These smashed butter burgers are a real treat, super juicy, and simply the best dive burgers you could imagine.
Some weeks ago, we rented a car right before sunset and drove up to Milwaukee. We left Chicago with growling stomachs but I had my heart set on having a real Milwaukee smashed butter burger for dinner so we just drove on.
We finally found “Kopp’s”, a joint that specializes in Milwaukee butter burgers and allegedly, the best frozen custard ever.
Okay, I need to get the frozen custard talk out of the way because this is afterall a butter burger post. It’s just that the frozen custard alone is reason enough to drive all the way up to Milwaukee from Chicago. Every. single. weekend.
But then again, I’ve been known to drive extremely long distances just for a piece of cake.
It was a really good piece of cake.
And really good tacos.
And really good everything else I’ve driven miles and miles for in order to satisfy that specific craving.
Now let me tell you—those butter burgers had my head spinning and I just didn’t get how they got that beef so incredibly moist and flavorful and delicious and heavenly and so sinfully buttery.
They weren’t thick, dense patties (which personally, I really hate and yep, I do realize I’m in the minority for that touchy topic but I’m just fine with that).
To me, what makes a burger a great burger is a high surface area to middle-of-the-patty ratio. And so that means it’s got to be a thinner burger. Also, the other necessity is a good fatty burger that just melts in your mouth when you take a bite. And that’s where the wagyu beef comes in. The fat in wagyu beef does exactly that. It completely melts, seares, and leaves this very juicy and insanely tasty beef burger patty.
Okay, it’s not like we’re eating this everyday, so when you’re in that one mood for a perfect burger, instead of always going out to get it made (which I totally get is sometimes half the fun), try making this butter burger for a change. You’ll know exactly what’s going into your body and you’ll treat it even more like… well, a treat!
The way I enjoyed my Kopp’s burger is exactly how I tried to recreate it at home, toppings included. I top mine with caramelized onion and sometimes some chopped raw onion. I guess I’m just a big time sucker for onion! Maybe I’ll keep that one to myself in the future because it’s not at all a normal thing to be an “onion person” is it?
Oh, and I can’t forget the pickled jalapeños for some tang and spice.
And I have to say that I love some good ol’ fries and ketchup to go with my burger so click here for my favorite fry recipe.
It may look like a normal dive burger to you but I promise, if you try this recipe you’ll realize it’s 100% about the flavor.
It’s really is a thing of unassuming beauty. I’m just about drooling writing about this burger, so it’s probably time start wrapping it up.
Oh! And on our drive back down from Milwaukee, I told Barry that all I wanted for my birthday was another drive up for a Kopp’s burger and frozen custard.
But at least I don’t have to wait for my birthday (or Valentine’s Day, which yep, was definitely that day we went to Kopp’s) to have a really good and juicy butter burger!
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- ½ pound Extra Lean Ground Sirloin Beef
- ⅓ pound Ground Wagyu Beef
- 1 Onion, grated
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Butter, diced
- 4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 8 slices of Cheddar Cheese (or American cheese if you like)
- 4 Hamburger Buns
- Sliced Pickled Jalapeños
- Chopped Raw Onion
- Caramelized Onions - To Make: Take a large onion and slice it. Put in a pan on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir occasionally. You can choose to put lid on while you’re not stirring. After onions are completely softened and browned, remove from heat. Should take about 25 minutes.
- Combine both beefs, onion, sea salt, and black pepper until ingredients are incorporated.
- If using cast iron, place the heat on med-low to medium. If using a nonstick pan, place the heat on med-high.
- Now take ¼ of mixture and form put some of the butter inside. Form into a thin patty and set on a plate.
- Continue with remaining beef.
- For every patty add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to your griddle/pan.
- Add patties right in and use a spatula to “smash” the beef down. This helps spread it a bit more to create more surface area that crisps up.
- After about 4-5 minutes or until beef is mostly cooked, flip and add 2 slices of cheese per burger.
- Cook for about 2-3 more minutes to sear opposite side and melt cheese. You can cover burgers with a lid to help melt cheese faster.
- Add buns to the griddle/pan (inside part down) at the end for about 10-20 seconds to warm up and slightly char the bread.
- Remove patties and buns from griddle/pan and put some mayonnaise on the bottom buns before putting patties on top. Add whatever toppings you like (I used caramelized onions, sometimes chopped raw onions, jalapeños, ketchup, and mustard).