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Timber 2 Table - Oklahoma Style Venison Onion Smash Burger

This style of burger might have originated in Oklahoma, but you’ll love them wherever you happen to live

Oklahoma Style Venison Onion Smash Burger

15 Min

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time



Easy, Medium


If you drive through Oklahoma and stop in just about any diner or mom n’ pop restaurant, you’ll likely see an onion smash burger on the menu. What’s an onion smash burger, you might ask? Exactly what it sounds like. A double patty smash burger with an absurd amount of grilled onions piled on. The secret to a great onion smash burger is to sear the patties on one side, pile on some thinly sliced white onions, then flip and steam the burger through atop the pile of onions. Once the burger is nearly done, add the bottom bun, let it steam for a bit, then flip the entire thing so the bun is on bottom. Add the second patty and its accompanying onions, then top with some good sharp cheddar and the top bun. Add pickles, mustard, ketchup, whatever you like on a burger, but they are tasty even without additional toppings.

Image: ImageBy_Michael_Pendley_onion_burger_4

These simple venison smashburgers feature a ton of onions that flavor the meat as it cooks.

For this one, we use whitetail trimmings ground with bacon at an 85/15 ratio. You can also use pork or beef fat. Since the patties are so thin, they need a bit of extra fat to prevent a dry and crumbly texture. You can cook this one either in a large cast iron skillet or on a griddle. When cooking them in a skillet, I do three or four at a time and just work in batches till I’m done. The recipe is for four burgers, but you can adjust for as many burgers as you need.

Roll the meat into 2-ounce balls (8 per pound) and heat the griddle or skillet. With a sharp knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the onions.

Image: ImageBy_Michael_Pendley_onion_burger_1

The secret to getting the onions cooked without overcooking the venison burger is to slice them thinly with a sharp knife or a mandolin.

Add a few teaspoons of oil to coat the bottom of the skillet or griddle. Add the meat, one ball at a time, then use a burger press or heavy spatula to flatten the meat down to about a ¼” thick. Repeat with as many burgers as will fit in the skillet.

Image: ImageBy_Michael_Pendley_onion_burger_2

Use a heavy spatula or burger press to flatten and sear the patty, then flip to finish cooking over the onions.

Sear for 1-2 minutes then flip. Pile a handful of onions onto each burger. Add more than you think is reasonable, they will cook down. Use a spatula to lift and flip the burgers so that the onions are on bottom. As the onions cook, the steam will finish cooking the burger and add tons of flavor.

Image: ImageBy_Michael_Pendley_onion_burger_3

The steam from the onions rises through the meat as it cooks and adds tons of flavor.

Once the burger is nearly cooked through, place the bottom bun atop the patty to steam. Use a spatula to lift the onions and burger and flip onto plate, bun down. Top with another patty, with onions, then add a slice of sharp cheddar and a top bun. Serve immediately.


16 ounces ground venison, rolled into 8 two-ounce balls

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium white onions, thinly sliced

4 slices American cheese

Vegetable oil

hamburger buns

Mustard, pickles, and other condiments, if desired

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