Easy Smash Burger Tacos

By Amanda Paa – Updated October 18, 2023
5 from 3 votes
A smash burger taco consists of a crispy, thin, beautifully crusted beef patty inside a golden tortilla with burger sauce, lettuce, and pickles! They are juicy and absolutely delicious. A tortilla is place on top of the meat and smashed on a hot griddle; very easy to make in 15 minutes.
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viral smash burger tacos with fixings on parchment paper

This post is sponsored by Dometic Delta Heat, a year long partner of Heartbeet Kitchen. We used their 32 inch Teppanayaki Flat Top Griddle for this recipe! Their meticulously engineered products are as beautiful as they are high performance.

What Makes Smash Burger Tacos so Delicious

When we were building our outdoor kitchen, I really really wanted a flat-top griddle solely for the purpose of making smash burgers because they are a thing of juicy, crispy, beefy goodness. Smashing ground beef firmly into a very hot surface increases the contact points, and giving you a thin burger that delivers on maximum crust and maximum flavor.

Recently, smash burger tacos became a viral trend on TikTok, and my want for a flat-top grill grew to a need. When making Smash Burger Tacos, you place a tortilla on top of the burger ball, then press down into the tortilla, spreading the meat into a thin patty that adheres to the tortilla as it cooks.

Not only does the beef become crispy, the tortilla does too as it cooks on the hot griddle after flipping. Lay a piece of cheese on top to melt, tangy pickles, onion, and always BURGER SAUCE!, resulting in one epic taco mash-up.

What cut of beef is best for smash burgers?

I prefer using 80/20 ground beef for smash burger tacos because it has the right amount of fat for achieving the classic, crisp and juicy smash burger. 85/15 will result in a dryer burger, and 90/10 even worse.

The weight of the patties you make matters, too. I found the ideal size for smash burger tacos to be 2 1/2 ounces each, allowing for enough beef to cover most of the tortilla surface while achieving a thin, crisp patty. When you use use too much meat per tortilla, the resulting patty is too thick and doesn’t bend well with the tortilla, either.

woman putting cheese on a smash burger taco

How to make perfect smash burger tacos:

  • Divide and roll your beef into 2 1/2 ounce balls. You don’t want to be to rough with the meat or it will be tough. Less handling is better. Put them in the fridge until your flat top is preheated.
  • Turn your flat top onto high heat, ungreased. This is important to getting crispy, crispy, juicy beef.
  • Roll the balls in your salt and pepper mix. Place each ball on the hot flat top and set a 6-inch flour tortilla on top.
  • Use your smashing tool to press down very firmly on top of each tortilla, smashing the meat until it is as thin as it goes. Let them cook for 1 minute, then press down on top of each tortilla again, which will get some of the fat out for the edges to cook in. Then let cook disturbed for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a spatula to scoot underneath one of the burgers and see if it is nice and crispy.
  • Flip smash burger tacos onto their tortilla side and let cook another 2 to 3 minutes so the tortilla can crisp up by cooking on the surface. Top with cheese, which will melt as the tortillas crisp.
  • Remove and add burger sauce and toppings, then enjoy!
smash burger tacos on a griddle

Using a Flat Top Griddle

From sourdough pancakes to these smashburgers, crispy potatoes to fried rice, I have been using my Dometic Delta Heat Teppanyaki flat top griddle even more than I expected. It is incredibly versatile. I truly think if you are building an outdoor kitchen, this piece is a must.

I love its sleek, premium stainless-steel construction, hot surface ignition, and illuminated control knobs. It heats up incredibly fast and holds it temperature. The generous cooking surface is especially beneficial when cooking for a party or preparing multiple items simultaneously!

The grease tray makes it super easy to clean and get rid of leftover remnants, and the stainless steel cover doubles as protection for when it’s not in use and as a backsplash to keep grease spatters contained. 

smash burger tacos with burger sauce on white parchment paper

Best toppings for smash burger tacos:

  • burger sauce!
  • a cheese that melts well like muenster or provolone
  • chopped white onions
  • dill pickle chips
  • tomato, optional

What do you use to smash the tacos?

The first time I made smash burgers, I tried doing smashing them with a flat spatula. It didn’t work well, so I switched to a cast iron skillet. That gave me the leverage I needed, but it was heavy and clunky.

I ended up buying this Stainless Steel Burger Press that is PERFECT for the job.

  • Comfortable & Heat-Resistant Handle
  • Flat & Smooth Large Surface – 5.8 Inch larger surface area which allow you to smash nice thin burger patty to get maximum flavor. Smooth surface which make patty not easy stick when cooking.
  • Full Stainless Steel Material: Made of thick stainless steel, high temperature, not easily deformed, no rust, dishwasher safe. No worries about rusting and having to clean with brush like cast iron.
smash burger tacos with pickles on parchment paper

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holding a smash burger taco in hand

Easy Smash Burger Tacos

A smash burger taco consists of a crispy, thin, beautifully crusted beef patty inside a golden tortilla with burger sauce, lettuce, and pickles! They are juicy and absolutely delicious. A tortilla is place on top of the meat and smashed on a hot griddle; very easy to make in 15 minutes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Yield: 6 tacos
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef, 80/20 fat percentage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 cracks fresh black pepper
  • 6 (six-inch) flour tortillas (flour works best they’re more absorbent and the meat sticks better)
  • 6 slices muenster or provolone cheese
  • shredded lettuce, chopped white onion, and dill pickle chips for topping

Burger Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced bread & butter pickles
  • 1 tablespoon pickle brine
  • 10 cracks fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions 

  • Add all burger sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use; can be made 3 days in advance.
  • Divide and roll your beef into 2 1/2 ounce balls. You don’t want to be to rough with the meat or it will be tough. Less handling is better. Mix the salt and pepper into a bowl and roll each beef ball in it. Place each ball on a plate and put them in the fridge until your flat top is preheated.
  • Turn your flat top onto high heat, ungreased. This is important to getting crispy, crispy, juicy beef.
  • Place each ball on the hot flat top and set a 6 inch tortilla on top.
  • Use your smashing tool to press down very firmly on top of each tortilla, smashing the meat until it is as thin as it goes. Let them cook for 1 minute, then press down on top of each tortilla again, which will get some of the fat out for the edges to cook in. Then let cook disturbed for 2 to 3 minutes. (The patties are so thin, this is definitely enough time for them to cook through.)
  • Use a stiff steel spatula to scrape underneath one of the burgers and see if it is browned and crispy. (Be forceful; the beef might be sticking a little to the surface but that's okay). If it's not browned and crispy, increase the temperature of your grill (but it should be smoking hot.) Once browned and crisp, flip smash burger tacos onto their tortilla side and let cook another 2ish minutes so the tortilla can crisp up by cooking on the surface. Top with cheese, which will melt as the tortillas crisp.
  • Remove and add burger sauce and toppings, then enjoy!

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October 18, 2023

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