Monday, March 7, 2011

Whirly Burgers

Originally posted 1/6/11

Happy almost Friday!  Just one more day…..Do you know what this weekend is?  I am assuming that you won’t guess what I am thinking….unless you are from the great state of Nevada.  Specifically, Reno.  This Saturday the UNR (University of Nevada, Reno) Wolf Pack is playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.  The Wolf Pack had an amazing season, and apparently this is supposed to be kind of a big deal.  I say “apparently” because I am not much of a football fan.  Or any other sport for that matter…..But the mob mentality has gotten to me.  I will be present in the room while the game is on TV.  True, I will probably be reading a magazine….but I will still be in the room.  I might even be sporting a Wolf Pak sweatshirt……Go Pack!;)

So anyway….I will have a couple of hungry boys to be feeding during the big game.  I asked Chris what he wanted and he begged me to make Whirly Burgers.  No, that is not a cutesy name we have for burgers (barf), it is an actual thing.  A few years ago, (maybe 8?) I was watching the Food Network, and they had a little thing about an A&W in North Carolina who served what they called “Whirly Burgers.”  Over the years, what exactly they put in theirs has escaped my memory.  But in honor of the A&W outta NC, we still call mine Whirly Burgers.  They aren’t really “burgers”.  They are more of a loose meat type thing.  There is a basic one, but the ones with fancy toppings are the best!  They are probably one of the easiest things I make, but they are so good!  Adults love ‘em, kids love ‘em….what more could you want?;)  I will show you how to make these today…..I hesitate to even call it a recipe…..but here we go!
For the basic Whirly Burger I use ground beef (ground chuck, ground round, whatever floats your boat), onion soup mix, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  I serve the sandwiches on sourdough soft rolls.  We will get to the different toppings later. 
I start by browning the ground beef.  Once it is browned, I add in the mustard, soup mix and Worcestershire.  Basic Whirly Burger done.  I told you it didn’t deserve the title “recipe”. 
I serve the basic version on a roll with cheddar cheese.  The A&W served it in some sort of bread “pouch”.  I can’t hollow out a roll nearly as successfully, so mine are on a basic roll.
My favorite version has Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms on it.  I sauté the mushrooms in butter, salt and pepper.  Oh  yea, that reminds me…..don’t salt the meat.  The onion soup mix has plenty of salt in it. 
Chris’ favorite version has nacho cheese sauce and sliced jalapenos on it.  I take the cheese sauce and jalapenos right out of jars….super easy.

The topping situation here is really up to you.  The possibilities are endless.  Perhaps some blue cheese and bacon will be your favorite?  Or BBQ Sauce and caramelized onions?  Let me know what you try!

Ok, so yes….these are super easy and maybe even sound a bit weird to you.  I promise you will love them.  Thousands of North Carolinians can’t be wrong, right?  Make them for the hungry boys in your life, or girls….or kids….or whoever…..

Whirly Burgers
1 package ground beef, usually about 1& 1/3 pounds
1 packet dry onion soup mix
3 T Yellow Mustard
3 T Worcestershire Sauce
Soft Sandwich Rolls

Brown ground beef.  Add soup mix, mustard and Worcestershire.  Mix well and cook till heated through.  Serve on rolls with additional toppings if desired.
Serves 4

Go Pack!


  1. My family makes one similar...we use the ground beef and onion soup mix. Where the difference comes in, is we use a sandwhich maker. Place the first piece of bread on the maker, add the ground beef mixture, top with cheese, hamburger pickles and mustard...place another piece of bread on top, close the lid and there you have it...a whirly burger. Brought all the fixings into work and made them for the staff and they all went crazy over them.

  2. Found your blog tonight Google searching for 'whirlyburgers'; looking for link to post in a thread about my hometown. Those posting tonight are reminiscing tonight about old restaurants there and favorites. Remember the whirlyburgers. Ingredients were browned ground beef, mustard, diced pickles and onion. Two bread slices were round - whirlyburger was to suggest a flying saucer - and edges steamed and sealed together. Have recreated in the kitchen using one of those sandwich makers we often use for grilled cheese. Seals the bread together.

    1. I love that you know about these! Aren't they the best? I use my sandwich maker that seals the edges sometimes too.
      I wish somebody would open a restaurant here and make them! It might have to be me;)
      Thanks for reading!!