The terms “author” and “filmmaker” simply describe what George Motz does for a living. But just who the widely-appreciated Motz is at his core? Well, if you’ve seen his work, it’s evident that he may be the most ardent burger hound this side of the Atlantic, if not beyond.
Motz takes his burgers seriously. He’s traveled the country in search of the best burgers around and documented his journey, spinning his tales into a book, a movie and even a smart phone app dubbed “Hamburger America.” So when it comes to making crazy delicious burgers, when George Motz speaks, it’s best to listen.
During his travels, Motz befriended a gentleman named Tom Ryan – founder of the ever-growing fast-casual burger chain, Smashburger. The two are kindred spirits connected by a mutual love for burgers: smashed, seared and juicy. But the technique for achieving that? Follow along.
Look, ma! No hands! Forget traditional hand-forming burgers. In fact, don’t use your hands at all. Instead, use an ice cream scoop. For one – the heat from your hands forming the patty will inadvertently begin the cooking process, and it can be a bit messy. But more importantly, dropping a tidy ball of ground beef on your raging hot grill top or cast iron pan puts it in perfect position for the pending smash.
Get smashed. Your ball o’ beef should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan. If it doesn’t, your pan needs to be hotter. From there, take your spatula and flatten that sucker out – about a half-inch thickness all the way around. Once flattened, season with salt, pepper or add any other toppings you may prefer.
Now, because you’re cooking a thinner patty vs. a traditional thicker piece of meat, it’ll cook much faster than normal – only about a minute or two on each side. Because of this, you’re setting yourself up to achieve the best of both worlds: a burger patty that’s not only fully cooked throughout, but that also retains much of its juiciness due to the limited cook time AND with a perfect, crispy sear on both sides.