Oh man did these Pub Sauce smash burgers ever hit the spot. Juicy patties. Crisp fresh toppings. All with a wonderful sauce that is a combination of just about every good burger sauce you can think of. It’s reminiscent of a creamy steak sauce but it’s not too thick. It’s got a hint of sweetness. A bit saltiness. A little Asian-inspired flavor. And my favorite, garlic. Every bite is an unami-festival. These burgers are proof that even the simplest sauce can make a ‘plain’ burger something special. Sure, there are a few ingredients, but nothing fancy and nothing complicated.
Making Pub Sauce smash burgers isn’t difficult. You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment or a lot of time. Just a hot griddle and a burger press. Any griddle will do, whether it’s on a grill, cooktop, stove or even a standalone outdoor flattop. Just get those patties nice and thin and use quality fresh toppings. And a great sauce.
Now THIS is a burger! This isn’t some dainty, fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand two-bite burger. This is an elbows-out, juice-running-down-your-forearms, do-the-burger-hunch burger. Two all beef patties. Very special sauce. Lettuce. Cheese. Onions. Pickle. Sesame seed buns. These Cowboy Big Mac Smash Burgers (based on a recipe from Kent Rollins) are the kind of burger I find in my dreams.
Nine times out of ten, when I make burgers, I make Smash Burgers. I love the crispy edges, the thin patties, the fresh toppings… Cowboy Big Mac Smash Burgers aren’t messing around. Now, that being said, if you want to make these as single burgers you can and they’re just as delicious! Trust me! Sometimes I just can’t handle those monster-sized patties. So I do single patties instead, and I’ll even use 4.5 ounce patties instead of 8. I used to use 4 ounces, but I’ve found that 4.5 ounces ‘smash’ out to a size that covers the burger buns perfectly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, adobo sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika.
Fold in the onion. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before you're ready to make the burgers.
For the burgers
Fire up your grill for direct medium-high heat cooking.
Season the burger patties with salt and pepper on both sides. Don't be shy with the seasoning.
Place the patties on grill. Smash down with a spatula or grill press.
Grill the burgers for 2-3 minutes per side.
Top the patties with cheese and grill until they've reached your desired doneness and the cheese is melted. Remove from the grill.
Take 2 of the bun tops and cut off the tops. These will be the two middle buns for the Big Macs. Discard the bun bottoms or use them for something else (like making bread crumbs, feeding the birds, etc).
Toast the buns and two bun slices on the grill as desired.
Make the burgers by first spreading some of the sauce on the bun bottoms.
Add some of the lettuce and a burger patty. Top with the sliced bun.
Slather the top of the sliced bun with more of the sauce. Add lettuce, the remaining patties, pickles and top bun.
Messy and spicy. That’s all I need to know. Plenty of crispy bacon too. And a little of ‘garden’. Nothing really that fancy, just a good juicy spicy bacon burger with plenty of kick. Thanks to the spicy cheese and a very spicy sauce.
I usually cook my spicy bacon burger on the grill, but not on the grates. Instead I use a griddle insert that is made of cast iron. The insert gets screaming hot, like a griddle from a diner. You know, the diners that make great burgers. When you cook on grates the juices drip down into the grill, lost forever. When you cook on the griddle the juices hang out, flavoring the patties and keeping them moist. You can’t go wrong griddling burgers in my opinion. You can also cook the bacon on the griddle, but I usually bake my bacon.
I like to use a burger press when I make burgers. It, in combination with some patty papers, enables me to crank out a whole bunch of equally-sized burger patties in no time at all with little cleanup.