Fried cheese curd smash burger
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20) - you can use more beef if you want bigger patties
- 4 Fried cheese curd disks (link to recipe)
- 1 red onion
- 1 tomato
- 1⁄4 head of lettuce
- dill pickles
- 4 burger buns
- mayonnaise or other burger condiments
Weigh out your meat into 4 ounce portions. If you have exactly 1 pound, you don't necessarily need to weigh it, just divide into 4 portions. Culver's uses a quarter pound patty, but feel free to go bigger if you want.
After weighing or dividing your meat, make each portion into balls. Do not over work the meat or mix it up too much.
Get your skillet or surface hot. If you're using a skillet, don't use a non-stick one or this process might lead you to get it scratched and ruined. If it's a black non-stick skillet, it's possibly covered with a teflon surface and you can scratch it with metal spatulas. Don't ruin your pan. I typically use a cheap infrared thermometer to monitor the surface area of my skillets and flattop surfaces and 400 degrees is usually the lower end of where I start cooking.
Place two balls of meat on your skillet or flat top with four or five inches between each ball. If you're using a skillet, you will probably only be able to cook two patties at a time. If you're using a larger griddle, you might be able to smash all of your patties at the same time.
Once the balls hit the hot surface give them 10 or 15 seconds and smash. You're going to want to use a lot of pressure and smash them really hard. The goal here is to get as much surface area of the meat to touch the hot surface as possible. If you have a flat top or a griddle, you might want to use some sort of very heavy spatula or even a clean finishing trowel from your local hardware store.
As soon as you've finished smashing, this is when we season. Hit the (hopefully) very thin patties with some salt and pepper. You can season again when you flip, but this is when you should do most of the seasoning.
Cook for 1.5 to 2 minutes on this first side.
Use a sharp spatula and scrape under the patty in order to flip. The goal here is to make sure you don't lose any of the crispies you worked hard to build up with the smashing process.
Once flipped to the second side, you will want to season and cook for another minute.
Remove the cooked patties to a plate and cook the rest of your burgers (if needed).
To assemble a Fried cheese curd smash burger, add mayo or any condiments to the bottom bun. On top of the condiments, add pickles, red onion, lettuce and a tomato slice.
Add a burger patty on top of the veggies, top the beef with your fried cheese curd disk and add the top bun.
Serve and enjoy.