Oklahoma style onion smash burgers

These Oklahoma style onion smash burgers feature two double stacked smash burgers with American cheese, caramelized onions and a burger sauce that you’ll be making on repeat! While these burgers are pretty simple to make, they are not short on flavor. Plus you’ll have dinner on the table in no time! 

Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

Where did the Oklahoma onion burger originate? 

Back in the 1920’s during the Great Depression the owner of a burger joint called Hamburger Inn added onions to his burgers to use as a filler to keep his costs down.

The thought was ground beef was expensive and if he could add an inexpensive ingredient like onions he would save a little money and add some extra flavor. 

Little did he know the idea would soon spread across the state and even today, the Oklahoma onion burger is a popular menu item in many burger spots.

What are the best onions to use? 

The best onions to use are sweet onions. They have a little more sugar which allows them to get a beautiful caramelization as they cook underneath the beef patty.

Stay away from red onions which have a sharp bite and will contrast the beef too much. The sweet variety are best here. 

The best way to cook smash burgers.  

If you have a griddle at home like a BlackStone that’s a great option. If not a cast iron pan will be the next best thing. The key is to get the surface of the griddle hot to get a proper crust when smashing down the burger balls.

Also if you are into smash burgers and plan on doing them often, having a proper burger smasher like this one is key. Otherwise a large heavy spatula will do the trick.

Ingredients you need for Oklahoma style smash burgers. 

Ground beef 

Burger buns 

Slices of Cheese

Sweet onions

Salt, black pepper, and garlic powder 

For the burger sauce: 





Apple cider vinegar 



How to make Oklahoma style smash burgers. 

Preparing the onions. 

The best way to get your onions razor thin is with a mandolin. This allows you to make perfectly even slices that are so thin, the onion is almost translucent.

If you don’t have access to one, you can always take a sharp knife and carefully cut the onions as thin as possible. The thinner the onions, the faster they will cook with the hamburger meat. 

Making the sauce: 

Because this burger is basically meat, cheese, onions and bread, it could use a little sauce. The burger sauce I use is a go to of mine and I always use it on my smash burgers. It is the same one I use for my Onion wrapped Flying Dutchman burger.

It’s a combination of ketchup, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, relish and some seasoning. I know it sounds basic, but when you combine them all together, they work great to make a beautiful sauce for this smash burger. 

Forming the burgers:

I like to form 2-3 oz balls for this recipe. When you smash them down they will get bigger than the size of your buns, but will shrink down a little as they cook. Season the meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder after they are smashed down.

The burgers should be pretty thin after being smashed and will have a nice crust after you flip them.

Cooking the Oklahoma style smash burgers:

Allow your griddle or cast iron pan to heat up for a few minutes on medium high heat. Then place your burger balls down and smash with a burger press or a very stiff spatula.

You want the patties to be really thin and uniform. Then season each patty with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and add a handful of onions right on top.

After 1-2 minutes flip each burger carefully. The onions will now be underneath the burgers and will cook with the beef fat. You will get an amazing color on the onions and flavor as they soak up all that goodness!

Allow the onions to cook down for a few minutes before adding a slice of cheese on top. I prefer American cheese but cheddar cheese is a great option as well.

Once the cheese has melted to your liking, it’s time to pull them off. Give your hamburger buns a quick toast by laying them on the flat top for a minute and bring everything inside to assemble.

Assembling the burgers:

I like to stack both burgers on top of each other and lay them right on the bottom bun. The burger sauce goes on top of the burgers followed by the top bun. These simple ingredients form some of the best burgers ever!

The crispy onions with the juicy smash burgers will make you understand why these classic burgers have become so popular. 

Can I add additional toppings?

It’s your burger so your rules! However, the beauty of this burger comes in the simplicity. Sometimes too many toppings really messes up the balance of flavors this simple burger is trying to achieve.

I challenge you to try this burger just the way it is first before adding other ingredients.  I promise you’ll eat the entire thing as is! 

Sides that go well with burgers: 

Homemade pasta salad 

Smoked green bean casserole 

The best loaded baked beans 

Smoked Mac and cheese with bacon 

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Oklahoma style onion smash burger

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  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x



For burger 

  • 1.5 pounds of  80/20 ground beef 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • 8 slices American cheese 
  • 1 large sweet onion (thinly sliced) 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns 

Burger Sauce 

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise 
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons relish (or chopped pickles) 
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire 
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife carefully cut your onion into very thin slices. 
  2. Make the burger sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Form 3 ounce burger balls then heat your griddle or cast iron pan to medium high heat. 
  4. Add olive oil on the griddle or cast iron pan then place burger balls on. Smash burgers with a burger smasher then add a handful of onions on top and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  5. After the burgers have been cooking for 2 minutes, flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Make sure the flipped side is also seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  6. Just before removing the burgers off the grill add 1 slice of American cheese on top of each patty until melted. Toast your buns as well if desired. 
  7. Double stack your burger patties and place them onto the bottom bun. Add burger sauce on top and add then the top bun. Enjoy! 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes

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