Smokey Road Smash Burger

As you all know from previous posts, I am a big fan of smash burgers. One of my favorite things about smash burgers is that you can make them however you would like with different flavors. Today, I am going to show you how to make them with one of our new Open Fire Rubs: the Smokey Road Smash Burger. Simple and delicious, you will quickly understand why I wanted to share this recipe.

Prep the onions

Just like with our Onion Smash Burgers and Au Poivre Smash Burger recipes, we are going to be smashing onions into our burgers. Slice the onions as thinly as possible, salt them, and allow them to sit for around 20 minutes. The salt will extract the liquid from the onions. After the 20 minutes are up, drain the liquid and squeeze the onions to get as much out as possible. The onions will be extremely flavorful and perfect for smash burgers.

Choose your beef

For smash burgers, you can definitely use prepackaged ground beef and you’ll have delicious burgers. If you’re willing to put the extra effort in and grind your own beef (which I recommend), there are a few options:

  • Chuck
  • Brisket
  • Boneless short ribs

These are my go-to meats to grind when making burgers. My one rule of thumb – each smash burger will need 1/4 lb of meat. So, if you want four smash burgers, you’ll need 1 lb of meat. Make each 1/4 lb of beef into a meatball, season the top side with our new Open Fire Smokey Road Rub, and set aside.

Let’s smash

Since our onions and meat are ready to go, it’s time to smash! Preheat a cast iron or large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 beef balls unseasoned side down and add 1/4 of the onions on top. Using a burger press or spatula, smash the burger down. I like to leave it pressed for a few seconds to really help build a crust. Allow to cook until it’s around 80% done. You will notice the sides of the patty will start to brown at this point. Flip the burger and season the second side with our Open Fire Smokey Road Rub. Cook for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.

Onions that have been smashed into our burgers
Onions have been smashed into our burgers

Keep the burgers warm while you cook

Since these burgers are most likely made one at a time, I like to keep them warm while I finish cooking. If you have an available oven, set the temperature to 190ºF-200ºF degrees and put the smash burgers in. This will keep the burgers warm while not drying them out.

Smash burger with a beautiful crust
Smash burger with a beautiful crust

This might be my new favorite burger

These Smokey Road Smash Burgers might be my new favorite burgers. The flavor from our Open Fire Smokey Road Rub, combined with the onions that are smashed into the beef, make this burger to die for. The flavors compliment each other really well. Serve with whatever toppings you like – I prefer heirloom tomatoes, butterhead lettuce, jalapenos, and dijon mustard. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think in the comments. Smash burgers have been a game changer for me (vs the regular grilled burgers) and I encourage you to give them a shot.

Smokey Road Smash Burgers

Smokey Road Smash Burgers are going to be your new go-to burgers! Ground beef balls are seasoned with our Open Fire Smokey Road rub and then have onions smashed into them, resulting in an explosion of flavor. Seared until the perfect crust is created, the burgers are then flipped and cooked for about one more minute. This recipe is quick, easy, delicious, and absolutely game changing. I've never been so excited for burger night.
Servings 4 burgers


  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 Large white onion or two medium white onions
  • Open Fire Smokey Road Rub to taste
  • 4 Burger buns
  • 1 tbsp Avocado oil or any neutral oil


  • Slice the onions as thinly as possible. Put them in a bowl with salt and toss to coat all over.  Let rest for about 20 minutes (going a little longer is ok too).  After resting, squeeze all the liquid out of the onions.  Discard liquid and set onions aside.
  • Separate the ground beef into 4 balls (1/4 lb per ball). The balls should be similar to a meatball. Season the top side generously with Open Fire Smokey Road rub.
  • Preheat an oven to 190ºF-200ºF. This is to keep burgers warm after you have cooked them.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet or pan on medium high heat.  Give it time to preheat and get very hot.  Once hot, put 1 beef ball in the pan (depending on how big your skillet or pan is) and put 1/4 of the onions on the top side of each ball.  Smash it down with a burger press or spatula until thin.  Allow the burger to cook until it's ~80% done (around 2 minutes). The sides of the smash burger will start to brown. Flip the burger and generously season the second side with Open Fire Smokey Road rub. Allow to cook; remove from heat once done. Put it on a tray and in the warmed oven. Repeat with the remaining beef balls.
  • Create/top burger however you would like. My suggestion: double patty with heirloom tomato, butterhead lettuce, jalapenos, and dijon mustard.
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