Hamburgers for Dogs (and People)!

This week, we're celebrating our favorite food!  We're making hamburgers for dogs and hamburgers for people with two easy to make recipes. In fact, burgers are the inspiration behind my latest Lewie & Clark image.

How to Make Hamburgers for Dogs:

Hamburgers for Dogs Recipe

 Please note, we are not Animal Nutritionists or Veterinarians, so please check with your Vet to make sure that raw food is okay for your dog.

How do you make homemade burgers for dogs? It's easier than you think! This is a quick and easy recipe that requires no cooking.

Makes 4-6 patties


1 lb grass-fed ground beef

1 cup cooked, cooled white or brown rice

1 cup shredded carrots

Optional: Cucumbers, spinach, American cheese, "buns" - rounds cut from white bread.

Directions: Mix beef, rice and carrot together. Form into patties and serve either alone or on a "bun" with optional toppings.

Do you cook the burgers? We do not cook these burgers. Lewie and Mo have raw food in their diets from time to time, so we know they are ok having this in their bellies.  Again, please check with your Vet before feeding your pups anything new

How did you make the "buns"? I took white sandwich bread and cut rounds out with a large glass. A large biscuit cutter would work too. 



Smash Burger Recipe (for People)

Smash Burger Recipe Amy Schmidt Ron Schmidt

While I don't have any videos of us devouring these burgers, I can tell you, hands-downs, this is a family favorite! These burgers cook up quickly delivering a juicy patty with a tasty browned seared crust that everyone loves and is topped with a special sauce recipe from my childhood.

I read about smash burgers a few years back and was intrigued. I always thought you weren’t supposed to press down on a burger. Wouldn’t you be smashing all of the juices out? I had to try this method out for myself and I am so glad I did! 

Smashing the burger with the bottom of a spatula the minute it hits the hot pan increases the surface area for developing that deep brown, delicious crust found on perfectly cooked burgers. The added bonus is the cooking time. Because the burgers are thinner, they cook faster…so you can inhale them sooner!

Won’t the burgers dry out? No – the heat of the hot pan will immediately sear the bottom of the burger, locking the juices in.

Do you shape these like regular burgers? Kind of. You don’t want dense balls. You want the meat just packed together enough that it will form a loose ball – a ball that could possibly fall apart if thrown (don’t test this!). Packing it loosely ensures that you will get all of those craggily crispy edges when you smash the burger.

smash burger recipe burgers in cast iron skillet by Ron Schmidt

What kind of burger buns are best?  To me, it depends on the kind of burger you are making. Turkey burgers are great with brioche buns. Salmon burgers work great with English muffins. My favorite buns for hamburgers are potato sandwich rolls. They are soft and fluffy with a hint of sweetness - and they are strong enough to hold a giant burger loaded with toppings.

Martin's Potato Buns for Smash Burger Amy Schmidt

Pa’s Special Sauce: When I was little, a trip to McDonald's was a big deal for our family of six. It did not happen often, so my dad figured out a way to bring McDonald's to us! He created his version of their special sauce with a combination of ketchup, mayonnaise, green sweet relish, and a dash of Worcestershire Sauce. Now I make this for his grandkids…and I am sure they will make it for their kids too.

Pa's Special Sauce Smash Burgers Amy Schmidt Ron Schmidt

Ingredients for Smash Burgers 

Vegetable oil (for pan and burgers)

1 pound grass-fed ground beef (I use 85/15)

Kosher salt

4 slices American cheese

4 potato sandwich rolls

Pa’s Special Sauce (see recipe below)

Toppings: Lettuce, red onions, tomatoes, pickles

How to make Smash Burgers

Lightly oil a cast iron - or heavy skillet - over medium-high until very hot - about 3 minutes.

Divide ground beef into four equal portions and form four loose balls. Place a little oil in your hands and gently rub each burger on all sides until lightly covered with oil.

Place the burgers in the skillet and smash flat with the bottom of a spatula. Season with salt and cook, undisturbed, until outer edges are brown, about 3 minutes. 

Flip patties, season with salt and place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Cook until cheese is melted and burgers are medium-rare - about 2 minutes.

Serve patties on rolls with Pa’s Special Sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and pickles.

Pa’s Special Sauce*

½ cup mayonnaise 

2 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp sweet green relish 

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Mix all ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate until needed. 

 *This is a double recipe because we dip our fries in this yummy sauce too. Cut the ingredients in half if you don’t want any leftover for dipping. 



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