Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

October 23, 2020

the Oklahoma Onion Burger

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:36 am

One of the great cultural gifts of my former home state of Oklahoma to the nation (and the world) is the Onion Burger. No, not just a burger with onions….or a burger with sautéed onions….not at all. It’s a hamburger with onions worked into it as a kind of extender, the way oats or bread crumbs are worked into ground meat to make meatballs. It was created during the depression, when meat was scarce but onions were not (I remember during the early days of Covid, when markets where short on many grocery staples, but in the vegetable department, there was always a good supply of onions!), so the onions were used to extend the meat. The result is heaven for the burger lover who also loves onions.

Should you be lucky enough to visit the Oklahoma City area, there is a superb chain dedicated to the Oklahoma Onion Burger called TUCKER’S ONION BURGERS, which I highly recommend. When I was in OKC a few years ago on my summer poetry writing vacation (I wrote the book-length poem AMONG THE NEWLY FALLEN under the influence of Oklahoma onion burgers), I ate every few days at Tucker’s.

El Reno, Oklahoma, about 30 miles from Oklahoma City, claims to be the home of the original onion burgers, and there are even competing restaurants in El Reno specializing in onion burgers (similar to the way there are competing places in Hatch, New Mexico, serving Hatch Green Chile Burgers, though Sparky’s gets my vote as the finest there).

Here is a feature on SID’S DINER, which is the place associated with onion burgers in the public mind, though it does not date back beyond 3 or 4 decades. Still, this is the pure onion burger for you….

Here is chef George Motz’s version of the burger, which YOU can imitate at home if you’re not going to be in El Reno or OKC/Norman anytime soon….

And below is a mini-history of the Oklahoma Onion Burger….

1 Comment »

  1. For a man who doesn’t eat meat anymore this sounds like a nice place to fall of the wagon!!

    Comment by Paul C Mcgarry — November 1, 2020 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

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