Michael Schlow Burger with Crispy Onions

Michael Schlow Burger Recipe

I chose to make this onion-topped, horseradish-slathered “fat boy” Schlow Burger, created by Boston chef Michael Schlow, because it’s the best burger I know how to make. It’s also fairly simple to do at home. I guess the crowd loved it because I won the People’s Choice Award, the top honor of the evening. Grab a cold beer or iced tea with this one and get ready to make a mess—this is not a dainty meal!–Lee Brian Schrager

LC Talking with Your Mouth Full Note

Um, we’d say something, but our mouths are too full of grilled burger dripping with cheese. You understand.

Michael Schlow Burger Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 2


  • For the crispy onions
  • 2 cups canola or other mild vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/8- to 1/3-inch-thick rings
  • For the Michael Schlow burgers
  • 18 ounces 80% lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
  • 2 thick slices Vermont or English cheddar cheese
  • 2 brioche hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • Creamy Coleslaw


  • Make the crispy onions
  • 1. Pour the oil into a small, deep pot, add the onion, and bring to a boil (yes, a boil) over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a very low simmer, turning the onions with a fork every 30 seconds until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a low simmer. At this point the onions won’t be crispy. Rest assured, your patience will be rewarded.
  • 2. Remove the onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them in a single layer on paper towels. I promise you that after a few minutes, as the caramelized sugars cool and harden, the onions will become deliciously crisp.
  • Make the Michael Schlow burgers
  • 3. Combine the meat and the oil in a bowl. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Divide the meat into two 9-ounce portions and form them into burgers. Cover the burgers and refrigerate until ready to use or up to 1 hour.
  • 4. In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and horseradish and season with pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • 5. Heat a grill to high. Remove the burgers from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temperature for 5 to 7 minutes before grilling. Grill until the burgers retain grill marks, at least 1 1/2 minutes. Give the burgers a quarter turn to mark them and cook for 1 1/2 minutes more. Flip the burgers and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes. Rotate another quarter turn and cook for 1 1/2 minutes more. Transfer the burgers to the top shelf of a gas grill or to a cooler section on a charcoal grill, and cover each with a slice of cheese. If using a gas grill, turn off the heat. Cover the grill. Cook for 4 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted and the hamburgers are rare to medium-rare. (For anything beyond medium-rare, let the burgers sit over indirect heat for longer.)
  • 6. Spread some of the horseradish sauce on each burger. Top each burger with some crispy onions. Season with pepper and then, if you dare, slather more sauce on the top half of the bun and place it on top of the hamburger. Serve the Schlow burgers with the coleslaw on the side.
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