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Oklahoma Theta Burger Recipe

Oklahoma Theta Burger Recipe

The theta burger is a popular American burger prepared using a bread burger bun and a meat patty that is coated with hickory sauce, mayonnaise, slices of dill pickles and shredded cheddar cheese. Generally consumed as a main dish, the theta burger originates from Oklahoma City in the USA.

Origin & Cultural Significance

There are many theories about the invention of the theta burger. Some say that this American delicacy was invented in the Split-T restaurant (now closed) in Oklahoma City.

However, some believe that it was first prepared somewhere in the 1930s or the 1940s by Ralph Geist, the proprietor of Town Tavern in Norman, Oklahoma. There are claims that this burger might have originated due to the long, complex delivery orders placed by the members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at the University of Oklahoma.

It is believed that the Town Tavern (the restaurant attending to the sorority’s enormous requests) decided to acknowledge them with their own signature burger (and at the same time make their orders a lot less complicated).

Theta burger Oklahoma

American Theta Burger Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 80% Angus ground beef - 2 lb.
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • Hickory sauce - 1 dollop per burger
  • Mayonnaise - 1 dollop per burger
  • Aioli - 1 dollop per burger
  • Local sour pickle slices
  • Cheddar cheese (coarsely grated) - 1 lb.
  • Sesame buns - 6
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • BBQ sauce (if preferred) - 1 dollop per burger


  1. Begin by getting your charcoal fire started and allowing it to burn down for approximately 15 minutes.
  2. While you’re waiting for the charcoal fire to burn off, make 6 beef patties (thinner than you would think is required). Season the meat patties with salt and pepper to taste. Add a small amount of butter on top of the buns and keep them aside.
  3. It’s time to take the burgers and grill them until medium well. Grill over direct heat, and remember that it should not take you more than 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. Right before the burgers are prepared, take the buns and place them on the grill. Allow them to toast well. When the burgers are done, take them off the grill and place them on a plate. Now, you can either instantly load a handful of shredded cheddar on top of the burgers while they’re still hot or add it during the time of assembling the burger.
  5. Allow the burgers to cool down while you make the garnish for the burger.
  6. Once toasted, get the buns off the grill and add hickory sauce to every top bun and aioli to every bottom bun.
  7. It’s time to assemble the burger. First, place three pickle slices on every bottom bun and spread mayo on top. Put the burger patty on top. Top each burger off by adding 1/6 of the cheese (if you skipped it earlier). You can also add BBQ sauce if you prefer it.
  8. Now, finally place the top bun, and there you have it! Your delicious theta burger is ready to be served.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 947Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 1563mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 54g

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