Shop the Grill Dads

Smoky Tavern Burger

With Air Fried Onion Rings

Serves 4

Cook Time 35 Minutes

  • 1 1/3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Salt Pepper + Three Chiles
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
  • Kosher salt, for seasoning
  • 1 small head butter lettuce
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 ounces
  • 1/4 cup mayo, for the buns
  • 4 sesame seed buns

For the onion rings

  • 1 large sweet onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons Salt Pepper + Three Chiles, divided
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup self-rising flour

Divide the ground beef into 4 (1/3 pound patties). Chill these on a parchment paper lined baking sheet while making the onion rings.


Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees for 10 minutes. We’re using the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, which combines the power of the grill with an air fryer and smoker!


Combine the buttermilk and 2 teaspoons Salt Pepper + Three Chile in a medium mixing bowl. Combine cornmeal, self-rising flour and the remaining 2 teaspoons Salt Pepper + Three Chiles in another medium bowl. Separate the sliced onions into rings and dip them in the buttermilk mixture. Toss the soaked onion rings with the cornmeal mixture and then repeat!


Set the coated rings in single layer in the air fryer and fry for 12 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Repeat as needed for any remaining rings that didn’t fit in the first single layer.


Remove the burger patties from the fridge and season with Salt Pepper + Three Chiles Blend. Set  your Ninja Woodfire smoke at medium high heat. Add the burgers and cook for 12 minutes, flipping half way through. In the last minute, add the cheese slices to melt. Remove the burgers from the grill and toast their buns on the still hot grill.


Build each burger with a patty, lettuce, tomato and onion rings on a mayo swiped bun.