Reader reveals Bury’s secret recipe


A York Fair goers enjoys a Bury’s hamburger outside the iconic restaurant chain’s stand. Also of interest: Bury’s burgers at the York Fair, 21st-century style and Bury’s Burgers: A significant piece of York Countyana.

Jean Fix of York has put forth the secret recipe for Joe Bury’s hamburgers, that iconic York County treat readily available only once a year at the York Fair.
She remembered that the York Sunday News published the recipe in 2000, and Jean saved it.
She mailed it to us after I lamented its secrecy in a newspaper column and post “Bury’s burgers: Nostalgia on a bun”:
Here goes, according to Jean:


Bury’s Hamburger Recipe
1 cup ketchup
2 cups water
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 TB sugar
4 TB dried onion
Boil all ingredients, then simmer 10 minutes. Add cooked hamburgers and simmer.
Comment below if you tried this recipe and tell us how it came out.
Bury’s recipes
– Bury’s recipe as published in the York Sunday News, 2000, click here.
– That York Sunday News recipe with additional ingredient reportedly from Joe Bury himself (this adds in Worcestershire sauce, click here.
– A quick alternative: This Bury’s burger sauce comes from a can, click here.
Stories and photos about Bury’s Famous Hamburgers:

Yet another Bury’s hamburger drops into the cooker
Bury’s burgers: ‘You won’t get that recipe’
The quest for Bury’s secret hamburger recipe continues.
This Bury’s recipe comes from a can,
Reader reveals Bury’s secret recipe.
Is Bury’s secret sauce really secret?
Bury’s burgers: Nostalgia on a bun
Fair, Bury’s go together like tomato sauce, burgers
Bury’s burgers: ”That was it – no slaw, no relish, no pickles’
Playland plays nostalgic note for York countians
Bury’s burger memories far from buried
To read stroll back memory lane, see posts in Nostalgia and Memories category.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Explanations/controversy, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, People, Small-town life, YorkEats: Hogmaw & such. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Reader reveals Bury’s secret recipe

  1. Cheryl says:

    Thank you,Thank you.
    Cheryl from Arizona

  2. Jeff says:

    We have the secret recipe.
    My grandfather, and my uncle both had Bury’s Resturants. This is not the exact recipe, there are few more details that are not included here. We make them all of the time they are the best.

  3. Kim Bury says:

    I wonder who you are Jeff, I am the daugher of Joe Bury Jr. I also find it strange that anyone not in our family would have the recipe. Send any responses to my email address please.

  4. Charles M. Bury says:

    I agree with Kim. This recipe is handed down through our family and for someone to claim to have it and post it on a website is laughable. Not saying the recipe posted here might not make a fine burger, it just won’t compare to the real thing.

  5. Exact Bags says:

    its really sad that someone stole your families secret recipe..hard time and effort have been putted in that recipe in order to make it.

  6. Jason Osborne says:

    Ragu 7 herbs is what I use!

  7. Vincent Bury says:

    I was given the recipe by my dad so it’s 3rd generation here. Joe Bury’s Famous Hamburgers is making a comeback with the original secret sauce…

  8. florah says:

    I have this recipe
    years ago when my mother&fahter-in-law lived in york pa.
    they went to joe burys resturant all the time. they got to know joe.they know
    him very well .my father-in-law asked joe for the recipe and joe gave it to him.
    before they passed on my mother-in-law gave me the recipe.
    this is the same one she gave me I make them about two times a month.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Flora, thanks so much for the confirmation that the recipe in this post is the real McCoy. It’s the one my wife uses, and you’d have a hard time telling the difference from what she makes and the fine fare at the Bury’s stands at the York Fair./Jim

  9. diann says:

    Joe Bury was not only at the fair..Bury’s had a restaurant on E. Market St. My grandmother who had grocery store & Lunch counter also made Joe’s famous sauce for her burgers but would not give anyone that recipe she took it her grave. She knew Joe and the family and made a promise which she took with her to her grave regarding that great recipe. They were the best burgers in town. And Mr. bury was a extremely nice man. That recipe was not to be known and I think that is the way it should stay. I have tried making it but just can not get the taste of it to come close to Joe’s. I loved stopping in the E. Market St place…great food. Thank you Joe Bury and RIP.

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