Oklahoma is known for more than just Kent Rollins and musicals. For almost a century, Oklahomans have enjoyed Fried Onion Burgers. Ross Davis of Ardmore, OK came up with this recipe as a way to cope with the high price of beef. Onions were cheap.
During hard times, people find new ways to make a dollar stretch to feed their families. By piling onions on the burger while it cooks, the burger costs less to produce but fills you up just the same and knocks you off your feet with the flavor it packs.
Pick Sweet Onions
I am partial to Vidalia onions for this recipe, but you can use any variety onion except purple. Slice the onion as thinly as you can get it.
Next, sprinkle the onions with salt. Then, set them in a strainer for 30-45 minutes. We want the salt to suck the moisture right out of the onions. And then pat them dry with a towel because we need them good and dry.
TIP: Adding salt to the raw onions will draw out the moisture. This helps onions crisp faster when cooked.
While the onions dry, we can get the skillet heated and prepare the burger patties. I like to use Certified Angus beef, 80/20. Form the meat into 4 equal balls.
When the skillet is good and hot, add a good amount of butter. These are not grilled burgers, so forget all the times in the past I’ve told you not to smash your burgers. When you put the burger patty into the hot skillet, I want you to smash the patty down flat.
Smother with Onions
While the burgers fry on the griddle or skillet, pile onions all over it. I’m talking about so many onions that you can’t even see the burger hiding under there.
TIP: Onions are more than just delicious. Check out my Cowboy Cures video to see how onions have been used as a whooping cough remedy, and more.
Let the burger set for a while and cook through while the onions start to get brown on top. If onions fall off of the top of the burger, let them! They will fry up in the butter and add even more flavor when we add them to the finished burger. Before we flip them over, season with some Red River Ranch Original Seasoning to add an extra boost of flavor.
One at a time, take a big spatula and flip the entire thing – the meat and the onions. Smash it down and let the juices from the meat bathe those onions while they caramelize. The flavor is going to be out of this world.
TIP: Place the buns on top of the burger for a few minutes while the burger cooks which will steam the buns for added flavor.
Leave the bun sitting on the cooking burger for a few minutes. Right now the onions should be directly on the pan, with the meat cooking on top of the onions and the bun cooking on top of the meat. When the bun is steamed, remove and add the cheese.
The special sauce recipe is below – but it’s so easy and delicious. Take French onion dip, add some “W “sauce and mustard and we’re good to go.
TIP: Place the bottom bun upside down on the burger before you remove it from pan. Use the spatula to remove the burger from the flip the burger onto the plate.
Top off the burger with some special sauce and enjoy! This burger brings back so many wonderful memories for me and I hope it will do the same for you and your family in the years to come.
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Famous Fried Onion Burger – Cowboy Kent Rollins
- ½ cup French onion dip
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large white or yellow onions thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. 80/20 hamburger meat
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Kent’s Original Seasoning or salt and pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- Pickles for serving optional
- In a small bowl, whisk together the onion dip, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Adjust the ingredients to taste. Cover and place in the icebox until ready to serve.
- Place a colander over a large bowl. Add the onions to the colander. Generously sprinkle the onions with the salt and lightly toss. Let the onions set about 30 to 45 minutes to let the moisture drain.
- Dump the onions out onto a clean cloth towel and press to absorb any leftover moisture. Set aside.
- Form the meat into 4 equal balls.
- Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the meat balls into the skillet. With a flat spatula or bacon/burger press, flatten the meat into thin patties.
- Place a heaping amount of the onions on top of each patty. Sprinkle the tops with Kent’s seasoning or salt and pepper, to taste.
- Continue cooking until you begin to see browning along the outside edge of the patties. Carefully flip the patties over so the onions are on the bottom side.
- Cook for about 3 minutes then place the bottom bun, upside down, on top of the onions. Place the top bun on top of the bottom bun and leave for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will allow some of the steam and flavor to incorporate into the buns.
- Remove the buns and place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Continue cooking until the cheese melts.
- Place the bottom bun on top of the burger and carefully flip the burger onto the bun and remove from the skillet. Repeat with the remaining burgers. Generously spread the French onion dip mixture on the top bun. Serve immediately.