The last great BBQ weekend of the year, and why not list something that every one seems to love on the grill.


One of the most delicious, unhealthy, satisfying, can smell them a mile away, gotta have foods.  Forget about little 4 oz patties, dash of salt and pepper, cooked until well done… if you have a craving for a burger, better to pull out the stops and do it right.

Just go running next day, you’ll feel better.

Burger meat should, in my opinion, marinade over night, like most other meats.  We are building flavors, don’t forget.  All the toppings should, in some way, be related to grilling, to keep that wonderful charred and smokey flavor.  Burgers should be cooked no more than medium.  And please don’t use the little pre-frozen 8 packs of buns.  Use good, fresh bakery buns.

On a side note, I would like to give my opinion of pre-made patties formed with things like cheese, japapenos, mushrooms, onions, and so on.  I see these at supermarkets and butchers a lot.  God bless them for packing flavor into the patty, but be ware.  To melt the cheese in the patty, to cook the peppers, onions mushrooms, you need to cook that burger well done.  You will will loose the juicy wonderful flavor of the meat itself.

So without further delay, here is my version of a cheeseburger.

Prep time: 30 min
Inactive cook time: 12-24 hrs
Active cook time: 30 min
Makes 4


1 1/2 lb ground sirloin, 85-90%
1 small yellow onion
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
3 jalapenos
1 red onion
8 strips thick cut bacon, cooked but not crisp
garlic mayonnaise (mayo mixed with garlic powder or roast garlic)
4 large fresh baked sesame buns
8 slices excellent quality aged cheddar (grafton is my favorite)
8 pieces bibb lettuce
condiments (ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce)
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
vegetable oil


The day before, or morning of, you will want to mix the meat.  Grate the yellow onion on a box grater, and mix the meat with the onion, chili powder, garlic powder, worcestershire sauce, and 1 tbsp kosher salt.  Let sit, covered in the fridge until you are ready to form the patties.

Form 4 patties.  Do not over work them.  The best method is to use a ring mold and gently work the meat into the mold to ensure even, round patties.  Overworking the meat will begin to emulsify the meat (like a sausage) and when it cooks, it will contract.  You will wind up with a big air pocket in the center of the patty and it will cook unevenly and become dry.

Bring a charcoal grill to med-high heat.  Grill the jalapenos until charred on all sides.  Let cool and peel, disregarding the stems and seeds.  Reserve.  Slice the red onion thick, mix with a small amount of vegetable oil, salt and pepper and grill until caramelized.  Reserve.  Crisp the bacon on the grill.  Reserve.

Lightly salt and pepper the patties.  Grill, about 3 minutes on one side.  Flip and place the reserved jalapenos, onions, bacon and cheese on top.  Grill, covered, until the cheese is melted.  Temp should be somewhere between medium rare and medium.  Remove from grill and let rest 2 minutes.

Slice the rolls in half.  Spread a small amount of garlic mayo on the rolls (both sides) and grill, until lightly browned and warmed through.  Put the burgers pack on the grill for 30 seconds to reheat and serve right away with the lettuce and of course condiment of your choice.

This is my favorite way of doing cheeseburgers.  When I have the craving, and have the time, this is the go-to.


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