We take hamburgers seriously here in our little corner of Ohio. According to local lore, the hamburger was invented out of necessity by Akronites Frank and Charles Menches in 1885 when their sausage sandwich stand sold out of pork during a fair in Hamburg, NY. Unable to butcher a hog on the spot, the brothers bought an emergency supply of ground beef instead and the modern hamburger was born.
By the time in 1933 when Wesley “Pop” Swenson started selling burgers out of the back of his station wagon, the sandwiches proved so popular that he opened his first drive-in restaurant the next year. His signature creation, the Galley Boy, is regularly hailed as the “best burger in America,” although here in Ohio, we just call it lunch. Skyway turned up the heat in 1952 when it introduced the Sky-Hi and a new, noble double-cheeseburger challenger entered the ring.
What makes these burgers unique–and perfect for making at home–is that rather than cooking the meat over a charcoal grill for a flamebroiled patty, the best greasy spoon joints use a thin patty and flattop griddle that puts out even, consistent, and high heat across a uniform surface for a double cheeseburger that’s seared on the outside with a delicate, flaky crust, and juicy on the inside.
At home, your cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet is up to the task. And whether you’re stuck at home, snowed-in, or just tired, you can beat cabin fever and deliver delicious drive-in style burgers with just a few simple, cheap ingredients.
Drive-In Style Burgers
These double cheeseburgers “with everything” (in Ohio that’s mustard, onion, and pickle) are quick and easy to make using pre-ground beef or you can grind your own hamburger blend. If you choose to grind your own burger meat, we recommend an 85/15 lean-to-fat ratio. Combine a lean cut like Chuck steak or Sirloin with fattier cuts like Round or Brisket and mix to taste.
Here’s everything you need:
- 1lb Lazy L Ranch Meats bulk hamburger
- 1 onion
- 1 jar of pickles
- Sliced American cheese
- 1 package Kaiser rolls
- Cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet
- Stainless steel spatula
- Ice cream scoop
- Mixing bowl
And here’s how it’s done:
- Place ground beef in a small mixing bowl. Salt to taste. Using fingers, gently work salt into the meat until it can be shaped into 2.5-ounce balls.
- Cut onion in half, peel, then cut lengthwise into thin slices
- Heat cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet on medium-high heat until a single drop of water evaporates immediately upon contact.
- Using ice cream scoop, form ground beef into small, loosely packed balls.
- Turn on a fan or open a window, because there will be smoke!
- Place ground beef balls in skillet and flatten with stainless steel spatula using a circular motion to “smear” the edges of the patty until approx. ¼” thick
- OPTIONAL: Add handfuls of sliced onions on top of the cooking patties
- Continue cooking until juices from meat rise to the top of the patty
- Flip patties, top with American cheese, and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until cheese is melted and burgers reach 165°F.
- Serve on toasted Kaiser rolls with pickle, mustard, and onion (cooked or raw)
Make tonight burger night! Give us a call at (330) 529-4017 for ground beef, premade hamburger patties, or to order your own cuts for gourmet burgers at home.