Rating: 5 stars
1 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

I'm showing you my take on one of America's strangest hamburgers, and certainly the hamburger with the strangest name. But don't worry, this is 100% mollusk free. The name comes from the fact that these used to cost a nickel–and in the past, the slang term for nickel was "slug."     


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
55 mins
1 hr 10 mins
6 slugburgers

If you've seen our Prison Meatloaf video, you know I have no problem adding lots of cheap, starchy filler to a recipe to stretch the meat content, especially when the results are so satisfying and delicious. So, when I discovered the Slugburger after a viewer's request, my first thought was, I really need to make this. Well, actually my first thought was, I'm glad this doesn't have slugs in it. Anyway, the point is I knew I'd love it, and I did. A lot.

As I mention in the video, the earliest versions used dried potato flakes, and if I we had easy access to those I'd probably have given that a try, but today's instant mashed potato flakes have like two dozen ingredients. So, I went with the more modern version, and used fresh bread crumbs, which provide the same neutral flavor, and cost-saving bulk. Texture-wise, I love how the not-too-fine bread crumbs crust up in the pan, and even though we are sacrificing beef content, I think that crispy, caramelized goodness more than makes up for it.

I did add some seasoning to the mixture, since we're not in the middle of a full-blown depression…yet…but, I think these would be just fine with nothing more than salt. And of course you'll garnish your Slugburgers as you see fit, but the classic bun dressing of yellow mustard and pickles was perfection. So, whether you make these because beef prices are so high, or you just want to see the look on your guests faces when you tell them you're making Slugburgers, I really do hope you give these a try soon.


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Cut the crusts off the bread slices. Place slices on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake in the center of the preheated oven until dry and toasted, about 45 minutes.

  • Transfer toasted bread to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you reach coarse crumbs.  

  • Place ground chuck, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder into a bowl. Add bread crumbs. Combine with your fingers, breaking apart the meat.

  • Dampen your fingers with water and form mixture into hamburger patties.

  • Heat ¼ to ½ inch vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place a patty into the pan and turn heat down to medium. Cook until well browned and crusty, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining patties, adding more oil if needed.

  • Remove from the pan and serve on hamburger buns with mustard and pickles; sprinkle tops of patties with chili powder and/or cayenne if you like prior to serving.  

Chef's Notes:

You can use 8 ounces of store-bought coarse fresh bread crumbs instead of making your own. I used 7 slices of Orowheat® potato bread, but any white sandwich bread will work. The Orowheat® is a large slice, so if someone is using the smaller square sandwich loaves, then they will probably need 12 slices. Removing the crust is optional, but I think makes for a better crumb.

You can prepare these patties ahead and chill until ready to cook; or they freeze very well.

Nutrition Facts

268 calories; fat 15.1g; cholesterol 54mg; sodium 735.8mg; carbohydrates 16.1g; protein 16.1g. Full Nutrition