This homemade bacon cheeseburger is so satisfying, it’s the one reason why I’ll never go full vegan.
But I don’t push the boundaries of my flexitarian lifestyle for any old burger.
When I make burgers, I don’t mess around. They’ve got to be big, juicy, all-beef, fully loaded and preferably stuffed inside these ridiculously soft, homemade milk buns.
And let’s not forget about the glorious fixings!
If that any of that sounds like your cup of tea, then scroll on my friend…
Anyone can make a burger, but a great burger is hard to come by. Here are my tips to help you make a great bacon cheeseburger.
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1. Choose the Right Burger Beef
This is a no-brainer. The better quality of beef you buy, the better the hamburger. Look for freshly ground beef preferably from a butcher that knows what they’re doing.
Better yet, grind your own.
Ideally, the best burger meat is ground right before grilling for the freshest flavour. If you have a meat grinder at home this will make a far superior burger than any store-bought ground beef.
Another option is to buy the Kitchen-Aid Meat Grinder Attachment. Although they’re not quite as powerful as a full-scale meat grinder, they’re perfect for doing a few burgers at home. Plus, the small attachment won’t take up extra space in your kitchen as a large meat grinder would.
You can find these on Amazon for much less than the price of a meat grinder.
Cheftip: When grinding your own meat, make sure to keep everything cold. Cold meat will grind much better and is more sanitary. You can briefly freeze the grinding attachments and the meat (cut into long strips) in the freezer for 10 minutes to make grinding a breeze.
2. Use Fresh, Soft Buns
The most important rule for a good burger is a good bun.
Without a soft, fluffy bun the burger will be ruined and you might as well make something else. Make your own burger buns for the best results or buy fresh buns.
If buying burger buns, avoid sourdough, tough or chewy buns. Sourdough is great on its own but tends to be a little too chewy in a burger bun.
3. High Fat Content
A lot of people are scared of fat, but remember that fat equals flavour.
A good burger must have 15-25% fat content to be juicy and delicious. This can be anything from beef tallow, beef fat trim, dry-aged beef fat or even bacon. Ask your butcher to grind some fat into the meat and you’ll have a great burger.
If you can’t find a butcher with a grinder, then you can also use a technique called larding.
Larding is an old technique where you add fat to meat usually by stuffing.
In the case of these burgers, I cut a small cube of butter and stuff it in the middle of the patty while forming them. As the burger cooks, the butter will melt into the meat providing a little flavour boost.
4. Don’t Make a Meatloaf
The best burgers are made with high-quality 100% beef with nothing else added, (except salt of course!).
I see people sometimes add breadcrumbs and eggs to the hamburger mix – please stop doing this! It’s totally not needed and your patty will start to taste more like meatloaf than a burger.
I prefer to not add any spices or even herbs because I want the full flavour of the beef.
5. Saucin’ Up the Bacon Cheeseburger
Don’t forget about the sauce! A good sauce is important to really tie everything together.
Here are a few ideas:
- Spicy mayo
- Homemade BBQ sauce
- Homemade Copycat Mac Sauce
- Homemade White BBQ Sauce (Made in 5 minutes or less)
Should Your Burger Be Fully Cooked?
Some people like to cook their hamburgers like a steak and serve it a little bit pink. Do this at your own risk as it’s still possible to get food poisoning from undercooked meat.
Personally, I like a medium-cooked burger but only from chefs or restaurants that I trust. I’m only willing to take that risk from a clean establishment that grinds their meat fresh.
If you’re making burgers with supermarket meat, I would recommend cooking the burger fully because you don’t know how old the beef is, or when it was ground.
But Why Can a Steak be Undercooked?
A steak can be served pink because there is less chance that bacteria can reach the inside of the meat. On the other hand, a burger is ground with air mixed in during the grinding process, meaning a higher chance of adding dangerous bacteria.
Undercook burgers at your own risk. The USDA recommends cooking ground meat to a minimum of 160°F and washing your hands after touching the raw meat.
It’s Bacon Cheeseburger Time
Alright, so now you’re more than ready to make these awesome bacon cheeseburgers. If you think I’ve missed anything or have any questions feel free to comment below.
- Baking trays for the buns
- Brush for the egg wash
- 1 Burger bun recipe Can be made in one day
For the Burgers
- 1 kg ground beef preferably chuck and brisket
- 6 small butter cubes a little bit smaller than in the picture
- 3 whole tomatoes cored
- ½ kg button mushrooms
- 12 slices bacon
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- 6 pieces boston bib lettuce or iceberg lettuce
- 2 whole pickles sliced thin
- 1 whole egg whisked with a splash of cold water
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 recipe big mac sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Season the burgers generously with salt and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Roll the burgers into balls first, then stuff the butter cubes in the middle. Make the cubes about ½ as small as pictured.
- Shape the burgers with clean hands into burger patties. Make sure the butter is completely covered by the meat.
- Get all the other ingredients ready to go. Fry the bacon until crispy and then cook the mushrooms in the bacon fat. Make the mac sauce. Slice the cheese, pickles, tomatoes, and pick the lettuce. Have everything ready to go so when the burgers are ready, you are ready.
- Fire up the BBQ and grill the burgers over medium high heat. Quarter turn once, then flip, then quarter turn again. This takes about 10-15 minutes in total.
- Once the burgers are almost ready add the cheese and bacon. Cook to 160°F/71°C.Cut the burger buns in half, brush them with some butter and give them a quick toast on the grill.
- On the top of the bun add the sauces, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. On the bottom put the burger with the cheese, bacon and top with mushrooms. You may need to use a toothpick to hold these together. Enjoy!