Sunny Anderson makes her Easy Smokehouse Burger, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 30
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson

Sunny's Smokehouse Burger

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 burgers




Onion Rings:



Special equipment:
nonstick aluminum foil; a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Roast the mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, add the mushrooms, a generous drizzle of oil, Italian seasoning, paprika and red chile flakes and toss to coat. Spread the mushrooms out on the lined baking sheet. Bake until they shrink a bit and the moisture looks mostly wicked away, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and lightly season with salt. Allow to cool a bit on the sheet, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Make the patties: In a large bowl, add the beef in chunks and sprinkle with the salt and plenty of pepper. With your less dominant hand, fold and mix the burger with your fingers stretched open like a pitchfork. Mix until just combined. Divide into 4 equal parts and make a ball out of each. Flatten to a size just a bit wider in circumference than your buns.
  4. Fit a baking sheet with a rack and set aside. In a cast-iron pan or griddle on medium heat, add a bit of oil, then the patties. Cook, flipping once, until desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to the baking sheet and top each with two slices of cheese. Tent with aluminum foil or cover with an upside-down metal baking dish for about 5 minutes.
  5. Make the onion rings: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Pour 2 inches of peanut oil in a tall pot and heat on medium-high heat until the temperature registers 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Fit a baking sheet with a rack and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the smoked paprika and a nice pinch of salt. Whisk in the beer until the mixture resembles a thick pancake batter. Drink the remaining beer. In a separate bowl, add and separate the rings of onion, then dust them with the remaining 1/2 cup flour, tossing with your hands to ensure that they are all coated.
  7. Working in small batches so as to not overcrowd the pot, dunk the flour-coated onions into the batter, then directly into the oil. Fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the onion rings to the wire rack and keep warm in the oven. Continue to fry the onion rings, allowing the oil to return to 350 degrees F before adding more.
  8. Assemble burgers: Place a patty on each bun bottom, then add some mushrooms, 2 to 3 onion rings and drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Top with the bun tops.