Recipe Review

I Tried the Reddit-Famous “Surprise Hamburgers” and, Honestly, I Loved Them

published Aug 21, 2021
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Credit: Nicole Rufus

The “Old Recipes” subreddit strikes again! Last week, as I was doing my usual Reddit scrolling, I came across a recipe called “surprise hamburgers” that was causing quite the commotion. Naturally, I was intrigued.

When I clicked into the post, the pictures were nothing like I expected. I thought “surprise hamburgers” would look like regular burgers with some sort of surprise between the bun, but they appeared to be balls of dough stuffed with a ground beef filling. They received rave reviews from fellow Redditors and seemed easy enough to make, so I decided to give them a try.

How to Make Reddit’s Surprise Hamburgers

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Dissolve the yeast in a bowl of warm water, then mix it in with the dry ingredients. Add oil and mix everything together. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

While the dough rises, prepare the filling. Sauté onions, then add ground beef. Season the beef with garlic powder, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and kosher salt. When the beef has cooked through, stir in the flour, which will bind the meat together. Once the mixture has cooled a bit, stir in the grated cheese and mix until thoroughly combined.

After the dough has completed its rise, preheat the oven to 375°F. Pinch off about as much dough as you’d use for a dinner roll and gently flatten it into a circle. Fill with 1/4 cup of the ground beef filling, then pull the dough up around beef and pinch it closed to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Place on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter or oil. Allow to rise again for 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake until golden-brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, then brush with butter and serve.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

My Honest Review of Reddit’s Surprise Hamburgers

Ever the skeptic, I was actually really surprised by how much I liked these “burgers.” My main point of contention is that they didn’t really remind me of burgers at all — but they tasted delicious! The recipe for the dough is spot-on, and I will definitely use it again for other baking projects. The buns were perfectly soft and browned beautifully in the oven.

There is, however, room for improvement where the filling is concerned. It tastes fine as is — I just think it could taste even better! Many Reddit users commented that they know these burgers as either Runzas and Bierocks, both of which have cabbage in the filling. I love the idea of cabbage here — I think it would provide some much-needed texture. Next time, I’ll probably also opt for fresh garlic instead of powdered and throw in a bit of cayenne for a kick of heat.

If You’re Making Reddit’s Surprise Hamburgers, a Few Tips

  1. Halve the recipe. The recipe makes 25 surprise hamburgers, and unless you’re feeding a crowd, that’s a lot of burgers. I halved the recipe and enjoyed the leftovers the following day.
  2. Flour is your friend. This dough is a bit tacky, so be sure to flour both your work surface and your hands.
  3. Play around with the filling. Add some cabbage or sauerkraut for a bit of texture, or play around with whatever burger seasonings you like best.