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A grilled smashed burger

Grilled Smash Burger Recipe with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish Sauce

Classic take on the fast food smash burger grilled outside on a griddle and finished with cheese, caramelized onions, and special sauce.
Course dinner
Cuisine burgers
Keyword grilled smash burger, how to make smash burgers, smash burger, smash burger recipe, smash burgers
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 762kcal
Cost $15.00


  • Griddle
  • Strong Spatula
  • Pan Cover


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons beef rub
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 slices butter lettuce
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 12 slices dill pickles

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups thinly diced onions

Special Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish


  • Caramelize Onions: In a large cast iron pan over medium-low heat add butter and olive oil. When butter melts, add the onions and slowly stir. Continue stirring for 30 to 40 minutes or until the red onions have reduced and turned brown in color. Adjust heat as needed.
  • Pre-heat Grill: Prepare grill for direct grilling, with griddle over the direct heat, targeting 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare ¼ pound balls of beef. Season one side with dry rub. Be sure to reserve half the rub for after they are on the grill.
  • Add olive oil to the griddle. After 1 minute place the seasoned side of the beef onto the griddle and smash the burger with a spatula. Then add the remaining seasoning to the top of the burgers. Close the grill.
  • After 6-8 minutes open the grill and check to see if browning occured. Once you see it, flip the burger, add the slice of cheese and cover the burgers with your covering tool. Close the grill lid and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes the burgers should be at least 160 degrees F with the cheese melted. Remove burgers from the grill.
  • Assemble Burgers: Add the burger to your bun and add your favorite toppings. We recommend lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, special sauce, and the caramelized onions from above.

Special Sauce

  • In a small bowl combine all ingredients and stir. Adjust for taste. Spoon the sauce onto your burger and use as a dip for fries.


Consider more flavor with "The Blend". Add 8 ounces (yes, we weighed it with a scale!) of precooked crimini mushrooms to 1 pound of beef. After finely dicing the crimini mushrooms, we sautéed them for 10 minutes with olive oil and a touch of salt. After they browned, we added to our ground beef and followed the rest of the recipe. We loved the slightly browned mushroom flavor. Want a hack to speed up the chopping process? Use a food processor. Pulse it until it looks like ground beef consistency.


Calories: 762kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 4551mg | Potassium: 1016mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1598IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 467mg | Iron: 5mg