Steamed Sliders a la Pressure Cooker

I often get inspiration from food shows such as “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and “Man Vs. Food”, which means that I often use the Pressure Cooker, a potentially healthy method of cooking, to make junk food (though I contend that it is still healthier than some of the other methods of preparing such things). One such inspiration was when Adam Richman, of Man Vs. Food was visiting Ted’s in Connecticut, whose specialty is Steamed Cheeseburgers.

Since there is an entire country between where I live in SoCal, and Ted’s on the East Coast, I figured I wouldn’t be able to visit there any time soon, especially considering that I was craving a steamed cheeseburger now. Oddly enough, my home kitchen is not outfitted with a special cheeseburger steamer, but I started thinking, which is often a dangerous proposition, “Hmmm… I don’t have a special cheeseburger steamer, but I do have one of the finest means of creating steam in existence – my pressure cooker!” And while I was at it, I got the inspiration to combine the steamed cheeseburgers with the sliders that are dear to my heart thanks to my mid-west upbringing, and besides, sliders would fit better in the pressure cooker.

Sliders Ingredients

Once I had my plan in place, I headed to the local Trader Joe’s to pick up the necessary ingredients – a pound on 80/20 ground beef, a hunk of sharp cheddar, and Trader Joe’s mini hamburger buns along with a couple sweet potatoes to make an accompaniment of homemade sweet potato chips.

That evening I gathered the ingredients and got to work preparing vittles for myself and the S.O.

I had a pound of meat and 8 buns, so it didn’t take a genius to figure out that I would make 8 2-ounce burgers. I got out my trusty kitchen scale and started forming the balls. After the first one, it was easy to grab 2-ounce pieces. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t gotten a scale that so closely resembles my iPad. Often is the time I have nearly slapped a slab of meat down onto my iPad, only to catch myself in time and exclaim “Oh, crap!”, except for the time it was a fish and I exclaimed “Oh, carp!”

With steamed cheeseburgers, the cheese is melted in a separate container along with the burgers. It took a bit of kludging, but I managed to rig up a makeshift burger steamer using a stainless steel pressure cooker insert, a tripod and a mini cocotte which came as a bonus with my Staub dutch oven.
The eight burgers were a tight fit, but I got them all in, and using the tripod and cocotte, I suspended the cheese container above the burgers.
For the steaming liquid, I used one of my favorites, beer (it’s not just for drinking anymore). I used Anchor Steam, a California favorite, simply because that’s what I had on hand

I turned on the burner, locked the top on the cooker and let it get up to full pressure.

I kept it at full pressure for five or six minutes before removing it from the heat. I did a quick release and opened ‘er up. There I gazed upon eight succulent slabs of deliciousness, and a container of gooey, melty cheese.
The secret to sliders is to not try to pile much onto the tiny buns. I opted for a pickle slice, a few diced onions and some thousand island dressing.
Although I had used the trick of making an indent in each patty to compensate for the burgers expanding in the center, some of them still bore an uncanny resemblance to meatballs. I will probably try to make them a bit flatter next time.

After I placed them on the buns, I spooned some of the melted cheese on top, placed them on the plate next to the homemade sweet potato chips (which were quite tasty, despite the burn marks on my arm), and dug in.

9 thoughts on “Steamed Sliders a la Pressure Cooker

    • Laura, thank you so much for your comment. I have added a picture of the melted cheese. I am still trying to get used to photographing as I am cooking, but I got one picture of it!

      • Well, I think the cheese kinda steals the show. It’s absolute genius! I just linked to this post from Facebook, etc.

        So you only had cheese in the ramekin and no additional oil, butter or stock?

        Would love a guest post on the cheese to post on hip!!

        Really, fantastic!!

        Ciao,

        L

        • Thanks, Laura. I really appreciate the links. Yes, I had only cheese in the ramekin. I decided to try it even though I thought I might end up with a gloppy mess, but I got the result I was hoping for. I would love to take you up on your offer to do a guest post! I’m going to try it again on the weekend and see if I can get more/better photos.
          Thanks again,
          Michael

    • Thanks for the comment, Barbara. I was inspired by the steamed cheeseburgers I saw on Man vs. Food, as well as the sliders I grew up with, which are essentially steamed. Though cooked on a grill, they are cooked on top of a thick bed of onions, so never actually touch the grill surface.

  1. I use my PC at least 3 times a week! I am so excited to see this site for new ideas! The cheese melt is brilliant ! Now I need to get my hubby involved so he can make a holder for a ramekin! Thanks so much and will try the burgers soon! Barb

    • Thanks for stopping by, Barb. You use your PC almost as often as I do! I recently acquired a second one, and now I often use two at once. Let me know how you like the burgers.

  2. Pingback: Michael’s No-Stir Cheese Melting Technique – Reader Recipe