Every summer (or even winter...) barbecue cries out for a delicious melt in the mouth burger. This recipe by our friend, cookery writer and barbecue expert, Genevieve Taylor does just the job.

"What is a smash burger?", I hear you say. A smash burger is basically a rough pattie that starts out its life as a neat ball of mince and ends up smashed on the griddle to create frayed, crispy edges that become the sort of burger that dreams are made of.

For this recipe you need a chapa (also known as a plancha or hot plate) and a cloche that you can cover it with. You can also improvise with a sturdy old baking sheet and a metal mixing bowl, you don't need fancy kit to create this humble yet delicious recipe.



  • Fire up your barbecue ready for direct and indirect grilling. Set a chapa or flat plate onto the grilling surface directly oven the fire to get really hot.

  • Tip the onions into a small heatproof pan (no plastic or wooden handles), add the olive oil and butter and season with salt and pepper. Set onto the grill bars slightly away from the fire, so you are cooking indirectly, and leave to caramelise for around 20 minutes, stirring every now and then.

  • Whilst the onions are cooking, divide the mince into 8 even-sized pieces, rolling each into a nice compact ball.

  • Once the onions are ready and the chapa is really hot (test by flicking a few drops of cold water, it should sizzle instantly) quickly wipe a little vegetable oil over it using a couple of pieces of scrunched up kitchen paper.

  • Take a ball of mince and add it to the chapa, and use a fish slice to quickly smash it down flat so its no thicker than a centimeter. Repeat with more balls of mince - you may need to cook your burgers in two or more batches depending on the space you have and the size of your cloche as you need to be able to cover them up.

  • Once the chapa is full of burgers, sprinkle a little hickory rub and salt over each. After a minute, flip the burgers over and sprinkle some seasoning on the other side and top with a little cheese. Have your cloche at the ready (or metal bowl), then sprinkle a good couple of tablespoons of beer onto the chapa around each of the burgers and quickly cover with the cloche and cook for another minute. The steam from the beer evaporating will help to melt the cheese.

  • Finally, place the brioche burgers over the grill to lightly toast and char the inside of the bread.

  • To serve, place a little lettuce in the base of a bun, top with one of the burgers, followed by a spoon of onions. Add another burger, followed by the lid. Repeat this process until you have made all the burgers.

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