Sizzle is the best part of the burger. But it’s limited to side A and side B. In-between lurks the granular middle — it’s a lot of ground to cover.
Solved by the genius of math. Remember geometry’s plane — the way it’s all surface, no depth? Applied to the burger it produces infinite sizzle.
Here’s how to work the equation: Divide ground beef by two, roll each half into a sphere and, in a hot pan, smash with a spatula. The flattened patty plane browns to a sizzle on side A, sizzle on side B — no middle. Stack patty 1 on patty 2, sandwiching a slice of American cheese.
The result is a four-sided burger with a molten core. How’s that for higher math?
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Makes: 1 serving
Note: This burger doesn’t hold — make one at a time.
1 hamburger bun (preferably a Martin’s Potato Roll)
Fixin’s — mayo, mustard, ketchup, onion, tomato, etc.
4 oz. ground beef chuck or other ground beef (not lean)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1-oz. slice American cheese
Toast: Spread inner faces of the bun with butter. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium. Toast bun, butter-side down, until golden, 1-2 minutes.
Prep: Set the bun on a plate, open-faced. Pile fixin’s of choice on the bottom bun.
Roll: Divide beef and roll into two 2-ounce balls. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high.
Smash: When skillet is very hot, add the 2 beef balls. Immediately smash each with the back of a stiff metal spatula (use some muscle), creating two very thin patties, each a little wider than the bun. Season each with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on the bottom and a mottled gray/pink on top, about 45 seconds.
Flip: Scrape up and flip both patties. Top one with cheese. When the patty bottoms have browned (about 15 seconds) stack the patties so that the cheese is sandwiched in-between. Slide this cheese-filled burger onto the prepared bun. Close bun, squish gently. Burger perfection is yours.
Provenance: This recipe, which uses a technique popularized by the chain Smash Burger, is adapted slightly from Food 52, which credits food scientist J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and the website Serious Eats.
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