Why It Works

  • Not like a smashed taco, the place the meat is charred solely on one facet, the meat within the quesadilla is charred on each side, delivering a meatier taste and crispier texture. 
  • Including cheese to each side of the patty gives the “glue” that holds the quesadilla collectively.
  • Utilizing two bigger tortillas as a substitute of 1 eliminates the necessity to fold the tortilla over onto itself, permitting the quesadilla to crisp up with out cracking. 

In case you spend time scrolling by social media, the viral smashed burger taco has most likely inundated your feed. It is a taco created by inserting a tortilla on prime of a ball of floor beef and smashing it on a smoking-hot griddle or pan. As a substitute of Tex-Mex-style taco seasonings, this taco-burger hybrid is seasoned and topped like a quick food burger. It has numerous iterations, however the present social media darling is the Large Mac Smash Taco—a smash taco topped with particular sauce, lettuce, cheese (you understand how the music goes), that appears to be tapping right into a want for novel takes on nostalgic meals. And who does not have fond Comfortable Meal recollections?

I relished leaping onto this burger-taco bandwagon and making tons of smashed tacos to create my good model. First, I tackled the sauce. I began with a model of In-N-Out’s unfold; it is my choice, and since their burger is a smash burger (not like Micky D’s), it is smart. By all means, riff. After a number of bites, I added a little bit scorching sauce. (I additionally tried a model utilizing gochujang as a substitute of ketchup within the sauce; it gives a pleasant stability of sweetness and warmth however strayed from the traditional taste.) 

Critical Eats / Kelli Solomon

Subsequent, I tackled the meat. Initially, I used an excessive amount of floor beef and cooked it in means an excessive amount of oil—the splatter was unreal. I over-adjusted, and the meat shrinkage was excessive, solely masking a part of the tortilla as soon as cooked and making for a really unhappy taco. Whereas the smash tacos I made that replicated those I’d seen on-line hit all the fitting taste notes, the meat wasn’t as pleasantly charred or crispy because it might be. Browning the meat on only one facet was simply not optimum. Charring each side utilizing the smashed burger methodology improved the end result by offering a crispier texture and making the cheese soften virtually immediately on contact.

I attempted a number of different much less profitable changes. I attempted a corn tortilla as a result of I normally desire them over flour, and I tried to swap out the traditional American cheese with slices of cheddar as a result of I normally keep away from processed cheese just like the plague (gasp). Nonetheless, I used to be fallacious on each accounts. This recipe labored greatest with the sturdier flour tortillas as a result of the corn tortillas tended to get a bit soggy. Andno one likes half-melted cheddar, so I extremely advocate sticking with the melty American cheese.

There was room to maneuver when it got here to proportions. Do you could use 5-inch tortillas for this dish? No, by no means. It is too small, and the entire creation was simply too sloppy (My pickle slipped out and fell on the ground after my first chunk). Utilizing five-ounce balls of floor beef was good for an eight-inch tortilla. Nonetheless, it was troublesome to fold over after including the meat, cheese, onions, and pickles. Even once I did not overcook the tortilla, it cracked. The answer was to not fold the tortilla over however so as to add a second one. I now not wanted to fret a few torn tortilla with the filling falling out. The additional tortilla offered the extra actual property wanted for all of the crispy meat, melty cheese, and crunchy toppings. And thus our smash burger taco graduated right into a quesadilla, which proved to be a smashing success.

Critical Eats / Kelli Solomon

Keys to Smash Quesadilla Success

  • You do not have to grind your individual meat (until you need to), however be sure to’re getting the fitting mix. Fats is your good friend, so purpose for a floor beef with no less than a 20% fats to lean ratio. Chuck is a wonderful choice as a result of it is reasonably priced and has an excellent stability of fats and meat, so it’s going to keep juicy even when seared previous medium as is the case right here.
  • Whether or not you are utilizing forged iron, a chrome steel skillet, or perhaps a griddle, it’s completely important to get your vessel smoking scorching to get an excellent sear on the meat. Activate the fan and open the home windows if you could. 
  • Neglect what you understand about cooking common burgers; smash burgers are a special breed. It’s the brown, crispy bits produced by the Maillard response that make them style unbelievable. Familiarize your self with the smashed burgers method, because it’s employed in my smash burger quesadilla. 

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