Smashburger Recipe on the Meadow Creek BBQ26S Griddle

Smashburger Recipe
Are you craving a smashburger recipe that's easy to cook with confidence? These gorgeous smashburgers cooked on the Meadow Creek BBQ26S, one of our popular backyard charcoal grills, will impress the guests at your next barbecue.

Outdoor propane-fired griddles have become extremely popular, but I'm cooking my smashburger recipe on the charcoal-fired Meadow Creek BBQ26S using the optional griddle.

Griddling with charcoal on the BBQ26S is perfect for those who dislike single-purpose tools because it makes an already versatile cooker even more versatile. The downside is that managing the fire requires more manual work, but if you're comfortable using a charcoal grill, I think you'll find a charcoal-fired griddle enjoyable.

If you don't own a Meadow Creek griddle, don't worry. This smashburger recipe can be cooked on any griddle or even a cast iron skillet on your stovetop.

Smashburger Tips

The Place: I’ve made these on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet, but it smokes and greases up the kitchen. It’s much easier to cook them outdoors where you can let the grease splatter.

The Cheese: I have a weakness for Gouda cheese, but any kind will work, such as American or cheddar.

The Burger Balls: To keep the burgers from falling apart, massage the meat until it’s sticky and tightly-formed into a ball. Also make sure your beef contains at least 20% fat.

The Buns: If you can afford it, use brioche buns. They are so much better than the average burger bun.

The Toasting: Toasting the insides of the bun is important to help the soft bun support the weight of the steaming hot burger. Toasting the bread will also elevate the flavor and texture of your sandwich.

The Smasher: If you don’t already own a grill press / burger smasher, you can technically get by with a griddle turner, but I highly recommend you get a grill press because they are perfect for making other foods too, such as the best grilled cheese pulled pork sandwich you’ve ever tasted. You don’t know what you don’t know, so if you don’t own one yet, get one! Mine is a Lodge 8” round grill press from Walmart.

The Flavor: If you’re intent about packing as much flavor as possible into the sandwich, you could make the burgers smaller (2-3 ounces each) and smash them super thin, then double stack them with cheese to double the surface area of the meat. You could also experiment with cooking on a "dry" griddle without oil to make the burger stick more, and then carefully scrape them loose using a sharp scraper. I’m sticking (no pun intended) with bigger burgers and using a bit of oil to make things easier.

I love fried onions so I’m cooking the burger on top of the onions on the first side (thanks Matt Pittman for this idea), but the burger won’t develop as much crust on that side as it would if you cooked the onion separately. If you prefer your burger to make more contact with the griddle (develop more flavor), you could cook the onions separately.

Smashburger Recipe

My Smashburger Recipe

Following is a list of the ingredients you'll need and the steps for cooking smashburgers. Keep scrolling for more details...

  • 80/20 ground beef
  • Elk Creek AP seasoning or the seasoning of your choice
  • Sweet onion
  • Gouda cheese or the cheese of your choice
  • Brioche buns
  • Softened butter
Prepare the Griddle

I was aiming for 300–350 degrees in the grill. Things got a little hotter than I was shooting for, but I was able to cool the griddle a little by removing it for a couple of minutes. 

  • Light a heap of charcoal (enough to cover the pan when spread out) in the center of the charcoal pan in the raised position. I like using my propane torch but a chimney would work too.
  • After about 15 minutes, spread the coals to create an even bed of heat. I wanted it slightly cooler on the sides for toasting the buns, so I arranged the coals accordingly.
  • Set the griddle on the grill and preheat the grill press by setting it directly onto the griddle. You may need to shut the lid once the fire is established if you won't be cooking the burgers right away to help stabilize the temperature.
  • I'm using Chef's Select briquettes for a longer, more even source of heat, but if you'll be firing the grill and immediately cooking a couple batches of smashburgers, lump charcoal would be a fine choice too. If you're using lump, save yourself some frustration and use a quality brand with more larger pieces, such as Rockwood.
Prepare the Ingredients
  • Slice some onion with a mandolin on the thinnest setting.
  • Butter the inside of your brioche buns.
  • Arrange the onion, cheese, and bread next to your griddle before you start cooking.
  • Form 80/20 ground beef into 4-ounce balls.
  • Season the balls with Elk Creek AP seasoning or the seasoning of your choice.

Cook the Smashburgers
  • Spray the bottom of the grill press and the area of the griddle you plan to use with a light coat of cooking oil.
  • Arrange some onion on the griddle, enough to cover the size of the burger. The griddle should be hot enough to sizzle excitedly when you add the onion but not too hot to burn the oil.
  • Set a burger ball on top and smash it thin with a grill press. Then gently raise the press off of the burger. The meat should release. So if it doesn't, you may not have formed the balls correctly (see above) or the press may not be hot enough.
  • Let it cook for 4–5 minutes, then flip it to the second side and top it with a slice of cheese. The time will really depend on how hot the griddle is and how thin you smash the burger. When it's ready to flip, the meat should be holding together well, the center should be puffed up a bit, and the uncooked side should have turned brown. 
  • Within a minute after flipping the burger, start toasting the bun by setting it face-down on the griddle.
  • Cook the smashburger for another 4–5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  • Slide the burger onto a bun and serve it immediately.

My BBQ26S has the optional stainless steel body and the handsome pedestal base. The stainless steel makes the grill easier to maintain and the pedestal base is perfect for a patio or deck. It comes with a revolutionary pivoting sandwich grate for flipping chicken and other meats with ease.

Dumping Chef's Select into the charcoal pan

Lighting the coals with my propane torch

Briquettes lit

Spreading the coals

Coal bed

The griddle sets on top of the grill in place of the standard pivoting grate.

Griddle prepared

Making burger balls

Burger balls ready for seasoning

Smashburger Recipe

Seasoning the burger balls

Smashburger Recipe

A grilling cart next to the grill is very handy.

Elk Creek AP Rub is an outstanding seasoning.

Seasoning the onions for a bonus flavor boost

Smashing the burgers

Cooking the first side

Flipped to the second side

Cheese added

Buns toasting

Sliding a burger onto a toasted bun

These are best hot off the griddle.

Let's eat!

Does this look amazing or does this look amazing?


I hope you'll try this recipe soon!

Smashburger Recipe

Go ahead... it's okay to stare.

The Meadow Creek BBQ26S is a backyard model in our line of "chicken flippers," a series of charcoal grills that makes it easy to turn out perfectly cooked bone-in chicken every time. These revolutionary grills are one of the barbecue world’s best-kept secrets—an experience hard to explain, but impossible to forget.

Each Meadow Creek grill is handcrafted in the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with the integrity of workmanship that has made this culture legendary. Our entire line of smokers and grills is designed to deliver many years of trouble-free fun and flavor.

About the Author

Lavern is the online brand ambassador for Meadow Creek Welding and founder of StoryQue magazine.

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