Dyer's Diner fried burger with cheese

Christopher V. / Yelp

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Dyer's Burgers in Memphis, Tennessee is a go-to spot for customers looking to bless their bellies with burgers, and the diner's cooking methods bring a whole new meaning to the term "greasy spoon." Patrons of the restaurant are apparently gaga for grease because the main draw of Dyer's is the more than 100-year-old grease they fry their burgers in before slapping them between the bun. 

@thefoodfunatic Dyer’s Burgers Memphis, TN. cooked in 100yr. old grease. #thefoodfunatic ♬ original sound - thefoodfunatic

In a viral video, TikTok user @thefoodfunatic shows one of Dyer's famous burgers, which glistens with grease. With crispy edges and standard toppings like cheese and pickles, Dyer's burger doesn't appear to be that out of the ordinary, so the magic really must lie within the century's old grease. 

The original Dyer's burgers were made by founder Elmer "Doc" Dyer using specially seasoned ground beef which created extra grease as they cooked. One evening, as the legend goes, one of the diner's cooks accidentally forgot to change the grease in the cast-iron skillet (which was still there from the night before) and he carried on cooking fresh burgers in the old grease. The next day, a customer came in and proclaimed that was the best burger they had ever had, and so — kind of like in middle school when your crush says they like your shirt and you begin religiously wearing it from that point on — Dyer's decided to stick with the grease. 

Though rest assured, they do strain the grease daily to remove particles and then season it.  "It's the same molecules from 1912, it's never been changed," current Dyer's owner Kendall Robertson tells Southern Living

Another TikTok user, @eatswithsylvia shared a video that shows the cooks creating the grease-coated burger. Before putting the patties on the buns, the cook dredges them in hot, bubbling, ultra-old grease. Once the meat hits the bun, the cook tilts the sandwich to one side to let the excess grease run off. 

@eatswithsylvia Would you eat a burger cooked in 100 year old grease? @foodnetwork #memphis #foodies #famousburger #foryou #foryoupage #foodnetwork ♬ good 4 u - Olivia Rodrigo

If you're one of those people who blots a piece of pizza with a paper towel to absorb the excess grease off the top (or if you have high cholesterol), Dyer's is probably not the place for you to hit next time you're in Memphis with a hankering for a hamburger. But if you don't mind a little oil on your fingers as you bite into a burg, you might want to add the diner to your must-try burger list.

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