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A side photo of a burger and fries next to a bottle of soda on a grey table with an emerald green backdrop.

The Best Burgers Ever (a.k.a. The Awful Awful)

A half-pound of ground chuck steak smashed in a cast-iron pan and topped with melty American cheese, secret sauce, and all the fixings on a buttery onion bun. These burgers are juicy and decadent with perfectly-crispy edges.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


Secret Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pickle brine
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Tabasco + more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Awful Awful Burgers

  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 lb ground chuck steak (20% fat) divided into 4 loose chunks
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 onion buns
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • Green leaf or iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles for serving


Secret Sauce

  • To make the secret sauce, simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Awful Awful Burgers

  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until screaming hot, about 2-3 minutes. Brush the skillet with vegetable oil.
  • Working in batches, place 1-2 loose balls of the beef into the hot skillet. Use a spatula to smash each ball of beef into a 1/2'' thick patty. (Don't worry too much about getting a perfectly round patty - we want those craggy edges to crisp up!) Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, until the outer edges are brown and crisp.
  • Flip the burger and season with more salt and pepper. Cook for 4 more minutes for medium-well. During the last 30 seconds of cooking, place the cheese slices on top of the patties until melty.
  • While the burgers are cooking, butter each side of the bun with about 1/2 Tablespoon of the softened butter. Toast under the broiler or in a dry skillet until lightly browned. Set aside.
  • To assemble, spread 1/2 Tablespoon or more of the secret sauce on each bun. Place each burger patty on a bottom bun and top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, finishing with the top of each bun. Serve with fries and enjoy!


Serving: 1burgerCalories: 600kcalCarbohydrates: 51.4gProtein: 24.1gFat: 33.3gSaturated Fat: 9.8gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 1775mgPotassium: 407mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 16g
Keyword beef, dinner, sandwiches
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