George Motz’ Oklahoma Fried Onion Burger

George Motz' Oklahoma Fried Onion Burger

Burger Expert George Motz' recipe for El Reno, Oklahoma's ultimate fried onion infused smash burger.
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Single Burgers (4 Doubles)


  • Flattop Grill or Cast Iron Skillet
  • Stiff Metal Spatula
  • Mandoline Set to Thinnest Setting


  • 2 lbs Freshly Ground 80/20 or 70/30 Chuck (70–80% Lean/20–30% Fat)
  • 2 Large Vidalia Onions Sliced as Thin as Possible and Translucent
  • 8 slices American Cheese
  • 8 Martin's Potato Rolls
  • Beef Tallow
  • Salt



  • Preheat the cast iron skillet over medium heat, or a flattop to medium, until it reaches 375° F / 190° C and then add some beef tallow—spread the tallow with the flat side of the spatula to coat the surface.
  • Place the ground beef into a mixing bowl and using the salad scoop, form (2.7–3 oz) balls of beef. Do not season yet.
  • When ready to cook, place or release the balls onto the pan or flattop, placing each burger at least 2–3 inches (5 to 7 cm) apart, and then season each ball with salt.
  • Grab a handful of the thinly-sliced onions and push it onto the center of each ball of beef so they sticks.
  • Using the stiff metal spatula, forcefully smash each ball to make a patty, tapering the edges to allow for lacey edges—don’t worry about smashing the patties too thin, as they’ll shrink as they cook. Avoid making holes while smashing. Once they’re smashed, do not touch again until they are ready to be flipped—once some liquid begins to form on the top of the patties.
  • Flip the beef-and-onion-fused patties and place a slice of American cheese atop each burger. Separate the top and bottom of the bun, and then place the top bun on top of the American cheese and the place the top side of the bottom bun (the heel) on top of the top bun (the crown)—this is referred to by Motz as "letting it ride."
  • Cook for an additional 2–2½ minutes. If making a double, place the patty and bun stack on top of another patty. Lift the burger and bun combination off the grill using the spatula. Remove the bottom bun (heel) from the stack and place it onto a plate, and transfer the patties and top bun from the spatula onto the bottom bun.
  • Dress with pickles and/or special sauce as desired and serve immediately.