing new products every week. If you haven’t purchased a Blackstone griddle for your camper or back deck than now might be the time to do so. Especially if you want to wow your friends and family by making perfect smash burgers.
The Smash Burger Craze
To purchase the Blackstone Burger Press (or anything else) use code RVFTA for 10% off on Blackstone’s Website.
So what are these thousands of campers and backyard chefs cooking up on their shiny new griddles? Well, lots of pancakes. And LOTS of bacon. But for lunch and dinner it is all about the SMASH BURGER. Smash burgers have been served in American diners for generations, but the short order cooks that were slinging them didn’t call them smash burgers.They were just burgers cooked up fast and sizzling hot on a flat top. To learn a bit about the history of the Smash Burger watch this “Hamburger History” video with burger scholar George Motz.
So why does it seem like the smash burger is a brand new craze at cookouts and campgrounds across the country? Because so many wannabe chefs (like Jeremy:) finally have their own flat top griddles. The flat top has escaped the confines of the American diner and found its way into homes and campers across our great nation. Thanks Blackstone! The backyard or campground cook can finally make a burger like they had at the diner with gramps and grams when they were kids.
Some of you still might not be impressed with the Blackstone griddle craze or the smash burger craze. Maybe you’ve been making “smash burgers” for years on your 10.5 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet and this is all a big yawn to you. Well, have you tried to feed a dozen hungry kids at the campground lately? Making 10-20 Smash Burgers on a cast iron skillet sounds like prison camp to me. But making 10-20 Smash Burgers on a Blackstone Griddle? Sign me up now and sign me up over and over again. Cooking on a Blackstone is just ridiculously fun and ridiculously EFFICIENT. You can crank out dozens of burgers at a time. And you will feel like a magician performing a magic trick while you cook.
***For help picking out the Blackstone Griddle that is right for you click on the link here!
Chef Nathan Lippy
In fact, our guest on today’s RV Atlas podcast, Chef Nathan Lippy (@NathanLippyTV on Facebook) can easily make 50 smashed burgers in ten minutes. This man has fed armies. He is an absolute Zen master of the griddle. His recipes and cooking videos are quirky, creative and accessible for the average chef. To listen to him share his tips for making perfect Smash Burgers (and all kinds of other burger history, trivia, and arcana) click on the media player above. Or just read on to learn how to smash it up!
Tips for Making Perfect Smash Burgers
- Don’t be afraid to smash a burger and don’t listen to the naysayers who say you are squeezing the juices out. If you follow the process correctly this is simply not the case. It’s a burger myth.
- Use 80/20 ground beef and loosely pack it into small balls. Chef Nathan likes his smash burgers small and recommends using about 2-3 ounces of ground beef for each burger. You can go bigger if you like–but don’t go to big!
- Put your Blackstone Griddle on high heat and get it ripping hot!
- Place the balls on the griddle and smash with a firm spatula or burger press to your desired thinness. Chef Nate says you only need to smash for about 5 seconds.
- This where the magic (aka the “maillard” or “browning” process) happens. This is the chemical reaction that browns the ground beef and makes it taste absolutely DELICIOUS! THIS IS BURGER SCIENCE!!
- You will need to flip the burger after about 90 seconds if they are small. They cook up fast!
- Do not smash the other side of the burger! If you do the juices will run out!
- After flipping add your seasoning. Chef Nathan does not recommend pre-seasoning the burgers before cooking, particularly with salt. Salting in advance will dry the burgers out.
- Burger Guru George Motz and Chef Nathan recommend adding a slice of American cheese at this point.
- Remove when done and slap onto an appropriately sized slider roll.
- Eat and enjoy!
- Wipe griddle clean after eating another burger!
If you want to get more creative with your smash burgers then George Motz, Chef Nathan, and George “Tappi” Tapinekis are here to help! Check out these videos for step by step instructions. Chef Nathan also discusses all three of these burgers on The RV Atlas podcast which can be played from the media player at the top of this page.
The Oklahoma Fried Onion Burger
This our absolute favorite to make at RV Atlas Headquarters. After decades of not eating onions Jeremy is totally converted. This burger is sooooo easy to make and so ridiculously delicious. Just remember to slice those onions thin!
The Grilled Cheese Smash Burger
Okay, this one is the definition of burger decadence. We haven’t tried it yet, but we will if you do first? Let us know!
The Gotham Burger Social Club Cafe Tappi Burger
Okay, this one is happening at our house soon. Like maybe tonight.
I hope this blog post made you good and hungry. I also hope that you go buy a Blackstone Griddle if you haven’t already! There are so much fun to use and they are super affordable.
See You At The Campground!
Best—Jeremy & Stephanie