A smash burger, as the name suggests, essentially contains a fully pressed patty. It requires turning a ball of meat into an ultra-thin patty, which is not difficult given you have the right tool, i.e., a good smash burger press.
While a standard grill or bacon press can sometimes do the job, a fully browned, super-crisp burger is never guaranteed. But there are exceptions, too—some grill presses produce better smash burgers than those touted as the ultimate burger smasher tools.
This article includes only the best value-for-money smash burger presses on the market, i.e., only the efficient, easy-to-use, and durable ones. We have also included a detailed buying guide to help you make a regret-free decision.
Let’s start without further ado.
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1. The Burger Smasher
The Burger Smasher weighs 1.59 pounds, making it ideal for small and medium-sized smash burgers. But there is more than one reason it appears at the top of our list.
The cast iron build means it’s not only durable but produces tastier burgers. You hear it right, a cast iron burger press produces tastier smash burgers than stainless steel and plastic ones. While the phenomenon isn’t well understood, this is just the case.
It has a non-rotating wooden handle that remains cool to the touch and provides excellent maneuverability.
Some smash burger presses have a raised rim or edge to keep meat juice from flowing outside and produce same-sized patties. While a short lip around the circumference is acceptable and sometimes helps form a uniformly-thick patty, large ones are more of a nuisance than they’re worth. They become a limiting factor for the burger’s thinness and, in turn, crispiness.
The Burger Smasher, however, has a flat, continuous bottom to help you achieve super-thin smash burgers.
It features a 5-inch diameter, perfect for pressing two small burgers in one go or smashing a single, 4-5 inch standard-size smash burger.
- Stylish, non-rotating, ergonomic wooden handle
- Entirely flat bottom
- Has a slightly textured cast iron surface
- Adequate weight and diameter
- There aren’t any.
2. Bellemain Cast Iron Grill Press
It’s a grill press, but it is equally suitable for smash burgers and other types of hamburgers. With a grill-shaped 8.75-inch surface, it allows you to smash multiple bun-sized burgers simultaneously.
The ridged lower surface that melts the fat better, allowing the meat to bathe and cook in its own fat for a better taste. It produces mesmerizingly beautiful grill marks on your smash burgers.
The wood handle is placed ergonomically, managing to shield your fingers from the heat and provide excellent maneuverability simultaneously.
The Bellemain Grill Press weighs 3 pounds, which means optimum pressure to cook your burgers to perfection. The sheer amount of cast iron used makes this tool virtually indestructible.
Most cast iron presses love sticking to your hamburger patties and even buns, and the Bellemain Press is no exception. But this can be avoided by seasoning it regularly. Should you need a more detailed guide, a complete instruction manual is pre-included with cleaning, maintaining, and seasoning guidelines.
When it comes to smashing outcomes and ease of use, the Bellemain press puts even the costliest options to shame.
- Ridged, grill-shaped surface that produces beautiful sear marks
- The wooden handle sits 3 inches above the bottom to prevent heat from transferring to your hands
- Sturdy 3 lb. cast iron is no joke
- 8.75-inch contact surface (extra-large by any standard)
- Excellent for smashing multiple hamburgers in one go
- Blue-ribbon 3-year warranty (though it’s not going anywhere for at least a decade)
- The handle can rotate because of the single screw attachment scheme on each side
3. The Burger Iron Burger Smasher
The Burger Iron Burger Smasher has an extra-wide, 6″ round surface to help you make the thinnest, crispiest smash burgers. It has a smooth, non-stick stainless steel surface, making it easy to use, maintain, and clean.
It has a wooden handle attached with two screws on each side. The 2-screw attachment makes the handles stable, sturdy, and durable. Unlike other wooden-handle models, the handle sits a little below the upper ends of its metallic holders, further improving maneuverability.
With a 6″ flat surface, the press can easily handle a large-sized burger or multiple small burgers in one go.
Stainless steel burger presses are generally lighter, but this burger smasher weighs 15 ounces. It doesn’t weigh as much as a cast iron one but still outperforms many other stainless steel burger smashers, thanks to its well-thought, ergonomic design.
The smooth stainless steel surface and optimally placed handle ensure adequate pressure every time.
The Burger Iron Burger Smasher is dishwasher safe, and because of the stainless steel surface, it also doesn’t need seasoning.
- Smooth, six-inch across, durable stainless steel surface
- Easy to use, maintain, and clean
- Optimally placed wooden handle, held strictly in place by two screws on each side
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Complaints about the handle splitting and coming off
4. Cuisinart Smashed Burger Press
Hamburger patties are getting bigger and bigger, so much so that 8-ounce patties have become the norm. While most burger presses on the market fail to quickly and efficiently smash such colossal patties, the Cuisinart Smashed Burger Press is one of the few exceptions (like Bellemain’s, for example). Its 6-inch cast-iron surface can easily smash a massive patty down to 6 inches.
The Cuisinart Press comes with a raised rim, but it’s only 1 cm high. Because it’s reasonably placed and too short to be a limiting factor for the burger’s thinness, it helps lock in fat and meat juices without compromising functionality. The weight is just adequate at 2.25 pounds, making it easy to use and allowing you to put sufficient pressure to flatten the patty. The easy-grip wood handle further adds to the already-excellent maneuverability.
The Cuisinart Burger Press has a superior, noticeably beefy cast-iron surface, so matchless durability is a given. But this is not the strongest selling point for a cast iron press because people love them more for their ability to infuse smash burgers with a rich flavor.
The Cuisinart Smashed Burger Press produces super thin, wholly round, entirely uniform, only 1 cm thick patties. It always yields patties that brown well and are crisper around the edges.
- Has adequate weight
- Has a 1 cm thick lip along the rim to lock in fat & meat juices and prevent them from spilling out
- 6-inch cast-iron surface that’s noticeably beefy
- The handle just doesn’t stop rotating
- Too big for a small griddle
5. Blackstone XL Griddle Press
With item dimensions of 10 x 4 x 10 inches and a weight of 6.16 pounds, the square-shaped Blackstone Griddle Press is an efficient tool for smashing six burgers, four sandwiches, or up to 3 pieces of meat in one go. It’s probably the most effective press that caters to different types of pressing needs. Its ribbed, heavy-gauge cast iron surface gives you the ultimate smashing power your smash burgers need.
The handle includes a heat-resistant, non-slip rubber grip to save your hands from the heat. Due to the innovative design and adequate placement, the handle doesn’t rotate.
The underside grooves not just sear the outer sides of your smash burgers but go a little deeper and heat the inner content to bring the hidden treasure of flavor out to the surface, not to mention the beautiful grill marks they produce.
Last but not least, the sturdy cast iron construction retains the heat for a long time and transmits it efficiently to your smash burgers.
Pro Tip: Preheating it (and any other cast iron smash burger press) is the secret to achieving crispy, extra-browned smash burgers.
Being Amazon’s Choice is no joke, either. We can’t recommend it enough.
- Heavy-gauge, extremely durable cast iron construction
- The extra-large, square-shaped surface can smash and cook many smash burgers at a time.
- Ergonomic, heat-resistant, non-rotating, and non-slip rubber grip handle
- A bit heavy for a single smash burger
6. Cuisinart Cast Aluminum Double Burger Press
The Cuisinart Double Burger Press weighs 1.3 pounds and has item dimensions of 11.3 x 4.8 x 3.6 inches (LxWxH). With such weight and size, it can extract thin patties of three to four ounces or thick, five to six-inch patties in no time. Even more so, it allows you to flatten two patties of any size in one go. For this reason, the Cuisinart Double Burger Press is a must-have tool to make smash burgers rapidly for a large gathering.
The most impressive feature of the Double Burger Press is that it has ridges on the lid and the mold’s interior surfaces. The grill-shaped grooves are reproduced on the smash burger patties to collect juices and sauces as they cook. Due to a well-thought design, it can produce uniformly-thick patties of turkey, buffalo, beef, chicken, salmon, or any other meat in a little more than a split second.
Using the Cuisinart Double Burger Press is super easy. While it has a non-stick surface, it’s best to coat the press with cooking spray so that the patties pop out readily. Alternatively, you can place wax paper under the meat before smashing it. Put the meatballs in each mold, position the lid, press down on the handle, and your smash burger patties are ready to go to the skillet.
The Cuisinart Double Press gives you more control over the thickness/thinness of your smash burger patties.
- Churns out two uniformly thick, bun-sized patties in one go
- Puts no restriction on the size/thinness of patties
- Both the lid and the mold have grill-shaped grooves.
- Strong enough to handle any meat
- Can only process meatballs
- You need to use wax paper or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
7. Victoria Cast Iron Panini, Burger, Bacon, Grill Press
The Victoria Cast Iron Press measures 8.3 x 4.4 inches and weighs 2.15 lbs.—adequate weight and dimensions to smash a hamburger or two perfectly. The press comes with a cool-touch, heat-resistant wooden handle to ensure your hands don’t get burned while smashing—the handle locks in place with two hefty screws. You can unscrew and detach it to season your press in the oven.
One of the most impressive things about the Victoria Press is that it comes pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil. That’s why it arrives in the wrap to keep the seasoning unadulterated.
Another exciting feature of the Victoria Press is its dimple-textured surface that keeps it from sliding around on meat and buns. The dimples are subtle, so the press is easy to clean too.
You can quickly clean it by scrubbing the textured surface with soapy water and then rinsing it with clean water. Don’t forget to put your cast iron press on the stove to dry after cleanup.
The Victoria Cast Iron Press carries the air of an heirloom as it’s a durable, high-end product.
- Comes pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil
- Removable, heat-resistant wood handle
- Has a textured bottom to prevent sliding over the food
- Though sturdy, the handle is prone to rotating
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Smash Burger Press
Most people use a scapula, grill press, or bacon press to smash their burger patties. However, only a connoisseur knows how useful it is to own a proper burger smasher.
You don’t need first-hand knowledge of the tool to land the perfect burger presser on the market. However, it would help if you took into account the following considerations before making your first purchase:
Shape & dimension
Round burger presses perform better than their rectangular counterparts. That’s because hamburgers are round. However, oversized, rectangular models can smash more hamburgers in one go.
While large presses can cover more burgers at a time, they don’t perform well. The outcome, in most cases, is a wan, wet, or soggy burger.
Indeed, large presses act as lids, sealing heat and steam above and between the burgers. Consequently, they inhibit burgers’ innate and most desirable ability to brown. Retained steam is the main culprit that prevents food from browning. Who on earth would like a white, soggy burger?
An ideal smash burger press should be as big as a standard-sized burger.
The bottom of a smash burger press can vary from flat to grill-shaped. A flat press can be easy to use, clean, and maintain. It also delivers pressure evenly.
On the other hand, a grill-shaped press melts the fat in the burger more evenly. It sears your burger more efficiently and also leaves grill marks. The bottom ridges are reproduced on the buns, resulting in an always tastier burger.
Material & texture
Material and texture are two critical things to note in a smash burger press because they directly influence the taste of the hamburger. Both stainless steel and cast-iron smash burger presses are available on the market.
Cast-iron burger presses have the edge over stainless steel ones in that they retain heat better and for a long time. They also weigh more than their steel counterparts and put adequate pressure on the smash burger.
Meanwhile, stainless steel presses don’t retain the heat well and, therefore, can’t brown or sear the top surface of the burger bun quite as deeply. They have a sleek and smooth surface, so you might be unable to position them correctly on a hamburger.
Most stainless steel presses are rectangular, so they’re generally unsuitable for rounded pieces of food, such as a smash burger. However, stainless steel models are superior to cast-iron models in ease of cleaning. They also don’t need to be cared for and seasoned before use.
Cast-iron smash burger pressers, on the contrary, need to be regularly washed and dried by hand after each use. They may also require the application of oil to prevent rusting before storing. However, the performance of cast-iron burger smashers outweighs the extra care they need.
While stainless steel presses are generally flat, cast-iron burger smashers can have either a flat and smooth surface or a surface with pronounced bumps, ridges, or dents.
The latter type is hard to clean as you need to check for grooves and indentations between the raised surfaces to check for stray pieces of your hamburger, such as meat and cheese leftovers.
The best way to smash the hamburger is to press it with a preheated smash burger presser. This way, you can simultaneously brown the top and bottom of your smash burger, saving time and ensuring that your burger cooks to perfection.
The weight of a smash burger press is a significant consideration before buying. A regular, standard smash burger weighs about 3 ounces.
Burger presses that weigh between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds are a good choice for pressing smash burgers. That’s because they put adequate and the right amount of pressure on your smash burgers.
Smash burger presses weighing less than 1 pound don’t make a good sear, leaving parts of your burger flabby or wet.
Smash burger presses weighing more than 4 pounds are too heavy for a smash burger, compressing the burger too much and pushing patties, cheese, and herbs from the sandwiches.
Your burger press handle defines ease of use more than anything else. Burger presses with a steel or cast-iron handle molded from the press’ bottom surface are dangerous as they become too hot to hold.
Your smash burger press handle should rise at least 2 inches above the cooking surface. If they’re low, they’re pretty problematic to grab.
You’ll be unable to hold them without a towel, making it impossible to position your fingers and maneuver the burger easily. When used bare-handed, they can burn your fingers. Heat will reach your fingers even if your fingers don’t touch the surface.
Due to the reasons mentioned above, you should always buy a smash burger with a wooden handle.
An item’s warranty demonstrates your value in the eyes of the manufacturer. It also tells you how they will treat you if a problem arises with the product. So, before hitting the “BUY” button, be sure it has a warranty.
What is a Smash Burger?
Smashburger, an American fast-casual hamburger restaurant chain, popularized the idea of smash burgers. They have a proprietary system of smashing and pressing down their burgers hard to cook quickly.
Pressing down a patty flattens it and makes it more crispy and even cooked. With Smashburger’s popularity rising, the idea’s conception also took off, and the practice became widespread.
The basic idea behind smashing a burger is that instead of letting it languish on the grill to cook slowly, you smash it using a scapula, bacon press, grill press, or hamburger press. When you smash a burger, Maillard’s reaction occurs quickly, and the patty protein cooks to perfection in no time.
Maillard’s reaction breaks down meat proteins and is responsible for meat browning. The same reaction also releases fresh aromas and flavors.
Making a DIY Smashburger-like hamburger becomes a no-brainer if you know the reason behind smashing a burger.
And if you want a toasty, browned, crispy, and charred hamburger, you need a burger smasher.
What is a Smash Burger Press?
Smash burger press, burger presser, and burger smasher refer to the same thing: a flat, often metallic tool with a metallic or wooden handle to press down upon or smash a burger patty. The shape of a burger press can be rectangular or round.
How do you use a Smash Burger Press?
Smash burger presses either consist of a single unit or two halves. The former type is usually cast iron, and the latter is generally plastic or aluminum alloy, such as this burger press from Weber.
How do you use a single-unit, cast iron smash burger press?
- Clean your cast iron smash burger press by wiping it with paper towels.
- Spray the cooking oil on your cooking pan and the bottom surface of the press to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you can season your smash burger press by putting some vegetable oil on a paper towel, wiping it over your cast iron smash burger press, and heating it. You can also place wax paper under and over the patty to make it pop out quickly when you’re done smashing it.
- Preheat your cast iron press for some time on high heat.
- Press the ground meat or burger patty with your cast iron burger smasher. Press down until you’ve achieved the desired thinness.
- Add other substances to your smash burger based on your recipe.
- Smash the buns using your cast iron burger smasher. Continue pressing and turning over your smash burger until the buns are well-browned and crispy.
How do you use a double-unit smash burger press?
These smash burger presses consist of a mold and a lid or presser. However, a significant problem with these presses is that you can’t use them to smash the burger buns, as they’re only meant for pressing the patties or ground meat.
- Clean both components of your smash burger press using towel paper.
- Coat both the mold and lid with the cooking spray to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you can use wax paper both under and over the patty to prevent it from sticking to the press and crumbling or falling apart when it comes out.
- Place the patty or round ball of meat into the mold and then smash it with the lid.
- Take the patty out carefully by turning over the mold.
How do you press a smash burger?
The smash burger derives its name from its characteristic, smashed, utterly thin patty. A thin patty has more surface to contact the hotplate, stove, or pan directly. Not only does a thin patty cook rapidly, it also browns nicely, becomes more crispy, and forms a better crust.
To press your smash burger patty, you’ll need a tool called smash burger press. While you can use a decent scapula to smash your hamburgers, chefs and professional connoisseurs almost invariably use a smash burger press to apply pressure to the burger easily.
- Preheat a flat frying pan on your stove or cooktop over medium-high heat.
- Prep the toppings ahead so you can quickly assemble your burger right away while the patties and buns are hot and juicy.
- Sprinkle some vegetable oil onto the pan.
- Place the ground meat or your burger patty onto the pan.
- Smash the patty with your hamburger press. Continue cooking, pressing, and flipping over the sides of your burger patty until it becomes super thin, crispy, and browned.
- Brush the cut sides of your burger buns and toast the buns until golden brown.
- Place a slice of your favorite cheese onto your cooked patty and top the other side of it with another piece.
- Place the toppings onto one of the cheese slices.
- Cover the burger with the toasted buns. Serve.
Why are smash burgers better?
Smash burgers are made by pressing down the ground meat or burger patty on the skillet or pan for a seared, crispy flavor. When you press a smash burger patty, you increase the surface area that comes in direct contact with heat. Consequently, the meat cooks lightning-fast, browns well, becomes crispy, and forms crusts. That being said, it all has, in the end, something to do with what we call the Maillard Reaction.
The Maillard reaction occurs when amino acids react with reducing sugars. The chemical reaction gives browned food its distinctive color. Fried steaks, fried dumplings, cookies, pastries, bread, toasted marshmallows, and many other foods undergo this reaction to produce their characteristic, distinctive colors.
The thinner the patty, the more surface area it has to heat up directly and undergo the Maillard reaction.
What does smashing a burger do?
Smashing your hamburger patties creates more surface area for the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction, as already described, breaks down the protein, browns your food, and makes it more crispy and tasteful to eat.
How do you keep smash burgers flat?
Pressing your smash burger patties down with a smash burger press is the best way to keep your burgers flat. Scapula-pressed patties aren’t uniformly flat.
What is the best Smash Burger press?
Bellemain Cast Iron Press, in our opinion, is the best smash burger press on the market. It has received more than twelve thousand reviews and has a rating of 4.8 on Amazon. It has underside grooves to melt in the fat and imprint mesmerizing sear marks on your burgers.
And besides, it comes with a wooden handle to protect your hands from the heat. This 3 lbs press is a great tool to ensure that your burgers are cooked to perfection, eliminating raw or overcooked sections.
Why are my smash burgers sticking?
If your burger patty isn’t frozen, it will stick to your pan or smash burger press. To prevent it from sticking, place the ground meat or burger patty onto the pan while still cold. Letting the ground meat or your burger patty warm on the stove before smashing will cause it to stick to the pan surface or the burger press.
However, there is more than one way to prevent your smash burgers from sticking to the pan or your burger press. For example, wax paper can prevent your smash burger patties from sticking. Alternatively, sprinkle some vegetable oil on the pan surface to prevent the smash burger from sticking. Brushing your smash burger press’ surface with flaxseed oil is also a good idea to keep hamburger patties from sticking.
What oil is best for burgers?
You can use any high-smoke-point oil for making burgers, such as avocado oil, canola oil, corn oil, and peanut oil. High-smoke-point oils don’t give off smoke until they’re heated to 400 degrees or above.
They’re more refined and are nearly stripped of any nut remnants. Less refined or low-smoke-point oils are not suitable for deep-frying and searing because they begin to emit smoke at a much lower temperature than 400 degrees (medium-high heat).
These considerations are based on a safety point of view and may have less to do with the taste and flavor.
How much does a grill press weigh?
A grill press should weigh between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. However, you can expect slight variations, which can be good too. For example, a sturdy, masculine man can be expected to use a four or 5-pound hamburger press. On the other hand, a fragile person can find it hard to maneuver a 2.5-pound smasher.
While individual preferences can vary, your decision should be based on the thickness of your burger patties and how much weight you can handle. It would also be interesting to note that the best, flat, uniformly thin, and crispy patties require a heavy, bulky grill press.
Final Thoughts on Best Burger Press
From our expert’s pick of the best smash burger presses, these are our top choices:
- Bellemain Cast Iron Grill Press and the Burger Smasher for a round shape
- Blackstone XL Griddle Press for a square shape, and
- Victoria Cast Iron Panini, Burger, Bacon, Grill Press for the Rectangular shape.
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