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White Castle Burgers Recipe
White Castle Burgers
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Sandwich
Calories: 415
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.4 (5 reviews)
Nicknamed "Sliders" and "Gut Bombers," these famous tiny burgers were one of the earliest fast-food creations. It all started in 1921 when E.W. Ingram borrowed $700 to open a hamburger stand in Wichita, Kansas. He was able to pay the loan back within ninety days. Ingram chose the name White Castle because "white" signified purity and cleanliness, while "castle" represented strength and permanence, and stability. White Castle lived up to its name, maintaining permanence and stability by growing steadily over the years to a total of 380 restaurants.
Ingrams inspiration was the development of steam-grilling, a unique process that helped the burgers retain moisture. The secret is simply to grill the meat over a small pile of onions. Five holes in each mini-burger help to ensure thorough cooking without having to flip the patties. Today customers can still buy these burgers "by the sack" at the outlets, or pick them up in the freezer section of most grocery stores.

Source; "More Top Secret Recipes" by Todd Wilbur.

1 pound ground beef
8 hot-dog buns or 16 hamburger buns
1/2 medium onion
salt to taste
pepper to taste
American cheese (optional)
pickle slices (optional)

1. Prepare the beef ahead of time by separating into sixteen 1-ounce portions and flattening each on wax paper into very thin square patties, about 2 1/2 inches on a side. Using a small circular object like the tip of a pen cap, make five small, evenly spaced holes in each patty. Freeze the patties (still on the wax paper) completely and you're ready to cook.

2. If you're using hot-dog buns, cut off the ends and then cut each bun in half to make 2 buns from each. If you're using hamburger buns, cut each down to about a 2 1/2-inch square.

3. Slice the onion into match-size pieces.

4. Grill the faces of the buns in a large pan over medium heat.

5. In the hot pan, spread out tablespoon-size piles of onions 3 inches apart. Salt and pepper each pile of onions.

6. On each pile of onions place a frozen beef patty. You may have to spread the onions out some so that the hamburger patty lies flat. Salt each patty as it cooks.

7. Cook each burger for 4 to 5 minutes on the onions. If you made the burgers thin enough, the holes will ensure that each patty is cooked thoroughly without flipping them over.

8. Assemble by sandwiching the patty and onions between each grilled bun.

Makes 16 burgers.

Tidbits:  If you want to add pickle slices to your burger, as you can at White Castle outlets, stack them on top of the grilled onions. 

For a cheeseburger, you'll have to cut a slice of American cheese to the same size as your burger, and then it goes on top of the onions, under the pickles, if you use pickles. Got it?

Missing ingredient?
Submitted on: 01/29/14
Recipe is excellent, however, in reading other copycat recipes I found that they use Gerber Beef w/ Beef gravy added to the meat. I am going to give it a shot.
keep trying!
LeeAnna Fitzgerel  
Submitted on: 12/05/13
Most of your recipes r pretty close, but you got the buns way wrong. The buns are potato rolls, sold at Smith's. The meat is said to be mixed with potted meat, but I don't know about that. The hamburgers are cooked on top of the onions, with the top bun on the burger as soon as it is turned over. The bottom of the bun is laid on top of the top bun, and it steams while the burger finishes cooking. To serve, the bottom bun is laid right side up, then the spatula is used to scoop under onions.
Submitted on: 11/06/07
White Castle burgers DO NOT contain beef liver. They do contain a lot of fat - upward of 25% before cooking.
Former employee  
Submitted on: 03/31/07
Great job matching the look, but you missed the taste by a longshot...but so has Krystal and other restaurants. Hint: White Castles have a high beef liver content. Over 30% and have you ever watched them as they are made. You warm/steam the bun on the burger on medium heat as it cooks to soak up the flavor from the steam - for Heaven's sake, please don't grill the buns. The inside of the bottom bun is face down on the burger as it cooks and the top buns stradle the spaces between the burgers so they steam as well. This was a poor first attempt, please keep trying as transplants like myself miss that great slider taste.
Rogers family  
Submitted on: 07/26/05
The tips for making these will be passed on to the next generation. It makes preBBQ easy and burgers come out unbelievably good. Thanks for the 'tricks of the trade', Todd!!