Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to Grill a Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Now that we've dealt with the wonders of grilled sausages, it's time to tackle another great staple of the American grilling experience, hamburgers.

Even though I try and eat a variety of more healthy foods, every so often I just feel the need for a good burger. My favorite is the bacon double-cheeseburger. This may be a heart-attack on a bun , but what a way to go.

NOTE: You really don't have to use cheese or bacon with this burger mixture. You could also just put one on a bun, instead of two, and you'll still enjoy it, just fine. It's a great recipe, if I do say so myself. Even my neighbor, who is a much better grillmaster than me, likes these burgers.

Grilling up pre-made hamburger patties from your grocers freezer is fine, when you're in a hurry. But, I'm coming to the belief that grilling should never be done in hurry. Really good barbecue is done slow. Why treat grilling hamburgers any differently?

Well, there are few reasons to do it a bit faster, actually, but all in all, I'm not going to fire up my grill unless I've got some time to really play with it.

Having cooked up dozens of hamburgers in my time, I've learned a few things. First, I don't like just throwing together a patty of pure ground beef. Sure that's good for fast food, but I like adding a few things to the meat, first. If your on a tight budget, it can also help stretch the meat a little farther. I suspect that's why people started doing this in the first place. I'm not talking meatloaf, here. (I've got some ideas for grilled meatloaf, though, so stay tuned.) We're just going to add a few more ingredients to enhance the ground beef, and keep it moist and tender throughout the process.

While your grill is heating up, you can cook up the bacon. One pound should do very nicely. As far as I know, you can't really direct grill bacon. You'll have to fry it a pan. If you have a small cast iron skillet, I suppose you could do this on the grill, but I used my stovetop. Cook on medium heat, turning occasionally, until nice and crispy.

Next, slice up some of your favorite firm cheese, like a sharp cheddar or colby. Colby-Jack, a mixture of Monterey Jack and colby cheese, is a favorite at my house. You'll need one slice for each patty. For this recipe, that's about eight slices.

Now it's time to mix up the hamburger patties.


2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons horseradish mustard (or other favorite dark mustard)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (you can use minced garlic, but for some reason the powder works better in hamburgers)
2 pounds of ground beef (you could use other ground meats, if you prefer)

Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl and then add everything except the meat. Mix thoroughly. Add the ground beef and mix well. You could try using a large spoon, but it's best to get primitive here. Use your hands. Just make sure you wash them first.

Shape the meat into eight patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

When the coals are fully lit and ashing over, spread them out in an even, single layer on the bottom of your grill. Put in the top grill grate and cover, heating it for about 15 minutes. Clean the grill and apply vegetable oil to it with tongs and a folded paper towel, dipped in the oil. Make sure you oil it well.

You want the coals to be “medium” temperature. I always wondered how in the world you were supposed to figure this out. It turns out that “medium” means I can put your hand over the grill (not actually touching the surface ... duh) for about 4 seconds before your hand starts to cook.

Direct grill the hamburgers patties for about 6 to 7 minutes per side for a medium done burger, 8 or 9 minutes for a well done burger.

During the last minute or two of cooking, put a slice of the cheese over the burger, and then top the cheese with a couple of slices of the cooked bacon. Cover the grill and finish cooking. This will help melt the cheese and reheat the bacon.

Stack two patties on a toasted bun with more mustard, catsup, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, onions (grilled tomatoes and onions), or whatever else you like on your burger, and enjoy. Just remember to exercise a little longer the next day to make yourself feel better.


tkangaroo said...

I was in the mood for a good burger the other day, and added feta, garlic, red onion, and spinach with a little red pepper flakes and some other stuff to the ground chuck.

Then I made up a garlic, feta mayo, and we went to town with some grilled wheat buns.

Sometimes you just need a great burger.

John Newman said...

Oh! a feta - spinach burger! Add a little tomato ... yum!