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It’s the simplest of burgers and only requires a few ingredients and it is so very tasty. Ground beef seasoned with only salt and topped with a pile of extremely thin sliced sweet onions that are mashed and cooked into the meat. Topped with American cheese, pickles and yellow mustard between two warmed hamburger buns. Since onions were cheap and meat was expensive, a half shredded onion atop a 3 ounce meat patty made the burger look bigger, while adding a tremendous amount of flavor.

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers Overview

It’s basically a smash burger but while the first side is cooked you pile on a piece of thin sliced onions on the uncooked side and then flip them over onto the onions and let the steam from the onions cook the other size while they caramelize.

Essential Tools

  1. Mandolin
  2. Knife
  3. Chefs glove
  4. Spatula
  5. Pan
  6. Parchment paper
  7. Cast iron grill


I first heard about doing smashburgers this way, and just sorta winged it, but loose recipe below:

  • 2, 2.5 oz loose packed balls of 80/20 beef
  • 1/2 regular onion, sliced as thin as I could
  • Salt, pepper
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • Bun
  • Mustard
  • Garlic mayo
  • Oil
  • Pickles
  • (2) 3-4 ounce ground chuck 80/20 burgers

Optional Toppings

Depends on the topping I would say. If you want something with a bit of texture then don’t cook it with the patty (I.e. onion,other veggies). But I usually put the mushrooms, tomato slices, shredded iceberg, beetroot, grilled pineapple, onions, and herbs in with the patties.

Preparing the onions

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers Onion Preparation

Thinly sliced onions. You’ll need a deli slicer or mandolin. You want paper thin and translucent.

The onions were super thin, and cooked exactly like they were supposed to. I’ve heard that most places in Oklahoma don’t bother getting them deli slicer thin either.

My first time making this, before I owned any cast iron, I hand cut the onions. It tasted good, but nothing exceptional. Something really magical happens with the crazy thin onions.

How to get perfect onions for these Oklahoma onion smash burgers:

A Side By Side Image Showing Onions Sliced Using A Mandoline On The Left And A Knife On The Right

Caramelizing onions is a delicious process that brings out their natural sweetness and enhances their flavor. Here are the steps involved in making caramelized onions:


  • Onions (yellow or red onions work well)
  • Cooking oil or butter (butter adds extra flavor)
  • Salt (optional)


  1. Prepare the Onions:Start by peeling and thinly slicing the onions. You can slice them into rings or strips, depending on your preference.
  2. Heat the Pan:Place a skillet or a wide, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Add a small amount of cooking oil or butter (about 1-2 tablespoons) to the pan. You want enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the Onions:Once the oil or butter has melted and is hot (but not smoking), add the sliced onions to the pan. Stir to coat them evenly with the fat.
  4. Seasoning:Season the onions with a pinch of salt. Salt helps draw moisture out of the onions, which aids in the caramelization process. You can also add a pinch of sugar at this stage to enhance caramelization and sweetness (this is optional).
  5. Low and Slow:Reduce the heat to low. Caramelizing onions is a slow process that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. Stir the onions occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even caramelization.
  6. Patience is Key:Allow the onions to cook slowly, maintaining a low heat. They will gradually turn golden brown as the natural sugars caramelize. As they cook, the onions will reduce in volume.
  7. Deglazing (Optional):If the onions start to stick to the pan or become too dry, you can deglaze the pan with a small amount of water, wine, or broth. This will help release any flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan and keep the onions moist.
  8. Taste and Adjust:Periodically taste the onions for sweetness and doneness. Adjust the seasoning with more salt or sugar if needed.
  9. Final Stage:Continue cooking until the onions reach your desired level of caramelization. They should be soft, sweet, and deep golden brown. This can take some time, so be patient.
  10. Serve:Once the onions are caramelized to your liking, remove them from the heat and let them cool slightly. They are now ready to be used as a topping for burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, or as a flavorful addition to various dishes like soups, stews, or quiches.

Caramelized onions add a rich and sweet flavor to a wide range of dishes, and the slow cooking process is well worth the delicious results. Enjoy your homemade caramelized onions!

Cooking your Oklahoma onion smash burgers

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers Meat Balls
Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers Starts To Smash

Evenly divide up a lb. of 80% beef into 4 sections, and round them up into balls. Parchment paper is a must. Put the ball in between two pieces, then take the bottom of a pan, use your (NOT PREHEATED lol) cast iron skillet if you want., and squish the meatball into a really thin burger. Make sure to salt and pepper both sides at some point.

1.Give lots of time to preheat your pan.

2.Heads up its gets deliciously smoky

3. They cook quickly, don’t forget the cheese.

4. Cut some of the paper away after you squish them, but dont pull them off the paper until you drop it into the pan.

First Time Making Oklahoma Smash

A couple of tricks that I have been using are pat the steaks dry and then leave them exposed in the refrigerator. That will pull the moisture off the surface of the steaks. I put my pan in the oven at 450 for at least 30 minutes then put it on the stove top at medium high.

The other essential ingredients to make a perfect burger

Oklahoma Onion Burger Steaming T
Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers Side Dish

I add to my ground beef: Worcestershire, s&p, rehydrated dried onions, garlic powder, finely chopped turkey, and coarsely grated cheddar cheese. I also put a little round depression in the middle of my burgers.

I don’t eat beef, but this works well in turkey burgers. We add 1 egg, about half a cup of crushed ritz crackers (for about a lb of meat), small diced green bell pepper, a little onion powder, some oregano, maybe cayenne or curry if we’re feeling spicy. Add all this to the meat & then form patties. Honestly, it’s those little things that change the game.

The beauty of burgers is there’s no right way to have one. There are plenty of different styles. I love a pub style giant 1/3-1/2 lb patty, a grilled burger, and smashed. There’s room for everyone.

What To Serve With Fried Onion Burgers

Okalama Side Dishes

I like to serve Fried Onion Burgers with any (or all) of these side dishes: tossed salad, cowboy beans, Buffalo Mayo Sauce, ketchup, String Fries, avocado spread, potato salad (there are many kinds you can make, or buy at a deli), and when in season good ole corn on the cob.

They have many options, including vegetarian (nice for those having a veggie burger).

And you can always put a plate of lettuce, tomato, and sliced onion on the table, though I like my burger plain—especially if I’m serving side items.

Can I Make These Burgers Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make these Burgers ahead of time.

That’s too long for the fridge, so freeze them. If not already separated by freezer paper, I would do so, to keep them from all freezing together. Then freeze them in a sealed glass container, to avoid picking up odors.

How To Store Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers

To store Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers, follow these steps to keep them fresh and safe for later consumption:

  1. Allow to Cool: Let the burgers cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents excess moisture buildup.
  2. Wrap Individually: Wrap each burger individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps prevent freezer burn and keeps the burgers fresh.
  3. Label and Date: Label each wrapped burger with the date it was prepared. This helps you keep track of how long they’ve been in the freezer.
  4. Place in a Freezer Bag or Container: Once individually wrapped, you can place them in a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container. This provides an extra layer of protection against freezer burn.
  5. Remove Air: Squeeze out any excess air from the bag or container before sealing it. This reduces the chances of freezer burn.
  6. Store in the Freezer: Place the bag or container in the freezer. Try to use them within 1-2 months for the best quality, though they can be stored longer if properly sealed.

When you’re ready to eat them:

  1. Thaw in the Fridge: Take the desired number of burgers from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator. This can take several hours or overnight.
  2. Reheat: You can reheat them in a skillet over medium heat or in the oven at a low temperature (around 325°F or 160°C) until they’re warmed through.

Remember to always follow food safety guidelines and ensure that the burgers are stored at a safe temperature to prevent any risk of foodborne illnesses.

Why do people love onions?

Well, if you apply heat to onions you get this really soft, sweet feel that acts as a plus to so many dishes. It also absorbs a lot of fat, almost like Potatoes do, so when you oven bake a slab of fatty meat, like a big duck or turkey, all that molten fat is just going to seep into the onion, making it a sinful delicacy that will definitely make buying a bigger pair of pants worth it. Raw onions smell way less if you put it in water for a few minutes, and it has that good crunch, you know.

They are absolutely delicious when cooked with oil or butter and act as a sort of “flavor enhancer” for whatever they are cooked/served with.

Across almost every cuisine you’ll see a few very common ingredients, onions is one of them.

I find onions give a nice sharp crunch to balance out the softer ingredients, and a sharp taste that also balances out the sweeter ingredients.


Course: Dinner, Main Course

Servings: 2 burgers

Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1044mg | Potassium: 493mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 326mg | Iron: 4mg