The Best Copycat Krystal Burgers – [The Shortcut Method]

Craving Krystal Burgers? Get your Krystal burger fix anytime you’d like with this quick and easy copycat Krystal Burger recipe! These burgers are the best because you can control the ingredients! Krystal burgers start with very simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

A tray lined with red and white checkered paper. The tray has french fries and 3 copycat Krystal burgers (sliders),

One thing is sure, people have extreme opinions about their Krystal burgers! The Krystal Burger chain of fast food restaurants are scattered in the southeastern United States. Unfortunately, there are no Krystal burgers near me, so we prepare them at home whenever the craving hits using this simple recipe.

Making Krystal burgers at home is easy and affordable. Sliders are quite popular around the world and Krystal burgers are no exception. Hot and delicious on a freshly steamed brioche bun, they are hard to resist.

At the official Krystal burger restaurants, dehydrated minced onion flakes are reconstituted in hot water. The business decision behind using dehydrated onions instead of fresh onions is very cost-effective. It saves the company money in two ways: first, they do not have to pay employees to spend time peeling and mincing onions and secondly by preventing inventory spoilage. Dehydrated onions are shelf-stable for months, if not years, and are very easily reconstituted in plain, hot water.

In this recipe, we will skip the reconstitution of the dehydrated onions with hot water and simply start with fresh onions – in the end, it amounts to the very same thing, wet onions. I know I will receive a fair amount of feedback for that statement and that’s okay. For the onions, I prefer Vidalia but you can use any white onion you have in the pantry. Omitting the reconstitution step saves about 30-minutes of inactive prep time on this recipe.

Getting that delectable little burger in my belly as quickly as possible is a priority! Less time in the kitchen is more time with the family doing all the important things. In the end, that’s all that matters.

A sheet pan with the ingredients for Copycat Krystal Burgers. For a full list of ingredients, please visit the recipe card.

Ingredients for Krystal Burgers

Again, fresh onions are naturally packed with plenty of water and flavor which steams the patties in the oven. If you want to mince them by hand or in a food processor [paid link] to get them microfine like the restaurant, that is perfectly fine too.

The water in the onions is released during cooking and that moisture rises up through the beef steaming the meat as it cooks in the oven. If you are absolutely married to the idea of standing over the stove, you can always prepare these in a skillet with minced onions and a sprinkling of water.

Krystals offers three types of burgers:

  • Original Krystal – The original flavor bomb that made Krystal famous is grilled to absolute perfection and topped with diced onions, mustard, and a dill pickle slice, served on Krystal’s signature steamed brioche bun.
  • Cheese Krystal – Cheese makes everything better and a Krystal burger is certainly no exception. The Original Krystal is topped with a slice of American cheese, diced onions, mustard, and a dill pickle on a steamed brioche bun.
  • Bacon Cheese Krystal – Layered with crispy bacon and American cheese, this all-beef patty is topped with diced onions, tangy mustard, and a dill pickle served on a steamed bun.

With so many options, there’s something for everyone. Let’s dig in!

** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.

Main ingredients

  • Beef – In burgers especially, 80/20 grade is the best for flavor and juiciness. If you prefer leaner beef, it will still work for this recipe, but there will be some flavor sacrifice. Fat equals flavor here.
  • Onions – I prefer Vidalia onions, but any white onion will do. The chain uses reconstituted dried onions, we skip that step by using fresh onions and save ourselves 30 minutes of prep time.
  • Water – as needed
  • Salt & Pepper – Use this to taste.
  • Yellow Mustard – The chain uses just plain yellow mustard. If you dislike mustard, omit it. No harm, no foul.
  • Dill Pickle Chips – AKA Hamburger Dill Pickle Slices – I have a certain name brand I prefer over any other brand. Use what makes your heart happy. :)
  • Brioche Dinner Rolls or Slider Buns – I purchase these in the bakery section of the grocery store. I love the mini brioche dinner rolls they are amazing in this recipe. Slider buns are more difficult to find in my area, but Hawaiian rolls also make a good stand-in if the brioche rolls are not available. Note that Hawaiian rolls will add a sweetness to the burger that the chain doesn’t have.
  • American Cheese Slices (optional) – use whatever brand you prefer. That will always be the right choice. Cheese, of course, is optional.
  • Bacon, cooked (optional) – Again, use whatever brand you prefer, cooked to the crispness you enjoy. That will always be the best choice.

Tools

A sheet pan of onions and a layer of ground beef rolled thin to form the patties of the Krystal burger.

How to Make Homemade Krystal Burgers

The burgers are traditionally prepared using “custom steamer grills.” Since most of us just don’t have custom steam grills in our home kitchens, we have to make some modifications to the cooking technique. You can either bake them atop the onions so they both brown and steam at the same time similar to a Krystal burger or you can prepare them in a skillet on the stove. A cast iron grill pan works well for this.

So are these true and authentic copycat Krystal burgers in every sense of the word? No, they are not, but they are delicious and close enough to the original to call them Krystal burgers. Absolutely.

** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.

  • Preheat the oven.
  • Spread the onion onto a baking sheet.
  • Top with the ground beef mixture.
  • Bake.
  • Serve immediately.

FAQs

Why does Krystal use Dehydrated onions?

This is a very cost-effective measure to keep the staff from spending time mincing onions and to prevent the cost of spoilage of unused onions.

What are Krystal Burgers made of?

The Krystal Restaurants website says their original Krystal burgers are made from 100% USDA beef topped with diced onions, tangy mustard, and a dill pickle

How are Krystal Burgers cooked?

The Krystal Restaurants website says the burgers are grilled. This is achieved with specially designed custom steamer grills.

Are these exact copycat of Krystal burgers?

Are these sliders a true and authentic copycat of Krystal burgers in every sense of the word? No, they are not, but they are delicious and close enough to the original to call them Krystal burgers. The typical home cook does not have access to u0022custom grill steamers,u0022 but this recipe and technique produce the same familiar flavors as the chain restaurant.

An up-close photo of a copycat Krystal burger.

Other Great Recipes

Obviously, the best accompaniment to any Krystal burger is another Krystal burger! They are so tasty, it’s hard to eat just one. Krystal burger joints serve these sliders up singly, by the dozen, or by the 24-pack! They go great with french fries or tater tots. If you’re looking for a gluten-free bun option, try these gluten-free Hawaiian rolls. Other great side dishes like loaded cauliflower salad or potato salad are always a hit with my family. What do you eat with your Krystal burgers?

A tray of Krystal burgers and french fries.
KD Email Graphic
A Pinterest pin image for Copycat Krystal burgers

Homemade Krystal Burgers – [Shortcut Recipe]

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Craving Krystal Burgers? Get your Krystal burger fix anytime you'd like with this quick and easy copycat Krystal Burger recipe! These burgers are the best because you can control the ingredients! Krystal burgers start with very simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 16 sliders
Calories 198 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Sharp Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup onion , finely diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef , 80/20
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Mustard about 1 tsp each slider
  • 32 Dill pickle slices 2 per slider
  • 16 yeast dinner rolls , sliced in half horizontally

Optional Toppings (not calculated in the nutritioanl information below)

  • 16 slices American Cheese 1 per slider
  • 16 strips Bacon cut in half

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 °F.
  • Spread the finely diced onion onto a 11 x 17-inch baking sheet and set aside.
  • Add ground beef, water, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Drop the meat mixture in even dollops on top of the onions. Carefully press the meat so that it covers the entire baking sheet. Try to spread it as thinly as possible – about 1/4 inch thickness.
    Alternatively, you could put the meat between two pieces or wax paper or plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to roll it out into an 11 x 17-inch rectangle and then add the meat on top of the onion layer.
  • Score the meat mixture with either a sharp knife, pastry wheel, or pizza cutter. It doesn't have to be exact. You should end up with 16 sections.
    Do this by scoring the meat lengthwise down the center of the tray. Next score the meat widthwise across the middle. Then repeat the widthwise scores again scoring each section of meat in half again. Repeat this again and score each of the four sections widthwise again to end up with 16 sections. The sections will not be completely square.
    After cooking, there will be some shrinking of the meat as it releases fat and water and this is completely normal. The resulting patty will be a little smaller and fit on the slider bun perfectly
  • Bake at 375 °F for approximately 12-15 minutes. There will be juices released as the meat and onions cook.
    Before plating, steam the buns in the microwave for about 10 seconds. To serve, add one burger patty, some onions, mustard, and two dill pickle slices to each burger.
    Alternatively, you may place the bottom half of each bun onto the burger meat and return to the oven for a minute to steam the bun. As you are serving, carefully flip each bottom bun and a burger with onions over onto the dinner plate and add the mustard and pickles and top with the other half of the bun.
    Both techniques result in a great-tasting Krystal burger.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

FAQs

Why does Krystal use Dehydrated onions?
This is a very cost-effective measure to keep the staff from spending time mincing onions and to prevent the cost of spoilage of unused onions.
What are Krystal Burgers made of?
The Krystal Restaurants website says their original Krystal burgers are made from 100% USDA beef topped with diced onions, tangy mustard, and a dill pickle
How are Krystal Burgers cooked?
The Krystal Restaurants website says the burgers are grilled. This is achieved with specially designed custom steamer grills.
Are these exact copycat of Krystal burgers recipe?
Are these sliders a true and authentic copycat of Krystal burgers in every sense of the word? No, they are not, but they are delicious and close enough to the original to call them Krystal burgers. The typical home cook does not have access to “custom grill steamers,” but this recipe and technique produce the same familiar flavors as the chain restaurant.

Nutrition

Serving: 1eachCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 9gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 640mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 29IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 0.03µgVitamin E: 0.3mgVitamin K: 4µgCalcium: 94mgFolate: 31µgIron: 2mgZinc: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

39 thoughts on “The Best Copycat Krystal Burgers – [The Shortcut Method]”

  1. Is the pan size a half-sheet? Being born in Savannah eons ago, I think that Krystal’s is part of my DNA even though I’ve lived all over the world. I can’t wait to try these! Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Is it possible to cook these without the onions, I know it’s an important part of the burger, but I’m the one that held the drive thru line up by asking for no onions on my Krystal burgers. Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Don,
      Absolutely. However, it will have a slightly different flavor. Also, the onions give the meat some moisture to steam the meat, so you may find you need to add a little bit of water to help with the steaming.

      Reply
    • ONLY salt and Pepper is added to the beef, and is added at the FACTORY. The exact ratios are not known to any regular Krystal’s employees but can be figured out and replicated. The DEHYDRATED onions are reconstituted with Hot Water, and left to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes.
      Secondly, the meat Patties and the onions are NOT baked in an oven, but are steamed on a grill. Water is ALWAYS added, before the meat patties are placed on the grill, in order to steam the meat!
      If I remember correctly, the patties are placed IN THE WATER, and are topped with the rehydrated onions, then flipped after about 2 minutes of steaming. Then the burger buns are added, the bottom bun first, then the top bun, then steamed for a couple of minutes.

      Reply
      • Hello Wes,
        You’re not wrong. There are some modifications to the actual technique to fit the home kitchen. Don’t suppose you have a “custom steamer grill” installed in your kitchen at home, do you? If not, then you need an alternate method to cook a Krystal burger at home.

        Reply
  3. We’ve made these several times and they always turn out great. In Virginia, our closest Krystal is in Georgia so we only have the real thing when we visit family in Florida. This recipe definitely satisfies the craving between visits.

    Reply
  4. This looks delicious! I definitely want to try this recipe, but I’m not a huge fan of onions. Would I have to make any changes to how I follow the recipe if I omit the onions?

    Reply
  5. Made them they were great… I’m from TN and miss hitting Krystal’s on the way home from downtown Nashville
    .. They where just as good… Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  6. I can’t wait to try this next week! My husband and I live in North Carolina and are always craving krystals. We are from Florida so when we go back to visit we pig out on those delicious little burgers. I showed my husband your recipe and he was so excited.

    Reply
    • Hi! I am from Florida, too, now living in South Carolina. We do the same on drives back to see my family. These are a fun treat at home in the in-between times. I hope you enjoy them. The steamed onions (and soft rolls) make the difference for me.

      Reply
  7. Hello! Just a quick question. There’s water listed under the ingredients, but I don’t see it in the directions. Do I mix it into the ground beef mixture? Thank you for posting the recipe! My husband is a huge Krystal’s fan and there isn’t anything like it here in WA. He’s very excited for me to make them! :)

    Reply
  8. We don’t have a Krystal burger where I live but my husband loves them. These were great! I couldn’t believe how easy they were eiether!

    Reply

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