Oklahoma Onion Burger

March 2021 Burger Of The Month is the “Oklahoma Onion Burger,” as tribute to Oklahoma’s answer to the American Great Depression which ended in March of 1933.

The idea was simple but done out of desperation. When things got tough, and during the American Great Depression things got really tough, people needed solutions.

The Great Depression didn’t just make things hard for Americans. This economic fallout affected everyone in the world and it hit some countries harder than the U.S. itself, including Germany who for the past ten years had been trying to rebuild their own economy after The Versailles Treaty which left their country far more than restricted if not in shambles. In Berlin, children were playing with pyramids of money stacks in the streets which were worth less than a loaf of bread.

It was a time that none of us were alive to experience, thankfully.

But the tales of what people did in that time to keep moving forward still exist today. One such story is that of the people of Oklahoma, and the American diner’s solution to not having enough. And you gotta love this, because if you come from the restaurant industry like myself it’s simple kitchen ingenuity.

Onions are cheaper than meat. A lot cheaper actually. And they’re not just a good filler they’re packed full of flavor when caramelized. What’s more, onions magically compliment meat somehow the way that garlic does butter when it hits a hot sauté pan. The aroma just fills the room with a mouth watering instinct that will make anyone crave something to eat.

So what cooks were doing at diners in Oklahoma at the time was taking a handful of finely shaved onions and laying a bulge of them down on top of a burger patty. They’d then smash them down into the meat, increasing the size of the burger patty to what would appear normal despite the fact that they had cut back on the ounces of meat.

The onions caramelize into the burger patty as they get pressed down onto the griddle or flat top. It’s simple, increases the size of your patty, and it tastes so good you only need one slice of American cheese to make this burger complete.

March 2020’s burger of the month is the “Oklahoma Burger” in tribute to the end of the American Great Depression in March of 1933.

Ingredients: (1 Burger)

  • 8 ounces of 80/20 Ground Beef
  • 1/3 Cup of finely shaved Yellow Onion
  • 1 slice of American Cheese
  • 1 Brioche Burger Bun

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 900
  • Total Fat: 56g
  • Cholesterol: 185mg
  • Sodium: 781mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 45.2g
  • Sugar: 10.8g
  • Protein: 49.2g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 27.5%
  • Iron: 40.2%
  • Potassium: 36.5mg
  • Vitamin A: 4%
  • Vitamin C: 11%


  1. Use a mandoline to slice 1/3 of a cup of Yellow Onion. As always, be very careful when using a mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline use a knife and slice onion almost translucent.
  2. Form 8 ounces of 80/20 Ground Beef into a patty.
  3. In a well seasoned cast iron skillet (replicating the flat top griddle for most common households) lay in your burger patty.
  4. Season burger patty with freshly ground Salt and Pepper.
  5. Add the 1/3 cup of shaved Yellow Onion to the uncooked side of your burger patty. Press down on it so the onion sticks to the burger patty, that way when you flip it everything stays together.
  6. After about 5 minutes or so, flip your burger patty. The onion and uncooked side of your burger patty should now be cooking against the cast iron.
  7. Using a spatula press down on the burger patty and smash it, pressing the onions hard against the iron and caramelizing them into the meat. You should see a pink ring form around the outside of the burger.
  8. Add your slice of American cheese and let it melt. By the time your cheese melts, that outside ring of pink should be cooked and it’s time to remove the burger from the skillet.
  9. Place cooked burger patty onto a soft Brioche Burger Bun and serve!

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