Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A recipe for cheeseburgers? Really? That was my thought, too, as I flipped through the pages of my June copy of Food and Wine. After reading about these griddle burgers inspired by the sliders at White Manna in Hackensack, however, I clipped the column and placed it in my "to do" folder. DSO and I are both very glad that I did.

Makes 4 burgers
16 thin bread-and-butter pickle slices, patted dry
four, 4 inch potato buns, buttered and toasted (I used mini whole wheat potato buns)
1 1/4 lbs ground beef chuck (I used 85% )
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small vidalia onion, sliced* paper thin (you'll have leftovers)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
Optional:  umami dust (I'll give you their recipe; I didn't have the ingredients)

Heat a cast-iron griddle* until very hot.

Without overworking the meat, loosely form it into 4 balls and place them on the griddle. Cook the meat over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Using a sturdy spatula, flatten each ball into a 5-inch round patty. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, until well-seared. Press a handful of sliced onions onto each patty. Using the spatula, carefully flip each burger so the onions are on the bottom. Top with the cheese and cook for 2 minutes. Cover and cook just until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.

Toast the buttered buns and layer the pickle slices on the bottom.

Transfer the burgers with the onions to the buns, sprinkle with umami dust. Top with the buns and serve.

Umami dust:  mix together 3 tbs bonito flakes, 1/2 oz crumbled dried kambu mushrooms into a powder (or wait, umami dust will soon be available)
As with direct and indirect grilling, using a cast iron frying pan (yes, it works as well as a cast iron griddle) has been key to perfecting some old favorites of mine. I eliminate the mess in the kitchen by using the burner on my outdoor grill, a bonus! In a word, these smashed burgers were the BOMB! The only change I'd make for next time is to chop the onions--they'll adhere better than the slices. The success of these juicy, flavorful burgers was using the very hot cast iron grill, using a fattier ground beef (85% instead of my usual 93%), buttering and toasting the potato rolls, and not overhandling the meat. I'm going to try the umami dust next time. Although I loved these as much as DSO, I couldn't help but comment that I got more "yummy noises" from him for these sliders than I get from my homemade pasta! Men!


  1. I know some people who live in my house that would be extremely happy to have this.

  2. Summer is all about good burgers! I wonder what the Umami dust would add to them? Some saltiness?

  3. Sliders! A delicacy in our town! Nothing compares to these hamburgers, served with mustard they are a burger lovers dream! I think I have Friday dinner planned now, after weigh-in in the morning! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. These burgers look amazing and have me wondering why I've never griddled onions onto a burger before. We would love that!

    Umami dust sounds like fun.

  5. P.S. I made tacos the other day with the idea that I was going to use the leftover meat to make your tacodillas. husband went downstairs late at night and ate all the leftover meat. The nerve! LOL!

  6. oooh yum! i wish i could reach through and grab one!

  7. Hi Arlene! I stopped by your blog after your comment about the pressure cooker. Great Stuff! Now following! I had a headache the first time I used the pressure cooker - I was soo nervous! Lol. The new ones are easy to use. Have a great day and I'm glad I stopped by! Those burgers are mouthwatering!

  8. nice job these photo's are yummy looking!

  9. Yum! There is just something about a good burger, isn't there? I happen to love griddled burgers- that crust is the best! These sound like they need to be added to my to-do pile now :D

  10. OK, it's 9:30 PM and really I want a griddled slider with gooey cheese. These look amazingly good. ;-)

  11. Is that the place that was on Diners Drive Ins and Dives where you have to order them a certain way? I want to give this a try some time even though I know you're not supposed to press down on your burgers on the grill. Their process is something different so it doesn't count for that rule. Thanks for posting this


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