Cattlemen’s Ranch Smashed Burgers

What is a smashburger?

I found myself casually considering this question several months ago after visiting a burger establishment that sold something it called a smashburger. I’d never heard of such a thing, although I assumed it was … well, some kind of burger. As it turned out, it was a pretty good burger, although at the time I didn’t do any research into what made my burger that day different from any other burger I’d had.

Fast forward to this week when we found a crate of smashburgers at Aldi. This got my attention, since Aldi already sells plenty of “regular” burgers in its everyday section, to say nothing of limited buys. Now I needed to know: what made this burger unique?

It turns out, a smashburger is a burger that is, quite literally, smashed into the grill or griddle. In theory this ought to push the juices out, but experts claim that, if done right, it can do just the opposite, locking in the juices while also creating a sear on the outside of the meat. It’s a thinner, crispier burger. That doesn’t automatically make it better, as some people may prefer a traditional thick burger, but a smashburger has its fans.

I picked up the Aldi smashburger crate and put it to work on my grill.

Cattleman's Ranch Smashed Burgers

Cattlemen’s Ranch Smashed Burgers are an Aldi Find. You can only find them in stores for a limited time, and once they’re gone, you won’t be able to find them in stores again until they come back, whenever that is. You also can’t order them online if they’re sold out at your local store.

The box is sold in the frozen section of the Aldi Finds area. At the time of this post, the 32-ounce box cost $7.99. Since the box has eight 1/4-pound patties, the price comes out to right around $4 a pound, $1 a burger, and 25 cents an ounce.

Nutritionally, each burger has 300 calories, 25 grams of fat (32% of the recommended daily value), 10 grams of saturated fat (50% DV), 75 milligrams of sodium (3% DV), and 20 grams of protein. The box lists just one ingredient, beef. There is no indication that we can see of where the beef comes from.

Cattleman's Ranch Smashed Burgers

Nutrition information and ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

If you don’t have experience cooking a burger, the box has directions for frying pan / flat top grill, outdoor grill, and boiler. All of them assume a medium well temperature.

For pan frying / flat top, place the patty on a pre-heated surface at medium high heat, cook for 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 2 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.

For an outdoor grill, preheat to 350 or when the charcoal turns white, then cook the patty 2-4 minutes on one side or until the juices come to the surface, then turn and cook for 2-4 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.

Under a broiler, place a frozen burger for 6 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.

Keep in mind that this patty is flat and thin, so it will cook faster than a thicker patty.

I opted to cook ours on a grill.

Cattleman's Ranch Smashed Burgers

It took me about four minutes on each side to get them to cooked temperature. After the first four minutes, they bled through, the telltale sign it was time to flip, and then after four more minutes they were done. Flareups weren’t bad — they were lower than some burgers I’ve cooked — and while I was a little uncertain how well these thinner patties would hold together, I didn’t lose any beef to the grates.

Cattlemen's Ranch Smashed Burgers

Our testers liked them. They had good flavor and texture and went well with the different dressings and condiments we tried them out with. Even some of our more reluctant burger eaters finished theirs. The thin patty, while maybe a little big for the bun, had the virtue of also not being a chore to bite into like some fat burgers are.

Cattlemen's Ranch Smashed Burgers + Pasta Salad

The Verdict:

We liked what we saw with Cattlemen’s Ranch Smashed Burgers. They cooked up quickly, easily, and without flareups, and they had good taste and texture. As smashburgers go, these are good smashburgers.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at joshuaajohnston.com.

5 Comments

  1. There are better choices at Aldi considering cost per pound and lower fat content. Smash your own and get a better result overall.

  2. Catherine A. McClarey

    We normally don’t buy pre-formed frozen hamburger patties at our house (unless they’re on sale at a cheaper price than bulk hamburger); however, “smashburgers” might be worth a try, as my husband prefers his burgers to be well-done, and therefore almost never orders thick hamburgers from fast-food restaurants (because they’re often still slightly pink in the middle when served). I wonder if these could be prepared in an air fryer, perhaps 2 at a time, instead of the 4 at a time one might attempt with smaller hamburgers?

  3. The only way to cook smashburgers is on a cast iron griddle. Homemade are the juiciest, not sure I would be a fan of frozen ones, but might try them if the price is right.

  4. I wish Aldi, and other companies, would start putting more times and temps for Air Fryers on their packaging. .

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