The Smash Burger


The Smash Burger might be one of the most popular menu items for summer grilling. It totally deserves it, crispy smashed patties with melted gooey cheese between two buns is hard to beat. Besides the taste, they are very simple and quick to make.

I’ve seen many smash burgers and the one that grabs my attention from the very beginning are the Oklahoma Onion Smash. Burgers. The onions are sent through a mandolin that slices them paper thin so they become caramelized quickly in all of the burger juices while grilling. There are a few tricks to make sure it is done properly so you get the full pleasure while eating them.

With this being said, the Oklahoma Onion Smash Burger is by far my favorite form of a burger to ever exist!smash burgers on a cutting board


To begin, the Oklahoma Onion Smash Burger is sometimes referred to as the “Okie Burger” or a fried onion burger. It consists of razor thin sliced onions that get pressed into a burger patty and then gets cooked/fried in the burger juices for the most dang delicious flavors you can imagine.

This wonderful creation developed during the depression with a few Oklahoma restaurants trying to survive with affordable food. They decided to smash paper thin onions into their beef patties to help cut the cost. The beef was expensive but the onions were affordable and it helped separate them from their competition.

The burger sounds simple, but don’t let that fool you because the flavor is fantastic. The onions will help add flavor to the beef and the beef fat will fry the onions, this is why it’s important to smash them together during the process of making them.onions for the oklahoma smash burgers


The best thing about making an Oklahoma Onion Burger (besides the flavor) is that the ingredients are few and simple. This burger is a cheap option to feed a crowd or a hungry family that doesn’t want to wait around forever to eat. Here’s what you need:

  • Ground Beef: 1.5 pounds 80/20 ground beef, the fat is what is needed to cook the onions and keep the burger moist.
  • 2 White Onions: sliced thinly- I add salt to the sliced onions and squeeze them to remove the moisture.
  • Burger Seasoning: I like to use “The Go To” from fire and smoke society. Seasoned salt and pepper with garlic powder will work too.
  • American Cheese: I like to use two slices per patty
  • Brioche Burger Buns: They’re simply the best
  • Burger Sauce: Ketchup, mustard, mayo, sweet relish and hot sauce. (Optional)


For the best results I always choose to use my griddle. It’s the best way to manage the cooking zones and have the surface area needed to make these burgers. Some people will use a cast iron skillet (12”) for this but they are typically only making one single burger.

Along with the griddle you need a mandolin, this is how you will get the onions sliced thinly for the perfect results. Be sure to use protection, they typically come with a guard to protect your fingers.

Now you need a burger smasher, this is the best way to smash those onions down into the beef. The cooking utensils are flimsy and will have too much bend in them for you to have a consistent evenly smashed patty. The burger presses are great to have the best flat patty.


Step 1: Slice the onions with the mandolin – The mandolin is extremely sharp and you can adjust them for the thickness of your slices. A very important step to this process is to have paper thin onions.

Step 2: Place them in a bowl with salt – Once all of the onions are sliced paper thin, place them in a bowl and add salt. Toss them around for a few minutes and let them sit for 20 minutes. Squeeze all of the water out, this will remove the moisture for a crispier onion.

Step 3: Make your burger balls out of the ground beef – As evenly as possible, roll your ground beef into burger balls and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.burger balls

Step 4: Preheat your griddle and add burger balls-  Turn your burners on high and allow your griddle to heat up for 10 minutes. You can add a splash of olive oil if your griddle isn’t seasoned properly.

From here, add the burger balls to the griddle (be sure to have a decent amount of spacing between them, about 3-4 inches) and add a handful of the sliced onions on top. Do not be shy, load them up! Now, smash the balls as flat as you can and season them.smash burgers on the grill

Let them cook for 3-4 minutes and flip, season the back side of the patties. After 1-2 minutes, add the American Cheese and place the top bun on top and the bottom bun on top of the top bun. Close the lid and let them steam.

Step 5: Make your burger sauce – While the burgers are finishing, add mayo, ketchup, mustard, sweet relish and hot sauce in a bowl and whisk.burger sauce

Step 6: Build the Oklahoma Onion SmashBurger – Remove the bottom bun off the top and sauce it. Add some pickles and stack the patty(s) on top while leaving the top bun on the top patty.

Now is that time you dive right into it and reap the rewards of the short labor.