Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers
From Cook's Country
In Oklahoma, a burger isn’t a burger without a mound of thinly sliced onion pressed into a thin, crispy patty as it sizzles on the fast-food griddle. To make them at home, we sliced and salted the onions, then squeezed the moisture out of them so they’d easily stick onto the burger. Starting the burger over a moderate heat enabled us to brown the exterior of the onions while the interior softened. Add a slice of American cheese and these burgers will taste like they’re straight from the griddle.
A mandoline makes quick work of slicing the onion thinly. Squeeze the salted onion slices until they’re as dry as possible, or they won’t adhere to the patties. These burgers are traditionally served with yellow mustard and slices of dill pickle.
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounces 85 percent lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 slices American cheese (4 ounces)
- 4 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted
- 1. Combine onion and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to colander and let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Using tongs, transfer onion to clean dish towel, gather edges, and squeeze onion dry. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon pepper.
- 2. Divide onion mixture into 4 separate mounds on rimmed baking sheet. Form beef into 4 lightly packed balls and season with salt and pepper. Place beef balls on top of onion mounds and flatten beef firmly so onion adheres and patties measure 4 inches in diameter.
- 3. Melt butter with oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using spatula, transfer patties to skillet, onion side down, and cook until onion is deep golden brown and beginning to crisp around edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip burgers, increase heat to high, and cook until well browned on second side, about 2 minutes. Place 1 slice cheese on each bottom bun. Place burgers on buns, add desired toppings, and serve.
Test Kitchen Technique: Keys to Fried Onion Burgers
A few tricks helped the onions adhere to the burgers and caramelize rather than burn.
After you’ve salted the onions and squeezed them dry, divide into four piles, place the beef patties on top, and press.
Brown the onion side over gentler medium heat. Then flip the burgers and turn up the heat to sear the beef side.