Sliders are delicious and easy to make, which is great when you’re having a party with family and friends (Photo: Camp Chef)
The origins of sliders is up for debate, as with any food that gains popularity in a region or country and is replicated elsewhere. Sliders have such a background.
Some believe they began in 1921 when the regional burger chain White Castle began offering them. A hot bun, ground beef patty, pickle and/or onions, and maybe a squirt of mustard, and that was it. Some would argue for ketchup instead of mustard, others maybe offering their two cents for mayo.
Krystal, another chain similar to White Castle, began offering their version and, of course, arguments still rage about which is best. Local mom ‘n’ pop joints slung and still sling their versions of sliders. Where I live in north Alabama, the ubiquitous Penn Burger combined meat with bread as a filler for an inexpensive burger. Tangy white onions — not caramelized — offer texture and flavor. I like to add some hot sauce.
The famous Oklahoma onion burger is a delicious beast of its own, which you can make with ground venison. The ongoing debate with these is not how to make them, but who made them first. A joint in El Reno, Oklahoma, claims the crown and even has its own festival each year to celebrate the tasty treats.
Back to sliders, though. The basic slider is your favorite meat, either in burger form or other, with a tasty bun, pickles and onions. Add other condiments if you wish, but then you may be venturing into a hamburger and away from the true form of the slider. Variety is the spice of life, though, so eat as you wish.
If you have some venison in your freezer then whip it up on the smoker (or use ground meat for patties) and create your own sliders. This recipe from Camp Chef uses beef tri-tip, which is quite tasty and works well. If you’re already out of venison from last hunting season, use the beef to practice and then you’ll be ready for the upcoming seasons.
Camp Chef Tri-Tip Sliders
Slider rolls – 12-18
For the Tri-tip:
Tri-tip – 2-3 lbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Olive or peanut oil
For the Garlic Cheese Sauce:
Butter – 1 Tablespoon
All-purpose flour – 1 Tablespoon
Whole milk – 2 cups
Provolone and mozzarella cheese, shredded – 1 1/2 cups
Parmesan cheese, shredded – 1/2 cup
Kosher salt – 1 1/4 teaspoons
Garlic powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
For the Caramelized Onions:
Yellow onions, sliced thin – 3
Butter – 3 Tablespoons
Canola or Peanut oil – 2 Tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste
For the tri-tip:
Preheat pellet grill to high smoke. Rub tri-tip with olive or peanut oil. Cover both sides liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place tri-tip in the pellet grill. When internal temperature of tri-tip gets close to 110° F, turn on the sear box to get it preheated to medium high heat.
When the tri-tip reaches 110° F., remove it from pellet grill and sear it on the sear box for 7-8 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 130° F. Rest for at least 15 minutes in aluminum foil.
For the garlic cheese sauce:
On medium to high heat, melt butter in medium sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in whole milk, whisking until thickened. Turn heat down to low and add cheeses. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
For the caramelized onions:
Heat butter and oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook slowly until onions start to get golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
Toast sliders buns in oven. Pull buns out of the oven and build sliders starting with meat, cheese sauce then onions.