Our Burger Recipe

Recently, I came to the realization that this is my company and I can post articles about whatever I want.

So burgers it is this month!

When I want to get good at making a certain type of food, I go into research mode. I end up watching videos, reading articles, studying recipes, and agonizing over details for HOURS before I actually try making it.

Sometimes it works out (like with these burgers) and sometimes it doesn’t (like with my guac).

Anyways, after my countless hours of research, and after making these burgers DOZENS of times, I’ve perfected my recipe. Check it out.

My Burger Philosophy

Smash Burgers Reign Supreme!

Smash burgers are scientifically the best kind of burger!

When you bite into a burger, what you’re really tasting is the browning on the outside of the burger, aka the “sear.” That’s created due to a chemical reaction when food gets to high temps called the Maillard Reaction, and it’s basically what makes food taste good.

Pretty much any food gets brown at high temps – think beef, marshmallows, even coffee beans.

A smash burger is basically just smashing your patties down as thin as they can possibly be to increase the amount of surface area that gets exposed to that reaction.

So if you get a double smash burger, you’re getting a crazy amount of Maillard goodness.

Long story short: when you get one massive 1/2 lb patty on a burger at a restaurant, it’s not really gonna be that much better than a 1/4 lb patty with the same amount of browning.

Check out this amazing video from Ethan Chlebowski (one of my favorite YouTubers) about steaks, where he talks about this reaction.

The Best Burgers are Simple

You can go to a restaurant and get a beautiful fig jam-bacon-pickle-tomato-onion-lettuce-triple cheese-BBQ sauce burger, but at the end of the day, all that stuff is just covering up the taste of the actual patty.

When I make my burgers, the goal is to make the patty so good that it doesn’t need all that stuff.

My burgers have just a few toppings: tomatoes (prepped a very special way), sauce, raw onions, and American cheese.

Now, that’s not to say that fig jam extravaganza burger isn’t amazing too, it’s just not my style.

Recipe Info

  • Yield: three double burgers
  • Time: one hour
  • Fun: infinite


  • 3 brioche buns (very important they’re brioche!)
  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 3 slices American cheese (melts the best)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Pickle juice
  • Louisiana hot sauce
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Lawry’s seasoned salt (NIGHT AND DAY difference here!)

Tools Needed

  • Cast-iron pan or griddle
  • Large, flat-bottomed smashing utensil (I use a Pyrex dish)
  • Parchment paper
  • Tongs
  • Metal spatula

Prepping Your Burgers

Making Your Sauce

Let’s start with the sauce. This part is a little freeform, so adjust to your liking. Here’s what we’re using in the sauce:

  • Mayo (acts as the base)
  • Mustard (gives it some zing)
  • Worcestershire sauce (I put this on literally everything)
  • Pickle juice (means you don’t need pickles on the burger. Trust me)
  • Louisiana hot sauce (gives it some vinegar. I prefer Louisiana, but you can use Frank’s or Crystal)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (brings it back down to earth and tames the zinginess)

Mix all those ingredients in a bowl to your proportion liking, but make sure mayo is the main ingredient.

You want this to be ZINGY and IN YOUR FACE. The kind of thing you wouldn’t eat by itself, but it’ll add a crazy amount of pop to the burger.

Prepping Toppings

Starting with tomatoes! These get prepped a very specific way.

First, slice ’em. Then, place them between two paper towels and lightly pat them down to remove the moisture. Then, repeat that process.

The tomatoes should be nice and dry – this stops your burger from becoming a slimy mess.

Lastly, salt your slices lightly and leave them between the two paper towels to allow more moisture to escape and bring out the tomato flavor.

Next up, onions. Slice ’em how you like. I like raw onions the best, since they add some bite without sweetening the burger like caramelized onions do. But you do you!

I suggest not adding pickles, even though I love them. The sauce adds that pickle flavor without overwhelming the burger, like pickles tend to do.

Final Preparations

Let’s toast the buns! Remember when I talked about Maillard browning earlier? That applies to burger buns too! Getting a nice golden brown toast on those will bring out that beautifully sweet brioche flavor.

Get your pan up to medium heat. Smear some mayo on each of the buns, and place them on the pan. Remember to move them around and spin them often, so they get an even toast.

Using mayo instead of butter allows you to have more control over the toast level.

Now, cut up your parchment paper into six equal squares. Make them about six inches across.

Form your patties. Split your beef up into six spheres of equal size, and make sure to handle them as little as possible! The less you handle the beef, the less the muscle fibers will tense up, and the more tender it will be.

Lastly, get your station prepped. You’ll need your parchment paper, smashing utensil, Lawry’s, cheese slices, sauce, and tongs on hand.

Get your pan up to ripping hot heat. The hotter, the better.

Making Your Burgers

Step one. Place a square of parchment paper on top of two of your patties (this is to stop them from sticking to your smashing utensil). Place them on the ripping hot pan with plenty of space between them, and smash them down. You want these THIN!!!

Here’s a tip: smooth out the edges of your burgers by pushing OUT to the sides when you smash them down. This will give you a beautiful crust on the edges of your burgers and thin them out even more.

Step two. Use the tongs to grab the parchment paper off the burgers. Now, season heavily with Lawry’s and place a dollop of your sauce in the middle of the patties.

Leave them untouched to allow them to sear.

Step three. Once you can start to see browning creeping onto the upward-facing side of the patties, grab your metal spatula and scrape under the patties. You really want to get in there and scrape up all that crust.

Then flip them over. It should be a deep brown. Place a piece of cheese on one of the patties (cheese on every patty overwhelms the burger taste), and let sear on the other side for about a minute or less.

Step four. Place the cheese-less patty on top of the cheese patty, and set them to the side. The cheese will continue to melt between the two patties.

Step five. Repeat this process two more times!

Assembling Your Burgers

Place a hefty helping of burger sauce on the bottom patty. Then the rest of your toppings.

Keeping these on the bottom patty means they hit your tongue first and color the flavor of the burger, not the other way around. Crucial detail here!

I often also put burger sauce on the top bun as well. Up to you.


I’m not really a very good cook most of the time. That said: my burgers are my pride and joy! One of my few dishes people consistently have incredibly high praise for.

Cooking is something I really want to get better at, and I’m working at it. I watch a lot of cooking videos on YouTube in my free time, and food science is something I’d really love to dive deep into.

Maybe someday when I’m not so busy at Pink Robot.

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I can post about whatever I want. This month it's burgers. Here's the best recipe of all time.

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