Dunker Burger

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Juicy beef burgers, American cheese, and Texas toast come together for the ultimate Dunker Burger. Served with a side of homemade Au Jus, this burger’s like nothing you’ve ever eaten before. 

Beef burgers have never tasted so good. Forget the ketchup, mustard, and traditional burger bun, this dunk burger recipe is about to become your new go-to burger recipe. Prepared a la grilled cheese style, this burger’s a great way to change up your burger routine.

If you’re getting bored of the same old burger then add this dunker burger recipe to your weekly meal rotation. You can quickly get these burgers on the table in about 30 minutes.

Serve Dunker Burgers with some Homemade Onion Strings or some of these Homemade Double Fried Fries for the perfect meal. 

Dunker Burger

You all know me as a Nebraska girl, but for the last couple of years, we have been sharing our time between our home here and our home in Okoboji, Iowa. I instantly fell in love with the town 30 years ago when I visited for the first time. 

One of our go-to places to eat is called The Hut. It’s a small bar and grill that is open year-round (many places there are not.) The first time I ate there I ordered one of their specialties, The Dunker Burger. My go-to sandwiches are a Grilled Cheese, and a French Dip, and the thought of this burger being the best of both worlds, I was in. 

I ordered it, fell in love, and have finally recreated it for you!

Dunker Burger

If you like to get a head start on your weekly dinners, you can easily make up a batch of hamburgers on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll be ready to go when burger night rolls around. This works well for those busy weekday dinners when everyone has to be in a different place at the same time. 

If you love this dunk burger recipe, you are sure to love these too: Mushroom Swiss Burger, Reuben Burger,  or this Italian Burger.

Dunk Burger Recipe

Make up a batch of these burgers for your next weekend barbecue (perfect for your Blackstone Griddle!), family get-together, or picnic party. Better yet, cut them ‘slider size’ and serve them as an appetizer at your next dinner party, potluck, or tailgate. Everyone will love dipping them in the au jus. Guaranteed!

If you aren’t familiar with ‘au jus’ it means with juice in French and is referred to a dish that is served with sauce or gravy. Though typically made with the addition of beef drippings, I haven’t included them in this recipe but feel free to add them if you wish.  

Ingredients for Dunker Burgers

For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe. 

The burger:

  • Ground beef- I prefer lean ground beef pattied into three ⅓ pound burgers
  • Texas toast- Thick slices of Texas toast work best but regular sliced bread will work in a pinch.
  • Butter- Salted or unsalted, whatever you have on hand is fine. 
  • American cheese – American cheese slices taste great and are easy to use but any kind of cheese, sliced, will work. 

The Au Jus:

  • Butter – Again salted or unsalted are both fine.
  • Flour – All-purpose white flour works best. 
  • Beef stock – or beef broth.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This adds that umami flavor to the au jus and deepens the flavor. 
  • Onion powder – Just a touch for a slight onion flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste

How to Make a Dunker Burger

This recipe has a few steps though they are quite easy and you won’t be disappointed with the end results. 

First:  To prepare the au jus, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk in the flour. 

Second: Whisk half of the beef stock into the roux, continuing to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and the remaining stock. 

Third: Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Set aside. 

Fourth: Butter one side of the Texas Toast.

Lightly brown it on a griddle or in a frying pan. Set aside.

Fifth: Pan-fry or grill the burgers until they are your desired doneness in the center.

Top with two slices of cheese and let it just begin to melt. Remove the burgers from the skillet. 

Important: Wipe the pan free from burger drippings.

Sixth: Build the Dunker burger by placing one cheese-covered patty on top of lightly browned Texas Toast. (toasted part to the inside)  and place the other piece of Texas toast (toasted to the inside) on top of the cheese. 

Seventh: Butter the outsides of the bread and place the burger on a skillet or griddle and cook “Grilled cheese style” until the bread is lightly toasted, and the cheese is melted. 

Eight: Cut in half diagonally and serve with warm au jus for dipping. 

Store leftover burgers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. For the best flavor, I suggest you store the components separately and only prepare as many burgers as you will eat. 

Love it? Pin it!

If you love this dunker burger make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!

FAQs

Why do they call it Texas Toast? This type of bread is called Texas Toast because of its thick size. It seems it was created when a restaurant owner in Texas asked his bread supplier for his sliced bread to be double the thickness of regular sliced bread. “Everything is bigger in Texas,” they say. 

Why is it called a ham burger? Research tells me that the name “hamburger” is based on the town Hamburg, Germany. It is believed that sailors in the 19th century brought back raw shredded beef to Hamburg after trading with the Baltic provinces of Russia.

Substitutions

Remember that when it comes to making substitutions in recipes, you don’t need to be afraid to get creative and use ingredients that suit your personal taste and dietary preferences. Make it your own!

  • Instead of beef patties use chicken, turkey, or pork.

  • Change up the cheese and use whatever you have on hand.

  • Use thick brioche bread in place of the Texas Toast.

  • For a vegetarian version use veggie burgers and vegetable broth in the au jus.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you’re in a bind, use frozen burgers. Even leftover burgers are a good option. Pull them out of the fridge or freezer and make up a Dunker Burger.

  • Keep a stash of burgers, Texas toast, and au jus in the freezer so you can easily make up this dunker burger recipe.

  • Cut your burgers into quarters (slider size) and serve as an appetizer at your next dinner party. 

  • Choose 80/20 ground beef for the best flavorful, juicy burger.

  • Patty the burgers so they fill up the large pieces of toast. Note that you will have some shrinkage in your burgers as they cook. 

More Sandwich Recipes to Love

Thick juicy burgers topped with American cheese cooked a la grilled cheese style, with a serving of au jus on the side, are perfect when you’re needing a change of pace. I’m thinking we could all use a change of pace every now and then.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Michaela signature

Yield: 3 burgers

Dunker Burger

Close up of Dunker burgers and fries in a clear serving dish.

Thick juicy burgers topped with American cheese on Texas Toast cooked a la grilled cheese style, with a serving of au jus on the side.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the burger:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, pattied into three ⅓ pound burgers
  • 6 slices of Texas toast
  • Butter
  • 6 slices of American cheese
  • For the Au Jus:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 ¼ cups beef stock
  • ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Sprinkle onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Au Jus: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until there are no lumps. Whisk half of the beef stock into the roux, continuing to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and the remaining stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Set aside. 
  2. Butter one side of the Texas Toast and lightly brown it on a griddle or in a frying pan. Set aside.
  3. Pan-fry the burgers until they are your desired doneness in the center. Top with two slices of cheese and let it just begin to melt. Remove the burgers from the skillet. 
  4. Build the Dunker burger by placing one cheese-covered patty on top of lightly browned Texas Toast. (toasted part to the inside)  and place the other piece of Texas toast (toasted to the inside) on top of the cheese. 
  5. Butter the outsides of the bread and place the burger on a skillet or griddle and cook “Grilled cheese style” until the bread is lightly toasted, and the cheese is melted. 
  6. Cut in half diagonally and serve with warm au jus for dipping.

Notes

Important: Wipe the pan free from burger drippings in between frying the burgers and grilling the outside of the Texas Toast.

This recipe is great for a Blackstone Griddle!

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. This is such a fun idea, and really just a GOOD idea for people like me who are picky about bun-to-patty ratio. (I hate a huge bun!) Love the fact that it has au jus as well. Can’t wait to make this!

  2. I made these burgers for dinner last night and OMG was it delicious! This will be my new favorite burger recipe!

  3. I’ve never heard of a dunker burger but these look sooo good! Like a cross between a burger and grilled cheese. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. I think I would have to season my ground beef just a little, but other than that this recipe sounds amazing! 🙂 Definitely adding this to my weekly dinner rotation soon.

    1. I didn’t really go into that too much — I figure everyone likes their burger the way they like it. So “Patty the burgers” basically means how you normally would if you ever just making hamburgers!

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