I Made This: Pizza Burgers – flying style!

September 23, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Food, Kristina Makes Things by Kristina Horner

I am a lot of things, but “cook” is not one of them. I am the quintessential “boxed pasta” type eater, and I kind of hate myself for it. That’s why I’m trying to make an effort to be better. My approach to cooking (and how I decide what to attempt to cook) is thinking, “what are those foods I only get a few times a year for whatever reason, that I miss the rest of the time?” There’s no reason I can’t learn how to make those things myself.

So today, I bring you the first installment of “Kristina Makes Things”. This will be an adventure we go on together, because food is hard. But we’ll learn together. On the menu today is the Pizza Burger Flying Style. These are a staple of my family trips to North Dakota, and are only sold at the drive through Big Boy in Bismarck.

Here's a picture of what a real pizza burger looks like! I took Joe to try them on our trip to North Dakota this summer.

Here’s a picture of what a real pizza burger looks like! I took Joe to try them on our trip to North Dakota this summer.

I love them, and today, I learned how to make them. My parents would be so proud! Especially since I used the sandwich press they got me for Christmas… 8 months ago… and only opened today. Psst.. this is the one I have. It’s wonderful.

It was fairly easy! All you need is:

  1. A loaf of bread (get pieces on the smaller side)
  2. Ground beef
  3. Mozzarella cheese
  4. Marinara or pizza sauce
  5. Italian seasoning
  6. A sandwich press

Pre-cook the ground beef and mix the seasoning into the beef (to taste). Then put your first slice of bread on the sandwich press. Put the cheese on first, then layer on the ground beef, marinara sauce, and cover with the second slice of bread on top. Cook in your sandwich press until both sides are golden brown and a bit crunchy and there you have it! Pizza burgers, flying style!


What makes them flying style? I have no idea. But they’re delicious, they remind me of home, and it’s better than a pizza pocket. Let me know if you try making them, or if you have any other delicious recipes I should try out in my sandwich press!



Cassidy says:

I am a REALLY bad cook, but I guess I could give this a try. Thanks for the idea!

No problem! It’s so easy! 🙂

Olivia Andrews says:

This recipe sounds so great! I think I’ll try it with gluten free bread 🙂

Michelle says:

Did you use any butter on the bread or spray the press with butter/Pam? How do you keep it from sticking. It sounds delicious.

You can use butter if you want, but I didn’t need to! It didn’t stick!

Cassandra says:

Never heard of them before but a quick Internet search says they were originally called flying saucers on the menu so that’s where the name comes from. Anyway, they sound delicious!

Tara says:

These remind me of the campfire pizzas I would make at camp and over my fire pit in the summers! We used pepperoni instead of ground beef (on account of it being easier for campers), but the ground beef sounds amazing!

Bonnie Horner says:

I knew you would probably enjoy cooking some day! This makes me very happy!


Dorie Refling says:

They were called flying style because the burger grill was shaped to look like a flying saucer, something on everyone’s minds in the 1950’s when the were first made. The grill sealed the outer edges of the bread. We scraped the bread crusts off before taking the sandwich out of the grill, thus the square bread became round.

Julie Iverson says:

I just made these but with a Presto hamburger make.Didn’t turn out very well. I do have one of those sandwich makers but I didn’t think that would work. Who knew. Do you have to fry the burgers first before you make them in the sandwich? I did and there was still grease and sauce mix in the bottom of maker. Next time I’m doing it your way. I don’t know why I didn’t look this up first, I usually do. Thanks for the recipe.

PATTY Schmidt says:

They’re called Flying Style because they were at first a disc originally and they were around then a new owner came or the machine and they made them out of the whole piece of bread so in 1960s they were round like the Flying Saucer

Ah, that makes sense! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


Seen your post on how to reproduce pizza burger flying in style, and was wondering if you knew or could find out how they make there gravy. We’ve tried over and over who knows how many times. A treat for us in the winter time was to pick up 2-3 pints of the gravy and make home made fries with there gravy to dunk in. So tick and a tad sweet and makes you wanting more. The kids ( grown up now ) always asked to sent them some., I say growing up as well the kids ( boy and girl) we’ve gotten-eaten over 500 gallons of it. Heck, my dad owned Bob’s Cafe, grandpa owned the Light House on main, but they couldn’t make gravy like the Big Boy’s.
Well if you ever do find out, please, please let me know. Thank for your time and the info on pizza burgers.

take-care, Joe

I wish I knew how to make it — sorry!

Rich says:

back in the mid 1960’s, the pizza burger flying style sold at Harley McDowell’
s Bismarck Big Boy drive in were
round,pocket sandwiches sealed around
all the edges thus keeping the sauce
cheese, and meat pattie enclosed
in a flying saucer presentation.
The machine used to make the sandwiches used regular bread, however when the
pocket machine was closed, it sealed
then toasted the bread. The edges
were then trimmed off to form the
round flying saucer.

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