clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
finished and assembled burger for smash burger recipe

Root Beer Smash Burgers

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: about 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: holiday, dinner


A perfectly seared patty with a caramelized crust, topped with melty cheese, crispy lettuce, and a secret weapon – a root beer barbecue sauce that will make your taste buds dance with delight



For the Root Beet Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups root beer
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few dashes of hot sauce, to taste

For the Burgers:

  • 1 pound cold ground beef
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons root beer barbecue sauce (recipe follows), plus more for brushing
  • 4 potato hamburger buns
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 pieces lettuce
  • 48 slices tomato
  • mayonnaise


  1. To make the barbecue sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and lower heat. All mixture to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, reducing until desired thickness. Sauce will thicken some as it cools. Taste and add additional seasoning to your taste. Allow the sauce to cool before placing in a jar. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
  2. To make the burgers, break ground beef up loosely in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over beef. Drizzle sauce over beef. Loosely combine. No need to knead the the beef to a mush, just lightly combine. Divide the beef into four 4-ounce balls, keeping the balls cohesive but loose (which will make them easier to smash in the pan).
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and allow to melt. Once melted, split open two buns and face inside down to brown, 30-45 seconds. Remove from the pan, add the remaining butter and two remaining buns and toast to golden.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high, wait for the pan to get hotter and add one ground beef portion. Use a large, flat metal spatula to press down firmly on the meat making it as flat as possible. The burger won’t be perfectly round but those imperfect edges will caramelize really nicely. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes or until browned and caramelized. Flip the burger, brush with barbecue sauce, top with cheese and allow to cook for 1 minute. Remove to a plate and repeat the process with the other three burgers.
  5. To assemble, spread the toasted bun with mayonnaise. Place cheeseburger patty on the bottom bun followed by lettuce and tomato. Enjoy warm.

Keywords: smash burgers, dinner, holiday, 4th of july,