This recipe appears in:The Burger Lab: How To Make Oklahoma Onion Burgers
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
- 1/4 teaspoon canola oil
- 5 ounces freshly ground beef, divided into two 2 1/2-ounce balls
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced onions)
- 2 slices American cheese
- 2 soft hamburger buns
- Mustard, pickles, and other condiments, if desired
Spread canola oil in the inside of a large cast iron skillet with a paper towel. Heat over high heat until lightly smoking. Add balls of beef and press down with the back side of a spatula until completely flattened. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Working quickly, spread onions evenly over cooking burgers and press down to embed onions into meat. Let cook with no further pressing until burgers are well browned, about 2 minutes.
Carefully flip burgers with a stiff spatula, making sure to pick up all browned meat from skillet. Let cook until onions start to soften, about 1 minute. Add cheese and top with top bun. Place bottom bun upside-down over top bun to allow it to steam in the onion vapors.
When buns are soft, transfer bottom buns to a plate. Add condiments if desired. Lift up onions, burger, and top bun together and transfer to bottom bun. Repeat with second burgers. Serve immediately.