Are you ready to become a burger-making Ninja in your own garden? With this recipe you’ll learn how to create a mouth-watering grilled cheese smashburger that will knock the socks off of the classic Mcdonald’s version.
Let’s start slicing, dicing, and grilling our way to burger perfection . . .
OK, let’s make sure we’ve got everything we need upfront . . . as this will be a FAST cook.
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- 90g (20% fat) beef mince per patty – I use boneless short rib and chuck mince
- American cheese / Cheese slices
- Brioche Buns – I use St Pierre (my kids prefer unseeded)
- 120ml Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons French dressing or Thousand island dressing
- 4 Teaspoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 Teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 Teaspoon dried minced onion – I use this
- 1 Teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt – 0.6g
- Lettuce – shredded
- Pickle slices
- Onions – diced
To start we’ll be making the special sauce.
In a mixing bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix / whisk until well combined. Adjust to taste by adding more sugar or salt if desired. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to get to know each other a little, ha!
Next, take your ground beef and form it into 90g balls and place them on a plate.
Note: Be careful not to overwork the meat, simply form them into balls and set them aside.
With everything ready, let’s head outside to cook . . .
The Cook – Buns
We’ll be using open-lid cooking on the Ninja Woodfire grill today.
First, place the Ninja griddle plate on the grill and close the lid. Select the “GRILL” function and set to high for 20 minutes to preheat the grill.
While the grill is preheating we’ll toast the buns.
Note: Toasting the buns improves the texture and taste of the buns and helps to prevent the bread from absorbing moisture and becoming soggy.
Add a small amount of butter to the griddle plate and place the sliced buns on top to toast. Keep an eye on the buns as they toast, making sure not to burn them.
Note: If you are making a Big Mac-style burger, which typically has a middle bun section, you can slice the top off one of the buns to create the middle section.
Once the buns are toasted, set them aside to cool.
Note: For speed I often prepare my bases and middle sections before I start cooking the patties. Simply spread on some of that lovely ‘special sauce’ and then add your shredded lettuce, diced onion and pickle slices ready.
The Cook – Patties
Place two of your 90g mincemeat balls onto the hot griddle plate and smash down with a large flat spatula (I’ve tried many and this from Mercer Culinary is the best).
Note: Don’t worry about shaping the edges – those little bits sticking out are the best bits, ha
When cooking your smashburgers resist the urge to touch it until it is ready to be flipped. Simply add a pinch of salt and pepper to the patty while it is cooking, and wait for about a minute.
You can tell when the patty is ready to be flipped by looking for two signs:
- The edges of the patty will start to brown
- You may notice red juices forming on the surface of the patty
When you are ready use your spatula to scrape / flip that patty over (yes, I know you technically shouldn’t use a metal spatula on the Ninja griddle . . . but we move!).
Note: Do not squash / smash the patties again at this stage
As soon as the patties are flipped add a slice of that American cheese and close the lid for 10 – 20 seconds
Note: The burgers should be cooked through at this stage . . . but if you wanted to double check then use your instant read thermometer . . . for ground beef we’re looking for at least 71°c (160°f).
This couldn’t be easier if you have pre-prepared the bases and middle layer as I suggested . . .
Simply add a cooked patty on top of a base, a second patty on a middle layer and stack the two on to of each other.
Finally add a little more of that ‘special sauce’ over the top burger and then place the lid on top.
. . . job done!