Kiss Burgers

by Max in April 2023

There is a lot of advice on the internet

Dare I say too much?

When I try to cook something new, I’m tempted to figure out the “right” way to do it. But “right” is highly subjective and I’m not often aligned with internet recipe-writers on its definition. Think about how often you read internet opinions about a subject you do know something about – they’re often ignorant, lacking nuance, or illogical. The end result of all of this: Sampling recipes on the internet often leads me down many bad paths before I even understand the essence of my quest.

Adding my bad advice onto the e-pile

I think the best advice I have been given with hamburgers is to keep it really simple. Tastiness scales inversely to burger complexity. Do less and you will enjoy it more.

Two paths but one destination: burger heaven

I’ve found two ways to achieve delicious bun-meat nirvana. The first is fast and pretty simple, the second requires a little more time and tooling. I recommend both!

Oklahoma Onion Burger

The key to this burger is the SMASH into the griddle the first side of the patty gets and the large luxorious bed of onions on which the second side steams.

Mandatory Ingredients (per burger)

  • 1/4 lb of ground beef
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion
  • 1 tasty bun (I like brioche or potato)

Optional Ingredients

  • Slice of cheese (American is best but cheddar or anything works, I’m not the cheese police)
  • Any other toppings (Less is more, but I’m also not the topping police)
    • Mayo
    • Pickles
    • Ketchup


  1. Mandolin or slice the onion as thinly as possible.
  2. Do any other topping prep.
    1. Chop pickles
    2. Toast buns with a bit of mayo on the inside
    3. Slice cheese and have it ready to go
  3. Form a quarter pound of beef into a ball. Salt and pepper on one side.
  4. Put the beef on the griddle salted side down.
    • As you smash, scrape a bit to the left/right to thin the meat out even more.
  6. Pile onions on top of patty
  7. Salt and pepper the onions
  8. Allow for ~1-2 minutes to pass. We want the edges of the patty to get crispy and for the meat to mostly cook. This shouldn’t won’t take a long time if the meat is thin.
  9. Scrape the patty off of the griddle and flip.
    • The patty should be really crispy on the side that was touching the griddle and will want to stick to the cook surface.
    • Don’t be afraid to scrape. Also don’t cook this on something that doesn’t like scraping (like non-stick).
    • You should now have your patty on top of a bed of minimally cooked onions
  10. Add cheese to the top of the patty if desired.
  11. Put your top bun on top of the patty.
  12. Put your bottom bun facing upwards on top of the top bun.
  13. Cover with towel and cook for ~3 minutes.
    • We’re hoping for a wide variety of onion textures and flavors: the edge of the onion pile should be crispy, the onions directly under the burger should be caramelizing, and the onions closest to the patty will still have a nice crunch.
    • The buns will steam in the onion and pick up a bit of flavor as well!
  14. Remove the bottom bun from the pile, put any toppings you want on it.
  15. Remove the onion-burger-cheese-bun pile (it should be in that order bottom to top) from the griddle and put on bottom bun
  16. Serve!

The recipe should take ~15-20 minutes, with about 5-8 minutes of cook time. I’ll add some pics in the near future…

Fresh off the ground burger

The key to this burger is that you freshly grind the meat and try to preserve the heterogeneity of the resulting mixture. If you have the time and tools to do this, it’s a really fun and delicious meal.

Mandatory Ingredients (per burger)

  • 1/3 lb of beef chuck (or cut with similar fat-meat ratio)
  • A tasty bun

Optional Ingredients

  • Slice of cheese (American is best but cheddar or anything works, I’m not the cheese police)
  • Any other toppings (Less is more, but I’m also not the topping police)
    • Mayo
    • Pickles
    • Ketchup


  1. Cut your meat into 1 inch cubes and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Grind your beef into small bits.
  3. Use a very light touch and form the ground meat into patty shapes.
  4. Toast bun, I like to add a little mayo before toasting to ensure it gets crispy (and a little sour!)
  5. Cook it on the griddle or grill to your desired done-ness (probably 6 minutes of total time).
    • Flip half way through.
    • If you want to add cheese, add it immediately after the flip.
  6. Add any desired toppings to bun.
  7. Assemble burger.
  8. Serve!

With burgers, less is more and this burger is the least.

A note on preformed patties

I don’t mind a preformed patty. Any burger is better than no burger. I think you give up control of the size of your burger to have the easiest part of the burger process done ahead of time, so I don’t see the value in them.

Obligatory AI

For kicks and giggles I asked Alpaca for burger recipes. This is what I received:

What is a good smash burger recipe?
A classic Smash Burger recipe includes ground beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolks, and bread crumbs. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl then shape into patties or form them into hamburger buns for an open-faced burger. Grill until cooked through before serving with your favorite condiments.

Hmm. That sounds suspiciously like meat loaf.

What is a good steak burger recipe?
A classic recipe for a juicy and flavorful hamburger includes ground chuck, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolks, bread crumbs, and melted butter. Form the mixture into patties or shape them onto buns for an open-faced burger before grilling until cooked through.

The idea of cooking the burger on the bottom bun would undoubtedly end well. ba-dum-tss

What is a good smash burger with onions, but no egg or worcestershire or breadcrumbs?
A classic version of this type of hamburger includes ground chuck, salt and pepper, garlic powder, chopped onion (optional), Worcestershire sauce and melted butter. Form the mixture into patties or shape onto buns before grilling until cooked through.

I think I need to learn how to be a better prompter…