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.
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.
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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.
- 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.
- Sharp Knife
- Rimmed Baking Sheet [paid link]
- or skillet (optional)
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.
- Serve immediately.
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.
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?
Homemade Krystal Burgers – [Shortcut Recipe]
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Mixing Bowl
- Sharp Knife
- 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
- 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.
40 thoughts on “The Best Copycat Krystal Burgers – [The Shortcut Method]”
This hit the spot and tastes even better. So glad I found your recipe. It was delicious. Even better, it was easy to make. I moved from the south to out west where Krystal’s were everywhere. Now, the nearest Krystal’s is 10 hours away and the nearest White Castle (last resort) is even further.
Have you tried it with lower fat beef? I would prefer 90/10, but I’ll try 85/15 if necessary
No, I have not tried the lower fat beef.
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.
Yes, I use a standard size rimmed baking sheet which is also known as the half sheet pan size in baking.
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
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.
Thank you, we tried it yesterday with the onions and it was FANTASTIC!
I’m so happy you decided to give it a try! I’m been happier that you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for taking the time to come back by and share your experience with us. Have a great Day.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you, Richard. I’m so glad you like them. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and let others know!
In Virginia too and Krystal is right next door in Tennessee smh
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?
No, not at all, they just steam in the bottom as it cooks.
Have a great day.
What an easy and tasty recipe!
I FORGOT TO ADD 5 STARS!
I DON’T EAT MEAT, BUT I MADE THESE WITH IMPOSSIBLE PLANT BASED MEAT.
That sounds like a great substitution. I am glad you enjoyed it.
I just made these tonight with Impossible Plant Based Meat.
THEY WERE SO GOOOOOODDDD!!!
OMG! AWESOME! Taste just like Krystal! With and without cheese! Thank you!
Thank you so much! I so happy you enjoyed it.
OMG! just like Krystals. Yummy!
Tastes just like the real thing.
BUT SO MUCH BETTER!!
Made these for lunch for the kids. Doing a stay-cation. They loved it.
My kids went crazy for these! We don’t have a Krystal Burgers in my area but we’ve had them while traveling.
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!
Thanks, Amy. I’m glad they hit the spot!
Im from Nashville in AZ now..I so miss Krystals can’t wait to make these.
Thank you! You are a lifesaver! Making these tonight as I’m a true blue krystal burger fan!
I hope you like them, Vickie. My kids love them.
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.
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.
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! :)
Hi Haley! Yes, it’s mixed into the ground beef for some added moisture. Thanks for asking. I’ve gone back and included it in the instructions. So sorry for the confusion.
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!
Thanks, Poppy! My daughter is a fan of the mini burgers so we make these quite a bit. :) I’m glad you liked them, too!
Hi. A friend of mine used to make these. It was a similar recipe, but he added a jar of beef baby food to get the texture right. They were very yummy.