The Matt Horn Smash Burger

With our friends at Sunset Magazine, we asked pitmaster Matt Horn to share his secrets for making three delicious burgers. The secrets here are smashing the meat good and thin to maximize the lacy, crispy sear, and the kick that Clover Sonoma Pepper Jack cheese adds.

  • 4-8 slices Clover Sonoma Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1.6-2 lb ground beef (minced), 20%+ fat
  • chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • mayo
  • lettuce
  • ketchup
  • 1Prepare some herbed mayo by combining your mayonnaise of choice with fresh chopped rosemary and thyme, to taste.
  • 2Separate beef into 4 equal portions. Use hands to lightly form into patties the size of your buns. Once you have formed the patties, season generously with a blend of salt and pepper on both sides.
  • 3Take your oil and apply it to your skillet or flat top, grill onions until caramelized, and then remove.
  • 4Now that you have a hot cooking surface, add thepatties and cook for 3 minutes until you get a good sear. Make sure to smash the patty until it's just about paper thin. This will create a sear and trap in any juices. After 3 minutes, gently flip the patties and then cover with the pepper Jack cheese. While you wait, lightly toast your buns.
  • 5To serve: Spread base of buns with the herbed mayo sauce/condiment of choice. Top with grilled onions and then hamburger patty. Pile over onions, then add more sauce/condiments. Top with lettuce and a lid of bun. Serve immediately.