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Grilling and cooking meat is one of America’s favorite past time. However, patties, burger and steak often curl. This leaves part of the meat that is unrbrowned. Getting a weight to hold it down can make all the difference. One might think that a Spatula is the best job for doing this, but in reality other tools can be just as useful. You can even use a brick covered in foil, but that is simply not convenient. Its best to get some tools design specifically for this task.
Why are Smash Burger so Good?
Smash Burgers are a the new way of making burger. By exerting pressure on the burger patty, you increase the contact with the griddle. This makes a wonderfully crispy maillard reaction on the patty. When you bite into it, you are introduce to a flavor that you dont normally get in a normal burger.
At temperature of 300 degree Fahrenheit, sugars in food start to caramelize. This is known as maillard reaction. It will produce flavor compound that you normally wouldn’t get. By pressing down on the burger, you are maximizing the amount of maillard reaction that occurs.
What about the Juice?
Im sure a lot of you were told never to press down on the burger. It causes the juice to go out. Yes, that is true, but that is for a different type of burger. A smash burger focus is on the flavor of the patty and not the juiciness. Trust me, you wont even notice the lack of “Juice” when you bite into it.
How to Make a Smash Burger
Before making a smash burger, you need the right tool. You need something that can flatten it. Anything that has a flat surface can be used. Its best if the item has a handle and is relatively heavy. When you start cooking, press down on the patty to flatten it. Once the side is carmelized, flip it over and put a sliced cheese on top. Remember to season the patty before hand.
What tools can you use?
The most popular tool used is a cast iron weight. They provide the extra heft and lets you press down on it easily. You have option of round to square. However, a equally good option is a thorough. A tool used to apply plaster. The wooden handle and flat bottom makes it really easy to press down on it. While you can use a spatula, the pressure that you push on the patty will be on one side. Its hard to flatten the burger evenly. Having said that, you can still do it. Just try to apply pressure on both side.
Best Spatula and Steak Weight for Smash Burger, Steaks and Bacon
Below you will find a list of some of the best tool for smash burger. There are a wide variety of tools available, I recommend you find one that best suit your need.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pres (Best Overall)
Lodge is one of America’s oldest manufacturer of cast iron product. Their grill press features a cast iron coil and a heavy weight. Perfect for when you want to smash burger or just weigh down steaks. The only downside is that the handle can get hot. Wear a glove to avoid burning yourself.
Winco SWS-74 2 Lbs Stainless Steel Steak Weight (Best Buy)
Winco is a manufacturer of kitchen good for restaurant professional. This weight is made of stainless steel with a generous flat surface. The handle has a removable silicone glove so it wont get hot. Best of all, its 2 lb so it will keep steak, bacon and burger patties flat. When you use this, press and spread for the best smash burger.
Winco Stainless Steel Spatula (Best Spatula for Smash Burger)
If you need a spatula for flipping and smash burger. Then Winco offers a heavy duty medium size spatula. It uses a thick piece of steel so it wont bend like the other spatula. The large surface means that you can flip easily as well as smash. The handle is made of wood so it wont burn your hand.
Best Spatula and Steak Weight Thoughts
A steak and burger weight might seem unecessary, but after you try it, you will be impressed by the result. The taste, texture and eveness of the browning will impress you. I dont recommend a brick with aluminum wrapper. Eventually buying foil wrapper will become expensive and its just all around more convenient to have a dedicated tool. There are a lot of options available, I recommend that you find one that best suit your needs. I personally think Lodge makes one of the best, but Winco is a great alternative.
Looking for a Griddle? Check out our article on the Best Cast Iron Griddle.