By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published May 25, 2020 at 11:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Welcome to Quarantine Kitchen, a cooking show focused on easy recipes and tips you can execute in your home kitchen using basic ingredients and pantry staples. The show airs live on Facebook every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tune in by heading to the OnMilwaukee Facebook page.  You can access past recipes and shows using this link.

On this week's episode, I’ll be sharing my technique and recipe for creating delicious smash burgers at home. Even better, I’ll be joined by a very special guest: Matt Mueller, my cohost on the FoodCrush Podcast. During the episode, I’ll be teaching him everything I know about smash burgers as we cook side by side in our respective home kitchens, exchanging witty remarks, friendly jabs and (hopefully) creating amazing burgers. 

How will it all turn out? You’ll just have to watch and see. 

Smash Burgers with whiskey onions

Makes four double smash burgers

1 pound 80/20 ground beef
1 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
1 T Worcestershire sauce
4 brioche buns
8-16 slices American cheese (or the cheese of your choosing)

Whiskey Onions
2 T butter
1 large onion, sliced
2 ounces whiskey

  1. First, prepare your whiskey onions. To do so, heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter.
  2. When the butter is melted, add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt.
  3. Stir to coat onions with butter and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are nicely browned.
  4. Add whiskey to onions and stir to incorporate. Simmer until the alcohol has dissipated and there is very little moisture left in the pan. Set aside.
  5. To prepare your buns, spread a thin, even layer of butter on both cut sides of each bun. Heat a large, heavy flat skillet or cast-iron skillet over medium-high until very hot. Place buns on top of skillet, toasting the cut side until nicely browned. Depending on the size of your skillet and the number of burgers you are making, do this in batches. Remove buns and set aside for later.
  6. Now prepare your burger meat. Gently break up the meat with your fingers, sprinkle in Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper and gently mix to combine. Then divide the meat into 8 equal portions.
  7. Melt 1 T butter onto the same skillet you used to toast the buns, allowing it to melt and spread across the surface.
  8. Place portions of meat onto the hot buttered skillet (working in batches if needed) and smash them until flat and about 4 or so inches across. Don’t worry about maintaining a perfectly round shape; those ragged edges will actually work in your favor.
  9. Cook the burgers, undisturbed, until the outer edges are brown. This should take about 2 minutes.
  10. Flip each patty, place one or two slices of cheese on top and cook for about 1 minute more until cheese begins to droop.
  11. Place two burger patties on each bun, top with whiskey onions (and your choice of additional toppings) and serve.
Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.