Chef Chad’s smash burgers sizzle up excitement at Northwood’s basketball game night

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – Amidst the excitement of conference championship basketball games at Northwood High School, there’s was a sizzling sensation taking center stage – Chef Chad’s smash burgers. With the tantalizing aroma of grilled beef wafting through the air, Chef Chad was flipping patties and creating culinary magic that’s won hearts and taste buds alike.

The Smash Burger Difference

“What’s the difference between a Smash burger and a regular burger?” one might ask. To unravel this culinary mystery, I caught up with Chef Chad himself as he worked his grilling wizardry. According to him, the secret lies in the juiciness. “In my opinion, smash burgers stay juicier,” he explains. Unlike thicker burgers that risk drying out, smash burgers maintain their succulence, thanks to a special technique that involves smashing the beef patty thin.

Crafting the Perfect Smash

With a locally sourced meet patty from O’Quinn’s butcher shop in hand, Chef Chad demonstrated the art of smash burger creation. “You start with a ball of beef,” he instructs, “and then, using a piece of parchment paper and a smasher, you thin it out as much as possible.” It’s all about achieving that perfect balance of thinness without sacrificing flavor. “You want to cook it till it’s done,” he adds, emphasizing that the goal isn’t achieving rare or medium-rare, but rather ensuring the patty cooks in its juices, enhancing its taste.

The Science Behind the Sizzle

As the patties hit the grill, the culinary lesson transcends into a science class, with Chef Chad delving into the intricacies of cooking. “When the grill is super hot, you get what we call the Maillard reaction,” he explains, likening it to caramelization. It’s this reaction that creates the coveted crust on the burger, adding depth and flavor to every bite.

Ingredients and Flavors

While simplicity is key to a smash burgers, Chef Chad doesn’t shy away from discussing toppings. “I like mine with caramelized onions and a sweet chili mayonnaise,” he shares, enticing the taste buds with a glimpse of the flavor possibilities. From classic cheeseburgers to inventive combinations, the smash burgers canvas is vast and delicious.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

For Chef Chad, smash burgers evoke nostalgia, reminiscent of White Castle and Crystal Burgers from his youth. “I had a White Castle first, and then Crystal Burgers once I moved down south,” he reminisces, highlighting the cultural significance and regional variations of these iconic burgers.

The Joy of Cooking

Beyond the grill and the ingredients, what truly brings a smile to Chef Chad’s face is sharing his creations with others. “Sharing it with other people,” he says with a grin, encapsulating the essence of culinary joy and community.

A New Tradition at Northwood?

This basketball game night marked a new chapter for Northwood High School, with smash burgers making their debut on the menu. As Chef Chad served up patties hot off the grill, patrons savored the flavors of this newfound concession food option.

Sizzle, Smash, and Savory Delight

In the realm of culinary delights, Chef Chad’s smash burgers stand out as a testament to simplicity, flavor, and community. One thing is certain – Chef Chad’s smash burgers scored a victory of their own, becoming an integral part of the Northwood High School basketball game experience that evening. They all sold out before the end of the second game. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see them return to the menu on occasion next season.