The Pioneer Woman’s Surprising Secret for Making Sliders

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If I could ask the Pioneer Woman one question, I would probably ask her where she got her hand-painted orange KitchenAid. And if I got a second question, I would definitely ask her about sliders. Sliders just seem like they’d be her thing.

Ree Drummond’s whole oeuvre is cowboys and classic Americana, so a very good burger has to be in her wheelhouse, and sliders are just regular burgers, but tinier and more adorable. Ree likes things that are cute almost as much as she likes puns, so it’s not surprising that she has several different slider recipes in her collection. What is surprising, however, is that her secret slider ingredient is heavy whipping cream.

No, really. Heavy cream. Ree’s eyes were positively gleaming when she demonstrated her trick on her Food Network show.

“What you are seeing right now might shock you,” she said, pouring a quarter cup of heavy whipping cream over a bowl full of ground beef and grinning like a toddler who is about to get away with something.

“I’m drizzling in some heavy cream for one very, very important reason,” she said. “I want to.”

Ree said that because sliders are so tiny and they’re only a few bites each, she can make them extra-rich and indulgent. The Pioneer Woman’s food tends to be creamy and indulgent in general, so when she decides to make something extra rich, she really goes all-in.

“With sliders you only have a couple of bites for the flavor to shine through,” she explained. “And it just makes for a really rich experience.”

She used heavy cream to make sliders on her blog too, and there she explained that the cream gives the burgers a “yummy richness and will make you feel extra naughty.”

Get the recipe: Mushroom-and-Swiss Sliders with Spicy Fry Sauce from The Pioneer Woman

After the meat was mixed up with the heavy cream, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, Ree used an ice cream scoop to portion out the sliders. The ice cream scoop held two ounces, or a quarter of a cup, and the scoop made it so all her sliders were the same size. Then she just made the scoops into patties in her hand and used her thumb to make an indentation in the middle of each patty.

“That keeps the slider from poofing up and becoming too bulky and tall when it goes on the grill,” she said.

When a slider gets too tall, it becomes very difficult to fit into a person’s mouth. But Ree handed a sheet-tray full of her raw sliders to her husband to grill outside, and when he brought them back they were all just the right size and shape for the dinner rolls she’d set out as buns. They seemed to be a hit with the kids, too.

What do you think of the Pioneer Woman’s trick for using heavy cream in sliders?