Cooking with Fire Episode 24: The Diner Burger

Cooking with Fire Episode 24: The Diner Burger

Josh Cary and Chef Tom Jackson cover the history of the great Arthur Valentine and his Valentine Manufacturing Co. which manufactured portable diner buildings in the middle of the last century. Chef Tom then cooks up an amazing diner burger on a flat top griddle.

The Classic Diner Burger Recipe


  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 burger buns
  • clarified butter, as needed
  • mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, (optional)


Preheat your griddle/skillet. Cook the bacon to desired doneness on the griddle. Remove and set aside.

Use the bacon fat to cook the sliced onions. Season the onions with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until softened and browned. Remove from the griddle.

Portion your burgers into 1/4 lb (4 oz) balls. Melt some clarified butter on the griddle. Place the burgers on top of the butter, topped with a piece of parchment paper to prevent the burger from sticking to the grill press. Smash each burger down using a grill press. Leave the press on top of the burger for about 10 seconds to allow the crust to begin to form. After you remove the press, also remove the parchment and season the burger with salt and pepper. When a nice brown crust is formed on the bottom side, flip the burger to brown the other side. Top each burger patty with a slice of cheese. Cover with a bowl and squirt a little water under the bowl to steam the cheese. Remove from the grill when the bottom side is crusted and cheese is melted.

Place some clarified butter on the griddle. Place your buns on the butter. Toast and remove.

Build your burgers. Add to the bun two burger patties, one slice of bacon, torn in half, the griddled onions and your choice of condiments.


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