Jack In The Box’s Best Burger Ever Has Arrived

Thanks to burger chefs like George Motz, the thin patty of the smash burger, with its crispy-lacy edges, asymmetrical shape, and superior juiciness is everyone’s favorite type of burger right now. We’re not mad at it, while food trends can sometimes get ridiculous (see cereal cafes) a style and method of cooking never really gets old. And if more restaurants and fast food joints experimenting with smash burgers means more smash burgers for us to eat, well… that’s a good thing.

Which is why we were excited when we found out that Jack in the Box has a smash burger now. Sort of. The new Smashed Jack is a quarter-pound burger topped with grilled onions, pickles, and something called Boss Sauce, on a brioche bun. Given the name and the crispy appearance of the patty, it’s easy to assume that this is a smash burger, but according to Jack in the Box’s press release, it’s not, technically.

It is a smash-style burger.

What the hell does that mean? We’ll get into that.

Technicalities aside, it looks like JiB’s Smashed Jack is a hit, apparently the burger is beginning to sell out, and while in our experience it was easy to get (we just picked up two yesterday, no problem) Restaurant Business reports that JiB expects to run out of supplies sometime this week. The burger is available in two form factors, the Classic Smashed Jack, which consists of a single patty, grilled onions, pickles, and Boss Sauce, and the Bacon Double Smashed Jack, which beefs up the sandwich with an additional patty and bacon.

We picked up the Classic to see if this burger lives up to the hype and our expectations of what a smash burger should be.

Smashed Jack

Smashed Jack
Dane Rivera

Thoughts and Tasting Notes:

Biting into the Smashed Jack and the first thing you note is that this isn’t a true smash burger. It has a slightly crispier exterior than a typical JiB burger along the rim of the patty, but it doesn’t have that lacy, crispy Maillard crust throughout the whole patty. The quarter-pound patty is completely symmetrical, with even thickness throughout. I’m not sure what JiB means by “smashed-style” but given the lack of marketing that would suggest the beef is fresh rather than frozen, I’m going to assume that means the patties are smashed on the edges before being frozen.

Having said all of that I’m pretty blown away by this burger. It may not be a true smash patty in the tradition of a Shake Shack or Smashburger, but it’s easily JiB’s best burger build and patty. The burger is juicy, with a savory salty flavor that pairs nicely with the double layer of cheese (one above one below), the caramelized quality of the grilled onions, and the smokey tangy medley of flavors that is the Boss Sauce.

The brioche bun, with its buttery flavor and light airy texture, is the perfect vehicle for this build to ride on.

Against contemporaries like the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, Burger King Whopper, and Wendy’s Dave’s Single, I’d say the Smashed Jack is only bested by the Dave’s Single. But even then, JiB’s Smashed Jack has a few things going for it that the Dave’s Single falls short on. The bun is better and the overall build is better, but Wendy’s beef is just a bit more succulent. So while quality-wise, the Smashed Jack would rank below Dave’s Single for us, you may find yourself enjoying this burger more.

It certainly beats out anything else on JiB’s menu. I’ve tried it all and I promise.

The Bottom Line:

The Smashed Jack is a worthy reason for pulling into the Jack in the Box drive-thru. It’s the best item to hit JiB’s menu… maybe ever.

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.