Black Flannel Academy

Smash Burger

A Smash Burger is cooked throughout yet remains juicy due to cooking technique and a maillard reaction.

Typical Ingredients

  • LaPlatte River Angus
  • Seasoning
  • Pub Cheese (on some versions)
  • Award Winning Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue (on our Blue Burger pictured)
  • Jalapeno
  • Bacon
  • Other misc flavor & texture ingredients

Pairs With...

  • Blacksmith Series American Pale Ale
  • Disco Montage Double IPA
  • Rojo Amarillo Red Rye IPA
  • Pneuma Black IPA
  • J.S. Bock Dunkles Bock
  • Braunbier Munich Dunkel

Smash Burgers Rock!

When you order a burger from Black Flannel Brewing Company, you won’t be asked for a preferred temperature and we do get a few customers asking for a temperature (Medium Rare, Medium, etc).  The reason we don’t ask for temperature is that we use a “smash” technique to cook our burgers which coaxes a much better flavor from the beef.

There are advantages and a few tricks to make the perfect smash burger.  First, it’s important to use good quality beef.  We chose LaPlatte River Angus beef grown, processed, and delivered weekly.  The ground beef is packed into a loose ball, since overworking the meat can make the proteins too tough.

Next, we use parchment paper and a special heavy metal press to sear the bottom of the patty on a high heated cooking surface for ten seconds. Smashing creates more surface area for a maillard reaction which caramelizes amino acids in the beef and creates a flavorful crust on the patty.  It forces the juices in the meat to cook upward, keeping juices in the meat rather than allowing it to spill onto the cooking surface.  The result is a burger with more flavor, cooked throughout, that remains juicy.  

When we see bubbles, we flip the patty over using a sharp spatula to ensure we get all of the crisp, brown caramelized crust.  We let that cook enough to create the maillard crust on the other side of the burger (top with cheese on some variations) then we add the patty to the grilled bun along with other flavorful ingredients to deliver a “more complex than usual” burger experience.

So why does the smash technique work so well and make the burger taste so much better?  It’s all about the maillard reaction.  A maillard reaction occurs in amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) when they are introduced to high temperatures. Simple sugars rearrange themselves and produce thousands of molecules that result in smell and color changes, as well as flavor variation and intensifications.

Maillard reactions are used to produce many foods and beverages.  Baked bread, toasted bread, grilled shrimp, and caramelized onions are a few other examples of foods created or cooked using Maillard reactions. 

Our brewers are very familiar with maillard reactions as they leverage malts produced to varying degrees of caramelization, and they use decoction (a brewing technique designed to create Maillard reaction in part of the mash) to brew many classic German beer styles.  It gives lagers greater depth of flavor, just as it does in all variations of our Black Flannel Smash Burgers. and 


Aroma – Caramelized beef, with cooked fat and proteins lead to intense beef aroma. At Black Flannel Brewing Co. we season the beef to bring out the natural flavor and add a touch of savoriness.

Appearance – Golden dark brown. Perfect size to fit on a grilled bun. 

Flavor – Traditionally seasoned with salt and other savory spices, the patty remains juicy yet cooked all the way through.  Full intense beef flavor.

Mouthfeel – Crispy caramelized  shell. Combined with other ingredients very juicy with slightly crispy consistency.

Pairs With – American Pale Ale, Double IPA, Black IPA, Red Rye IPA, Munich Dunkel & Dunkles Bock.

Tasting Notes:

Black Flannel’s Smash Burger is designed to give our guests a more complex than usual burger flavor experience.  Try all variations of this main for lunch or dinner with thrice cooked fries.   Blue Burger, Jalapeno Baco Burger, Black Flannel Classic Smash Burger, and many more.