Monday, May 24, 2021

Smash Burger Sliders with Vermont White Cheddar and Canadian Bacon

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I had a raging internal battle this weekend, my diet plan said "chicken" but my appetite said "smashburgers".  Guess who won out.

Smash Burger sliders with Vermont White Cheddar and Canadian Bacon
Vermont white cheddar, Bourbon Maple Canadian Bacon, and crispy 3 ounce smash burger patties double stacked on slider rolls. Ahhh yeah!

These burgers were fantastic - cheesy, beefy, salty, and that fresh off the grill flavor. The Canadian bacon brings a welcomed crispy texture, saltiness, and a bit of umami from the cure.
The components were simple:
  • Beef - Fresh ground beef makes a world of difference for burgers so I try to make sure to get mine somewhere where the meat is at least ground on the premises. I got my ground chuck 80/20 at Food City, where they grind beef multiple times a day, so I knew it was fresh.
  • Seasoning - I had Bourbon Barrel smoked salt, whole green peppercorns, and dried minced garlic in a pepper mill so that's what I used.
  • Cheese - I have several favorites but this time, I chose to use Vermont white cheddar because I wanted the sharp, nutty flavor to stand up to the bacon.
  • Canadian bacon - I used the Bourbon Maple Canadian Bacon recipe from our second book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook.
  • Condiments - Brisket Jus Mayo
  • Buns - I used Pepperidge Farm white slider buns.
Grill Set up
I used one of my large Big Green Eggs for this cook. Normally I like doing smash burgers on my flat top griddle but I've been out of gas for that. 
  • Kick Ash Basket full of Fogo lump charcoal.
  • Griddle plate that I stole from another grill that I used to have (Isn't that a Gotye song? A Grill That I Used To Know).
  • Adjustable rig - My plan was to cook the corn on a lower grate and then add the griddle on support bars above that once the corn was done. This set up meant I didn't have to handle any hot grates or anything during the cook. Worked like a charm. Alternatively, I could have had the griddle on a standard Egg grate and put the ears of corn off to the side. Either way works fine. 

Large Big Green Egg in Challenger Designs Cart
I used our BGE that "lives" in the Challenger Design's Torch cart

The Sidedish - Qnami Corn
We grilled fresh corn on the cob and it seemed to take FOREVER. Normally, corn is like what, 8-10 minutes? This took at least 15 minutes. I think I just didn't have the grill hot enough yet, but I wasn't really paying attention to my temps yet. Anyway, once it was done, we brushed it with butter and seasoned it with Lane's Qnami Seasoning.

Grilling corn on the Big Green Egg

Giving the corn a healthy dose of Lane's Qnami

The Cook
The best thing about smash burgers is how quickly the process works, about as fast as stir frying.
  • I preheated the grill to 450°f and then put the griddle in 5 minutes before cooking.
  • I spritzed the griddle with peanut oil and then wiped it around to coat the griddle.
  • First, I toasted the buns until I could smell the toast and see the edges starting to brown, about 15 seconds.
  • Next, cooked the Canadian bacon until it was crispy and turning brown, maybe 1 minute per side.
  • I had the ground chuck weighed out into 3-ounce balls and smashed them onto the griddle using a 5mm recessed burger press (Craycort's Ballastic press, but it is out of stock). I let them cook for 90 seconds.
  • Then I flipped the patties and immediately seasoned with the finely ground PSG seasoning of smoked salt, green pepper, and garlic. I quickly "cheesed it" with the shredded cheddar. Sixty more seconds and we're done.
Overall, it was a tremendous meal and perfect for a sunny weekend evening.

Putting the griddle plate in after cooking the corn.

Cooking Canadian bacon on a griddle
Getting the Canadian bacon crispy.

Making smash burgers on the Big Green Egg
I absolutely the 5mm recessed Ballastic Burger press from Craycort. Unfortunately, they are out of stock at this time.

Seasoning the patties immediate after flipping the burgers.

Smash burger patties on the griddle on a Big Green Egg
The crust is what makes smash burgers better than a plain grilled burger. 

Look at that melted cheese cascading down from the top patty to the lower deck, that's gooey deliciousness, my friend.

Vermont White Cheddar and Canadian Bacon Smash Burger Sliders
These may be sliders but to be honest, one of these fills me up. There's 6 ounces of beef, 2 ounces of ham, and an ounce of cheese on there. 

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