From 1950: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers


The 1950s are incredibly romanticized for me, and it’s because of my grandma. Any time I ask her what her favorite time in life was or when her best memories are from, she always says, “The ’50s.” And, that makes sense. She grew up in the ’50s – she went to high school, met all her friends, married my pap. All in the ’50s.

I have this old picture of my grandma and pap from the late ’50s. My grandma is in a white blouse and a fashionable pencil skirt that falls below her knees. My pap has his arms around her waist and they’re standing in front of this amazing classic car with a big front end and two-tone paint. My grandma told me that was her car and it was pink and silver. She loved it.

So, what are we cooking? Toasted deviled hamburgers from Song of the Kettle published in 1950.


This seemed weird to me, but it’s quintessential ’50s with all its “convenience” ingredients – bottled sauces, sliced bread, etc. I didn’t believe it would cook, either. Ground meat under the broiler?? But, it worked!


Here are our ingredients: Lean ground beef (or turkey), onion, chili sauce, yellow mustard, bottled horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, bread, salt, and pepper.


Step 1: Put the ground beef or turkey in a mixing bowl and break it up.


Step 2: Add all of the ingredients – that means the chili sauce, mustard, horseradish, onion, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Don’t add the bread. That would be weird.


Step 3: Stir it all together until it’s completely combined.


Step 4: Even out the mixture you’ve created and mark it with a knife. You want to create eight equal sections so that you can scoop out eight equal meatballs so that everything cooks… equally. Equal. Yeah!


Step 5: Cut the crusts off your slices of bread (I made four at a time) and put them on a foil-covered baking sheet. You don’t have to use the foil, but it makes cleaning up much easier.


Step 6: Broil the bread slices until they’re golden brown. Rotate your baking sheet halfway through if you need to. Keep an eye on these slices – they will brown fast under the broiler!


Step 7: Flip over the slices of bread so the un-broiled sides face up.


Step 8: Scoop out a section of the meat mixture and form it into a patty to perfectly cover the bread squares. Make sure the squares are completely covered – any bread left exposed will burn. Then, put the baking sheet back under the broiler for six to eight minutes. Using turkey, I went with eight to make sure the meat was completely cooked through.


Final step: Plate up your burgers next to some fries or some macaroni salad and think about the “good old days!” Maybe that’s the ’50s for you…

From 1950: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers

  • Servings: Makes 8 open-face hamburgers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 1.5 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1.5 tsp. bottled horseradish
  • 1.5 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 8 slices bread


  1. Set the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Mix together the ground meat, chili sauce, mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire, onion, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Level the mixture and then mark it with a knife into 8 equal sections. Set aside.
  3. Cut the crusts off the bread slices and place them on the baking sheet. Broil them for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and flip so that the un-broiled sides face up.
  4. Scoop the meat from the mixing bowl in sections using the marks you made as guidelines. Form them into flat patties and set them over the bread slices. Make sure to cover all of the bread – any left uncovered will burn.
  5. Broil the hamburgers for 6-8 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Serve immediately.



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