Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Old Dave's Slyders

I am always looking for something unique to cook for friends and competitors on Thursday or Friday evening at a BBQ Contest. I think this one will be a winner. Much of the work can be done in advance to make it easier to prepare at a contest in the cooker. Everyone I know loves Slyders!!

There are a couple of my homemade cheeseburger slyders and one hamburger slyder on the plate.

I grew up eating these sandwiches on a Friday evenings after the ballgames and at that time, they were $.12 cents each. As a young man, I could put away about 12 of these in one meal.

All right, lets make slyders...

There are several things you can use for buns and I am lucky in that our local Kroger carries the very small Lewis Bake Shop sheet buns which come 24 per package and measure 3" X 3" which is the perfect size for a slyder. If you can't find something like that, you can use the small yeast rolls or maybe hotdog buns that you could cut in half or thirds.

The pickles need to be the very small and thin hamburger type dill pickles for best results.

Ingredients for 12 sandwiches

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar Gerbers beef baby food 2.5oz
2/3 cup of low sodium beef broth
1-1/2 cups of chopped dehydrated onions
3 cups of hot water
12 buns or rolls of some type
12 thin sliced dill pickles
Salt and Pepper at table
Condiments of your choice

Instructions for making the patties

Mix the hamburger, baby food, and the low sodium beef broth in a bowl with your hands.

Line a medium sized baking sheet (about 10X15") with plastic wrap. Place the meat on the sheet and spread it out with your hands or a spatula until it is fairly thin and then cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to spread it out to the final size which will be slightly less than the full size of the sheet. Carefully remove the top sheet of the plastic wrap and score the flattened meat in about 3-1/4 to 3-1/2" squares all the way to the pan and then cover the meat back up with the plastic wrap. It now goes into the freezer to be frozen solid.

This is what it looks like just coming out of the freezer. You can see the way the meat has been scored and it will now just break off into the 12 pieces and be ready for the next step.

This is another picture of the meat just before I broke it up for the slyders and placed it back into the freezer until I was ready to do my sandwiches.

On cooking day, I fired up the smoker and brought it up to about 350 degrees. Using pecan for smoke.

The next step is to place the onions in a bowl and then add the water to get them ready for the cook. It will take about 15 minutes.

I wanted the buns steamed so I made up a pan for this.

I put a little water in this pan and then added a rack to the top of the pan.

I placed the buns on the rack and then covered the pan with another pan.

I then lined a larger cookie sheet with foil to make for an easy clean-up and then spread the wet onions out on the sheet.

The pan is ready for the frozen slyders.

I got the frozen meat out of the freezer and placed it on the onions.

I put the bun pan on about 30 minutes before I placed the slyders on the smoker to give the buns time to steam a little. I then placed the slyders on the smoker for a short cook of about 15-18 minutes although I didn't time it.

This shows them on the smoker just before I pulled the pan off the cooker.

This picture show the slyders right out of the cooker and just before I got them ready for the table.

This picture shows me getting the patties on the steamed buns and then adding the pickle on top of the meat.

Man, don't them things look great!! And they do taste like the real thing.

I prefer a slice of American cheese on my slyders.

I know many folks won't have a smoker that will run at the higher temps but I am sure these slyders will do fine at a lower temp of say about 250 degrees but will take longer to get them done.

You can do them in your kitchen oven as well for the folks that don't have a suitable cooker or smoker.


  1. Another "Gotta Do" Dave. I love those too and can't wait to do some. Thanks

  2. being an Australian i have never heard of these "sliders" they look good but the steaming of the buns what significance does that have apart from making them a little soggy???

    I would like to try these but havnet a smoker as such and would do them in the oven i understand that they would work ok and would you still need to cook from Frozen?

    Thanks for all the tips I am a keen fan

  3. Great way to convert the Krystal/White Castle clone for the smoker! I like your ingenuity of how you rigged the bun steamer. I also had not seen the tip of scoring THEN freezing the meat, that's a very good idea.

  4. Podge,

    There are several restaurant chains in the States that offer this type of sandwich.

    Many fine hotdog, sausage, and burger places do steam their buns as it makes them soft, pliable, melt in your mouth, and this makes them SLYDE down your throat. Hence "Slyders". You only steam them a few minutes for best results. Of course, with a steamed bun, you can eat more than with plain bun and can sell more of the product this way.

    They do need to be cooked from a frozen pattie as they are very tough to handle after they thaw. Very thin and will fall apart trying to get them on a sheet.

    They will cook fine on a grill or in your kitchen oven. If you do grill them, try them in an iron skillet.

    Thanks for the kind words on the blog...

  5. What temp did you cook these in the smoker at?

  6. Doug,

    I did the Slyders at about 350 degrees in my FE100 pellet smoker.