So, you have the cheese and lettuce on a burger. What is next? It is not the condiment—that goes on later. The answer is the onion, of course!
Onions add a splash of flavor to a cheeseburger or hamburger that you can’t always get from just throwing onion spice flavoring on it.
In this article, we will break down the best onions for burgers as well as how the heck you can cut them. For those who have difficulty trying to figure out how to cut onions, that part is for you!
Best Onions for Burgers
Yellow or brown onions are one of the most common and popular choices for consumers when they are trying to figure out which onion to buy.
They have a bit of a sweet taste, and the longer you cook them, the sweeter they become! When you think of an onion, you may think of a taste that is not on the sweet side, but this could not be further from the truth.
On a hamburger, the yellow onion is going to blend in well with the natural juices of the hamburger and other spices.
It will not become too overpowering, so do not worry about this happening while you are cooking. Also, the longer they are under the heat, the closer they get to caramelizing!
If you are trying to find a red onion in the grocery store, you do not have to look any further than the purplish-looking onions.
They have a mild flavor, similar to yellow or brown onions, but have less tender and meaty layers compared to yellow.
These onions taste great on a burger, thanks to their mild flavoring.
If cooked, they can lose some of that flavor, so some will prefer to put raw red onions on their hamburger or cheeseburger. They are also on the soft side, so do not worry about them being too tough to bite into.
The third most common onion is the white onion. Unlike the other two on this list, these onions have a bitter and sharper taste compared to the others.
You also find that they are on the more tender side with the thin outer skin.
Using these on a burger will add a spicy flavor along with some crunch.
It will enhance all the other flavors. If you are considering using white onions on your burger, it is best to cook them rather than eat them raw due to how bitter they are.
Cooking them will help minimize the bitterness that comes along with white onions.
The Vidalia onion falls under the category of sweet onions. As the name implies, they are sweet and do not have a pungent taste as white onions do.
The Vidalia onion looks a little like a white one because the inside looks white.
On a burger, the sweet and mild flavor will do wonders for your palate. They can be sauteed, but you can consider deep frying, which helps enhance the natural flavors of the onion.
This onion got its name from the town of Vidalia, Georgia, and interestingly enough, it is even the state vegetable!
So, think of this next time you put it on a hamburger. You are eating a part of Georgia.
Scallions are green onions or spring onions. They have a white base with an undeveloped bulb along with a long green stalk on top.
Technically, they are a part of the Allium family and are used in all kinds of different cultures’ cuisine.
You can eat them raw and uncooked, but on a burger, you might prefer it if they are cooked. One option is to put them on top of the burger, but another is to mix them into the actual ground beef!
Imagine all the flavors you are going to be getting when the mixed-in scallions combine with the natural juices from the beef.
It will be a straight shot to flavor town, as the famous chef Guy Fieri likes to say.
Shallots are onions, and when you see one, you notice they take on a bulb-like shape. They grow in clusters, like garlic, and taste-wise, they are on the sweet side with a little sharpness thrown in there.
There are a variety of ways you can cook shallots for your burgers. One way is to use them raw or to cook them. This can include frying them or caramelizing them during the cooking process.
Once on a burger, you will love how the sweet taste mixes with the tangy flavors of the burger.
You may not have thought about buying shallots before, but perhaps now you will consider using them for your burgers!
Walla Walla is a town in Washington and New South Wales, Australia, but it also is another onion that falls into the sweet onion category.
This wide bulb-shaped onion is actually from Washington state and came about in the 19th century.
Taste-wise, these onions have a very mild and sweetish taste that goes along with it.
Once on a burger, the extra sweetness from the Walla Walla onion will mix wonderfully with all the other flavors from the burger that come out when cooking.
Leeks are yet another bulb-like vegetable that looks similar to scallions. They are also in the onion family and are used in the cooking of many cultures.
You find that they have a mild flavor and are very easy to add to meals, which include burgers!
The best time to get leeks is around the end of fall to the beginning of spring. As we said, they are mild and have a very sweet flavor.
When added to a burger, the sweetness is going to go well with all the other flavors that are involved in cooking a hamburger.
When you look at a Cipollini onion, you may notice that it looks eerily similar to a donut and sounds like it is Italian. You would be right on both parts.
We also assure you they have nothing to do with donuts and are, in fact, onions. If you ever bite into one, mistaking it for a donut, you will be in for quite the surprise!
These onions are very sweet and are best used in food if you roast them first.
They are not a typical choice of onion for hamburgers, but if you want to try something different, look no further than Cipollini onions. The mix of sweetness from the onions and savor from the burger is a mixture to die for!
Not literally, of course.
Pearl onions, much like their name might imply, are small. They are also known as baby onions, so it should be no surprise that they are on the tiny side.
Color-wise, they can be white, yellow, or red. It just depends on what ones you are getting while you are at the grocery store.
For taste, they are on the sweet and mild side, so do not expect to be biting into one and experiencing a burst of spice or something.
When they are added to a hamburger, the sweetness and the tanginess from the other ingredients will create the most delicious combination.
These are not the most common type of onion to use on a burger, but like with Cipollini onions, do not knock it until you try it.
The uncommon and rare option might be just what you were looking for to put on your burger all along!
How to Slice Onions
While onions can add quite a lot of flavor to our burgers, cutting them can sometimes be a huge pain.
Plus, keep in mind that they tend to make you cry, but the result is making your food very delicious.
To slice and dice an onion, follow these steps:
- After getting out your cutting board and knife, cut off the stem of the onion. Then you want to slice it in half.
- Once the onion is cut in half, you need to peel off the outer layer.
- The next step is to lay the onion flat and make a series of horizontal slices through the entire onion. Then make vertical cuts throughout the entire onion.
- Finally, dice the onion to the best of your ability.
Always are safe when using a knife to cut the onion—especially when you are dicing. Take your time, and do not rush.
The last thing you want to do is cut yourself in the process of trying to cut up some onions!
And there you go, all your hamburger lovers out there! These are the best onions you can put on your burger.
All of them have their strong points, so if you are unsure of what to go with, do some trial and error.
We also taught you to properly cut an onion. Will you cry? Well, there is the possibility of what will happen, but sometimes when you want a delicious meal, you have to make sacrifices.
You might also be interested in the following:
- Best Tomatoes for Burgers
- Best Wine for Burgers
- Best Buns for Burgers
- Best Pickles for Burgers
- Best Sides for Burgers
- Best Ground Beef for Burgers
- Best Cheese for Burgers
- Best Lettuce for Burgers
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.