Sloppy SmashBurger

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Sloppy SmashBurger - Cuso Cuts

What is a Smashburger? Well, the name is telling. My Sloppy Smashburger follows the process of creating a meatball, then smashing it on a seasoned, hot grill. The initial aroma and sound they make are very satisfying, particularly if you have someone around to go “oooh.” 

I make Smashburgers this way because the preparation actually improves the flavor. The meat caramelizes. It remains somewhat loose, meaning it’s tender and juicy. These make for great tailgating treats.

Sloppy Smashburger Ingredients

  • ½ lb bacon **
  • 80-20 hamburger meat (¼-½ lb per person)
  • Salt
  • Cuso’s Hot Honey BBQ Rub
  • Onions
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Salted tomato
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Mayo
  • Mustard

** Tip: consider peppered bacon or smoked. You can also change the burger toppings according to your tastes. For example, you might use banana peppers in place of sweet ones or garlic aioli in place of mayo.


  1. Season the meat with salt
  2. Form it into equal-sized balls
  3. Slice the bacon in half 
  4. Crisp it on the skillet, then set aside
  5. Grill up the onions
  6. Use the remaining oil to grill your smashburgers
  7. Depending on how much meat you have, leave it on the grill for about 2 minutes per side. A medium burger should read 140-145 on a meat thermometer.
  8. Top with cheddar cheese, letting it melt
  9. Toast your buns to keep them from getting soggy
  10. Remove the burgers from the grill and serve with desired condiments

PitMaster’s Memo

There is some argument about where the smashburger had its origins. Some say it began 50 years ago in Kentucky with Bill Culverton, who came upon the concept by accident thanks to an employee’s creative idea. They smashed the meat using a bean can while the burgers were grilling. Others claim it began in the Great Lakes region as pressed chuck. So far, no one has resolved this mystery. 


Barbecued baked beans

Corn salad

Garlic-Parmesan fries

Pickled vegetables

Smoked Deviled eggs


From the Bar

Amber Ale






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