Burger Station - Help with Setup & Workflow

Joined Sep 19, 2016
Hi Guys

I'm new to the forum - I hope this is in the right place.

I'm looking at opening up a Burger Station at a farmers market. The concept I am looking at is the Smash Burger Concept - not exactly as is done by Smash Burger but similar.

I'll run you through how my burger will be make from the time I form them in to Patties till it enters the bun.

1. A local butcher is supplying the 80/20 beef mince. Not yet decided whether he will form the patties or not.

2. Patties will be spiced on both side with a flavored salt of some kind - have a few options available.

3. It will then be smashed onto my hot griddle but not as thin as smash burger - I'd like to keep it medium thickness.

4. Once patties if flipped to grill 2nd side, I will add a slice of cheese (This is a very important step for me as I want to make sure that the cheese melts like Molten Lava)

5. On top of the cheese will be layered some caramelized onion.

6. Once removed, it will be slipped between the bun with all my condiments and served.

All of the steps are easy as pie but step 4 where the addition of cheese takes place is a bit of a problem for me. I've made some samples of this burger at home and the cheese I am using is 100% Cheddar - not processed. The cheese just doesn't melt. I've popped a lid over the burger as soon as it's flipped and cheesed to lock in the heat thinking that might melt it but no luck. I end up resorting to placing is under my broiler in the oven until it starts melting and then serve it. In a home environment this isn't a problem since we are all patient for  the meal but in a restaurant/take away, people are not so patients and the option of a broiler to melt the cheese just won't work.

The other idea that crossed my mind which is yet to be tested is to use a Buffet Warmer like the attached and as soon as the burger is ready of actually few second before I deem it as ready it must come off the grill and into the buffet warmer for 1 or 2 minutes. The heat from here should melt the cheese, at the same time keep the burger hot whilst the Bun and Condiments are being prepared. It gives the person preparing these things a bit of time to do so and also does not end up drying out like beef jerky on the griller. It also clears up the griller for the next batch of burgers. Basically, I propose to use a food warmer type of setup however I don't want the burger to dry out in here at all. The max the burgers will stay in here is 3 to 4 minutes.

I'm open to any ideas you guys might have.

Thank you for listening and hoping to get some guidance from the pro's here.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
I owned and ran a burger food truck for 7 years, mild cheddar will melt.......somewhat, it's waxy and oily.

My default cheese was American, a high quality brand is a must.

Don't hold burgers in a chafing dish, I wouldn't buy one. I can get that at Micky D's

People WILL wait for a good product, my wait was 20-30 min when I was busy, people waited because they knew what they were getting.

Don't get crazy with flavored salts, no one will taste it on the burger. Save that for the fries where it can be tasted

What part of the world are you in?.
Joined Sep 21, 2010
 How about using shredded cheddar or a cheddar sauce?
This reminded me of Heston Blumenthal's cheeseburger technique. Cheddar cheese that melted like lava.  He made his 'cheese slices' out of a cheese sauce that he poured into a tray. When set, it looked like sliced cheese. You might find something useful in his technique, though maybe not his flavourings

Here's a link to Heston's video and recipe - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsore...81/heston-blumenthal-cheeseburger-recipe.html
Joined Jan 17, 2015
Don't hold burgers in a chafing dish, you can split your patty in 2 thinner ones for speed of service if you have to or as someone said good things are worth the wait. As far as cheddar is concerned, if you must grate it, it will melt easier, although I always used American Jack despite living in England, everybody knows USA is birthplace of hamburger! 
Joined Aug 15, 2003
I agree, I think a squirt of water right as the lid goes down will help a lot. There is no reason to put the burger in a warmer...

I personally wouldn't use American cheese, just too fake tasting IMO for a great burger. 

Don't overthink it...

I also don't understand the point of a "smashburger" and what it is supposed to do. I've eaten at a smashburger before and totally didn't get it. I mean, the burger was fine, but the whole idea to me was completely silly. You should get a good crust on a burger using a griddle no matter if you "smash" it or not. I dunno, I just don't get it. 
Joined Feb 8, 2017
Sounds like a good idea Burger Dude. What means of cooking are you using? Trailblazer BBQs are a great way of starting up a mobile catering company. Saw one in action at the Balmoral show last year. 
Top Bottom