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    Recipe: Fried Onion Burgers, an Oklahoma specialty, make an irresistible meal
    • October 11, 2023

    Fried Onion Burgers feature sliced onions mixed in with the ground beef. (Photo courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen)

    Fried Onion Burgers are an Oklahoma specialty, a version that boasts a crisp crust of caramelized onions on the meat patty. It’s a technique that can turn burgers into an irresistible meal.

    The raw onion isn’t layered on top of the meat. Instead, the 1/8-inch thick onion slices are salted and wrung out in a clean towel to remove excess water. Ground beef is formed into balls and pressed against a mound of onions to form a patty and in the process the onions stick.

    Traditionally these burgers are topped with slices of American cheese. That’s fine, but I prefer sliced cheddar or provolone. If you like, you can butter and grill the buns, and then top with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

    Fried Onion Burgers

    Yield: 4 servings


    1 large yellow onion, halved, placed cut side down, cut into 1/8-inch thick crosswise slices

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divide use

    3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided use

    1 pound (85 percent lean) ground beef

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon vegetable oil

    4 slices American cheese (4 ounces)

    4 hamburger buns, toasted if desired


    1. Toss onions with 1 teaspoon salt in colander and let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Transfer onion to clean dish towel, gather edges, and squeeze onion dry. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

    2. Divide onion mixture into 4 equal mounds on rimmed baking sheet. Divide ground beef into 4 equal portions, then gently shape into balls. Place beef balls on top of onion mounds and flatten beef firmly so onions adhere and patties measure 1/4-inch thick.

    3. Season patties with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Melt butter and 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, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip patties, increase heat to high, and continue to cook until well browned on second side, about 2 minutes. Transfer burgers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Place 1 slice American cheese on each bun bottom. Serve burgers on buns.

    Source: “The Modern Pantry” from America’s Test Kitchen

    Award-winning food writer Cathy Thomas has written three cookbooks, including “50 Best Plants on the Planet.” Follow her at @CathyThomas

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    ​ Orange County Register