, pub-3283090343984743, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers
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Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers are incredibly delicious and so easy to make! They are hands down one of our top choices for serving at game day gatherings and quick weeknight dinners. These irresistible, cheesy smash burgers will keep you coming back for more!

Oklahoma Burger

If you have a flat-top griddle, we highly recommend using it for this recipe. It’s easy, and these smash burgers are so good you’ll go back for seconds!

What is an Oklahoma Onion Smash Burger?

The origin of the Oklahoma onion smash burger, also known as the Depression burger, can be traced back to the year 1926 when it was introduced at the Hamburger Inn. During the Great Depression, these juicy onion burgers gained popularity due to their delicious flavor and the need to make meat portions stretch further. By adding a generous portion of onions to a thinner patty, the burger not only became a hit but also offered a practical solution to meat rationing. The sweet and savory flavor of the caramelized onions contributed to the appeal of these diner-style burgers, enhancing the overall experience.


  • 2 medium yellow or white onions
  • Ground beef: 80/20, 28-32 ounces (use ground chuck, or a combination of chuck and brisket)
  • Potato, brioche, or whole wheat buns
  • American cheese (the good quality stuff)
  • Extras like cooked bacon strips, sliced jalapenos, tomatoes, pickles, yellow mustard, etc. These items are optional.
  • A reliable instant-read thermometer
  • A large metal spatula, or smash burger press

How to get perfect onions for smash burgers

Slicing and salting

The key to perfectly caramelized onions is to slice them thin. You can achieve this with a sharp knife or mandolin.

  • Start by cutting the ends off the onion and then cutting the onions half lengthwise.
  • Remove the skins, then slice them into paper-thin rings. Place the sliced onions in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Stir or use your hands to combine the onions with the salt.
  • Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • *Please note that the onions will be well-salted after this. Do not add more salt to them during cooking.

Salting and water release

Salting encourages caramelization by releasing excess water from the onions.

  • First, it is important to drain the onion water.
  • Next, place the sliced onions in a clean cheesecloth or dish towel, and wring out the excess moisture.
  • Finally, place the onions into a clean bowl and set aside while you prepare the burger patties.

Preparing the burger patties

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers
  • Separate the ground beef into 6 or 8 equal-sized balls.
  • Season top portion with a little salt, or seasoned salt (remember, the onions contain a fair amount of salt already).
  • Use 80/20 ground beef for this smash burger recipe. Don’t go too lean; you will need the extra beef fat for the caramelization process. Also, the higher fat content increases flavor.

Cooking your Oklahoma onion smash burgers

  • Heat your flat-top griddle or cast iron pan, and add oil to the surface. Add equal portions of the onions, and set the ground beef balls on top of each portion.
  • Smash the burger balls down to form a thinner patty using your spatula or smash burger press. You should do this a few times to even out the patties depending on the thickness of the meat and the width of your spatula. If you want them very thin, use a metal press.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the onions are nice and brown, then carefully flip the burgers over. Don’t worry if some onion slices come loose. Scoot them back toward the patty.

  • Continue cooking the patties until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees F.
  • Add a slice of cheese to each patty before taking t1-2 minutes before taking them off the heat.
  • To assemble: Nestle your Oklahoma onion smash burger patties on the bottom bun. Add your desired toppings, close it up with the top bun, and enjoy!

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers

Recipe Alternatives

The great thing about smash burgers is their customizability. You can enjoy them as is or dress them up for a gourmet burger experience. Experiment with different meats, such as ground pork, turkey, lamb, venison, meat substitutes, and even sausage. Try out various toppings, sauces, and cheeses to find your favorite combination.

  • Cheeseburger smash: Make this smash burger simple by leaving out the onions. Instead, make two thin cheeseburger patties and pile them into one burger. Use cheddar, American, or pepper jack cheese for amazing results.
  • Philly-style smash burger: Cook bell pepper strips and onions i=on the griddle, then top with meat, smash it down, and serve with melted provolone cheese.
  • Bacon and egg smash: Make it gourmet by serving these onion smash burgers with an over-easy (or medium) egg and crispy bacon.
  • Pulled pork smash: Top each burger patty with a spoonful of your favorite BBQ sauce and a good scoop of warmed pulled pork. So easy and super delicious!
  • Jalapeño popper smash: Top these onion burgers with grilled and sliced jalapeños, a dollop of sour cream, and the melted cheese of choice!
  • Veggie smash: Use a meat substitute like Beyond Beef or Impossible Burger for the patty. Cook on a flat-top griddle or cast iron skillet for best results.
  • Breakfast smash: Use your favorite breakfast sausage instead of ground beef, and serve with eggs and cheese on top.

Love smash burgers but need the right grill? Here are our recommended flat top grills.

More recipes!


Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers

Oklahoma Onion Smash Burgers are incredibly delicious and super easy to make on your flat top grill.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American BBQ
Keyword flat top grill recipes, griddle burgers, Oklahoma onion burger, oklahoma onion smashburger, onion burger, smashburger, smashburger recipes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 548kcal
Author Sabrina Baksh


  • 1 3/4-2 pounds ground beef 80/20
  • 2 medium yellow onions peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 hamburger buns
  • 6-8 slices American cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • condiments of choice
  • vegetable oil


  • Slice onion into paper-thin slices, place into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt and combine—cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap, and place into the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Form 6-8 equal-sized ground beef balls. Season tops lightly with salt and black pepper. The onion already contains salt, so do not over season. Place onto a parchment lined pan.
  • Preheat flat top grill for high heat.
  • Drain onions of excess liquid. Place them into a clean towel and squeeze out any additional moisture. Transfer to a clean dish.
  • Lightly oil griddle surface and set down about 1/4 cup of sliced onions with a ground beef ball on top. Smash the ball into the onion, creating a burger patty. Cook for 3-4 minutes, gently turn and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the patties reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Once cooked, assemble burgers and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


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

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