Grub Americana

Sonic No. 1 Burger

In 1953, Troy Smith added car stalls with two-way intercoms and roller-skating carehops to his small chain of hamburger restaurants to cash in on the growing popularity of the automobile. Today Sonic has rejuvenated the carhop concept by serving customers the same way as in the '50s. Try this clone recipe of the signature burger served at America's largest drive-in chain.

This Recipe Makes 1 Burger

Whatcha Need:

  • 1/4-pound ground beef
  • 1 large plain white hamburger bun
  • butter-flavored spray or melted butter
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 3 dill pickle slices (hamburger slices)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped white onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped lettuce
  • 2 tomato slices

Whatcha Do:

  1. Shape the ground beef into a thin circle the same diameter as the bun. Cover the patty with wax paper and freeze it.

  2. When you're ready to prepare the burger, preheat a large skillet over medium heat.

  3. Spray some butter spray or spread a thin layer of melted butter on the faces of the top and bottom bun. Lightly brown the faces of the bun in the skillet, then remove them and set them aside.

  4. Grill the beef patty in the skillet, and lightly sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cook the beef for 3 to 4 minutes per side until done.

  5. As the patty cooks, build the burger by first spreading the mayonnaise over the browned face of the bottom bun.

  6. Arrange the pickle slices on the mayonnaise.

  7. Sprinkle the chopped onion over the pickles.

  8. Arrange the lettuce on the sandwich next.

  9. Stack the tomato slices on the lettuce.

  10. When the beef is ready, stack it on top of the other condiments, and top off the sandwich with the top bun. If you'd like the sandwich hotter, microwave it on high for 10 to 15 seconds.