Forget Your Usual Burger. Here's Where To Find the Best Fast-Food Smash Burgers Around

Homemade Cheese Smash Burger


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Homemade Cheese Smash Burger

Smashed to Perfection

There's nothing quite as satisfying as a big, fat, juicy burger and a generous side of fries. But you know what's even better? A smash burger. The flavorful and tender patties are expertly cooked, perfectly seasoned, and stacked between soft, toasted buns. Whether you're enjoying it at a burger chain or whipping up a homemade version, smash burgers are sure to always hit the spot. 

The next time a craving hits, visit one of these chains for the best smash burgers in the game. Warning: Don't read this while hungry!

Rustic Homemade Bacon Smashburger

What Is a Smash Burger?

A smash burger is a unique twist on a traditional burger patty. The beef patty is smashed with a hot griddle or a spatula, which locks in the flavors to create a delightful contrast between the crispy edges and the juicy, tender center. The result is a thin, slightly crispy patty that is bursting with flavor. 

Smash burgers can be customized with a variety of toppings to suit a range of preferences and taste profiles. From classic options like lettuce, tomato, cheese, and pickles to more adventurous choices such as caramelized onions, bacon, and even a fried egg, the array of toppings and sauces adds another layer of deliciousness to these scrumptious burgers.

Classic Smashburger


Must Try: Classic Smash Burger

True to its name, Smashbuger serves up specialty smashed burgers crafted from fresh, never-frozen Certified Angus Beef. To achieve the most flavorful, juicy sear, the chain even developed its own custom metal smasher to hand-smash each patty on buttered, seasoned grills. 

While other burger chains employ a similar cooking technique, Smashburger distinguishes itself by exclusively serving hand-smashed patties with its signature caramelized crispy bits that are enough to make us drool. 

Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger

Five Guys

Must TryBacon Cheeseburger

Five Guys is another chain known for its flavorful smash burgers served on classic seeded buns. "We want our burgers leaking," said Five Guys employee Maezion Henix in an interview with Insider. "So when you bite into it, it will be satisfying." 

Henix revealed that the trick to making the Five Guys smash burgers extra juicy and tender is to leave them on the grill for a minute before smashing them, and then sear the patties for another minute and a half to two minutes to get those slightly crispy edges. 

Shake Shack Shackburger
Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Must Try: ShackBurger

Shake Shack's burgers have gained a dedicated following due to their ultra-thin patties that are bursting with flavor. The chain uses a proprietary blend of high-quality Angus beef that is freshly ground daily. The burgers are then cooked using a custom-built smasher, resulting in a slightly crispy exterior and a juicy center that helps set Shake Shack's smash burgers apart. 

(Okay fine, I may be slightly biased since I went to school right next to the OG Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, but trust me — get a ShackBurger with extra Shack sauce and a Black & White shake. You won't regret it).

Related: 30 Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Burger Recipes

Steak 'n Shake Bacon n' Cheese Steakburger
Steak 'n Shake

Steak 'n Shake

Must Try: Bacon 'n Cheese Steakburger

Steak 'n Shake, a pioneer in the art of hand-smashing burgers, has been perfecting its craft since 1934. Its signature Steakburger, made from a unique blend of round, sirloin, and T-bone steaks, has become synonymous with the brand. The chain's "smash technique" is not only a nod to tradition but is also a means of improving efficiency to create faster-cooking, juicy burgers. 

The Chicago Tribune attests that Steak 'n Shake's old school technique of smashing burgers with spatulas instead of hot griddles has helped set them apart from other burger chains.

Related: Local Burger Chains the Rest of the Country Needs

Culver's ButterBurger Cheese


Must Try: Butterburger Cheese

Culver's is another chain that has earned a loyal following (mostly in the Midwest) thanks to its popular hand-spun custard and toasted butter buns that are freshly baked in-house everyday. When it comes to its burgers, the chain says each patty is "pressed and seared to lock in the juices" and cooked to order on a flat grill.

Culver's also takes pride in using fresh, high-quality beef paired with its buttery buns that help add a rich and indulgent touch to their smash burgers and Patty melts. 

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State

The Steakburger Stacker
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers


Must Try: Steakburger Stacker

Founded in 2002, Freddy's has rapidly expanded into a nationwide burger chain, now boasting a presence in over 30 states. The chain's website highlights it's commitment to freshly preparing each burger by making thinly-pressed patties to order on a grill and dusting them with its signature Steakburger and Fry seasoning. 

Freddy's has garnered a passionate online following, with dedicated fans expressing their unwavering support on platforms like Reddit and Facebook. "I f-----g love Freddy's!!!" writes Reddit user u/itsalltucci, adding, "I stop every time I pass it, I can never turn that magic down."

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