Are The Onions In White Castle Burgers Really Cabbage Pieces Soaked in Onion Juice?

Posted on 13 Oct 2014 15:08

An internet rumor states that the onions in White Castle burgers are not really onions at all. Instead, they are little pieces of cabbage that have been soaked in onion juice. Could this rumor be true?

The onions on White Castle burgers are an integral part of the recipe. Without the onions, a White Castle slider would not be a slider at all. The burgers are cooked on a bed of steaming onions, which help permeate the burger patties and the buns placed on top at the end of the cooking process. If the onions weren't onions, that would be a strange twist!

And a silly one. Cabbage cooked on a grill (yes flat-tops are routinely referred to as "grills" or even flat top grills1 does not have the texture of onions, and a bitter taste would result. What's more, soaking cabbage pieces in onion juice would not make them taste like onions, or behave like them! They would taste like oniony pieces of cabbage. The other thing to consider is why in the world the company would want to do this. Onion juice could not save money. It makes no sense.

Anyone who thinks that the onions on a White Castle burger are not onions has likely never been to White Castle, nor eaten any onions, it seems. It is a ridiculous myth. The company admits in their FAQ that they use dehydrated onions for their burgers, as they have been doing since World War II, when onions were rationed and in short supply. The next time you're in the spice aisle at the grocery store, look for dehydrated onion bits, and you'll see basically the same kind of onions White Castle uses. They rehydrate them first, of course!

A rare version of this myth has turnips being used as an onion stand-in. This, of course, is just as ridiculous as cabbage.

You can watch some White Castle burgers being made in the video from Destination America below.

1. "White Castle FAQs." Sliders, Cheeseburgers, Chicken Sliders & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014. <>.
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