Some friends and I were getting ready for our pre-game football grill out one Saturday and we started to discuss what the perfect burger would have in it and on it. We all came up with different items but there were some common threads: 80% Ground Beef, sharp and pepper jack cheese, and bacon. Now that is an All-American combo! One of my friends then suggested, “Let’s put the bacon and cheese on the inside of the burger.” “Brilliant!” We went on to create the “Outside-In Burger” and I wanted to share the juicy goodness with you!
This burger has transformed the way I make my burgers. Everyone who has tried these burgers cannot get enough and ask for the recipe as soon as they take their first bite. That is the sign of GOOD FOOD!
If you want to spice up your grilling and impress the crowd here is the way to do it. I know it sounds like a heart attack in the waiting, but it is “Oh so good!” I am salivating now just thinking about them. I cook for a crowd, so you might need to scale down the ingredients a bit.
- 4 to 5 lbs. ground sirloin, chuck or beef 80% (I know you health nuts are having a stroke right now, but 80% for a burger is perfect fat content for flavoring.)
- 16 Kaiser Roll Hamburger Buns (Publix) (The bread is just as important as the burger)
- 2lbs Sargento Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded (You can use what you like here)
- 1 Bag of Hormel Black Label Real Bacon Bites
- 1 bottle Mr. Pilleteri’s Marinade (I think Mr. P’s is the best, but you can sub your own here.)
- Lawery’s Garlic Salt
- Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- Pilleteri’s Original Mild Seasoning
- Pilleteri’s Cajun Spice
- Barbecue Sauce
(A little word to the wise about these spices… If you use too much, the burgers will be too hot for most. Remember that a little goes a long way. My wife and kids hate spicy foods but love these burgers. They have a kick to them, but it isn’t overpowering. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the spices. Keep notes and use the experience of others to help minimize your mistakes.)
Place Ground Beef in a large bowl. Add the 2lbs of sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, and 2 table spoons of barbecue sauce. Hand-mix until all the ingredients are mixed well. You are now ready to start creating the patties.
I use two large Pyrex cooking pans to marinate my burgers. I use my hands to create the patties. You can use the plastic lid off of a sour cream container or any other lid close to that size. It really helps if you are a bit unsure of your patty making skills. Grab the desired amount and start forming your patties, making sure they are not too thin and not too thick because you want them to cook evenly. As I make each patty I place them in my Pyrex dish and complete each step until I have 12-16 patties. Once I have completed this step it is time too season.
Seasoning the burgers is an art. You don’t want to season too late or too early. I start the marinade process before I fire up my grill. Start by drizzling the Mr. Pilleteri’s Marinade over the burgers. Drizzle enough to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Don’t pour too much you are just using this as a light adhesive for your dry spices. I don’t measure my spices. I just drizzle what I feel is enough over the patties. As a rule of thumb, don’t put too much salt because your marinade and garlic salt will add saltiness to the burgers. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the patties. Next add the garlic salt, creole seasoning, Pilleteri’s Original Seasoning, and Mr. P’s Cajun Seasoning. Lightly coat each patty with these dry ingredients and then flip them in the marinade bath. Flip the burgers at least 2 times, for a total of 4 times. Now leave them on the counter to soak and go fire up that grill.
Warm up your grill. I like to start my gas grill on high. I let all the burners warm-up on high for about 5 to 8 minutes. This allows my grills to get warm and to burn off anything left on them from my last venture. This also allows my burgers time to marinate and soak up all those wonderful spices. Once the grill is warmed up, lower it down to a medium-low heat. Dead center of medium and low. Now this is when I bring those juicy burgers out and slap them on the grill. Can you hear it? Yeah the sweet sound of the heat searing those juices into your burger. Sealing it for your delight. Allow your burgers to cook on one side for about 3.5 to 5 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH THEM BEFORE THIS or you will have meat that crumbles and sticks to the grill. While you wait, sit back and enjoy the flames with your drink of choice. There will be plenty because the bacon, cheese and ground beef can create quite the grease fire. (Have a little spray bottle filled with water handy just in case those flames get too high.)
Flip the burgers after 5 minutes. Once you flip them you should see those wonderful grill marks on each patty. Repeat the same steps on this side of the patty. Keep an eye on the flames and kick back and shoot the bull with your buddies who are no doubt salivating at the site of your grilling masterpiece. (If you would like your burgers medium rare, you should take the burgers off here after 4 minutes. If you like your burger a little more done, add a minute to a minute and a half of cooking time for whatever your desired temp is for your burger. I prefer medium to medium well. Also a great gadget to have is a meat thermometer. Stick that probe in one burger and there is no guessing.)
Remove all burgers from grill and onto a clean plate. Rest the burgers inside for about 8 to 10 minutes. This will give you time to get all the buns and condiments out for your guests. If you would like to add cheese to some or all of the burgers this is where you would do it. Place cheese on top of the burgers and put them back on the grill. Close the lid and in 30 seconds or less you will have melted cheese on your burger. (I prefer Boar’s Head brand cheese. You can get any kind you prefer: American, Cheddar, Munster, etc…I prefer Pepper Jack with these burgers. It gives it an extra kick.)
Plate those burgers and serve. Remember just as important as the burger is the bun. The bread makes a sandwich 90% of the time. Now it’s time to fix it the way you like it. Add as many toppings as you like. I prefer a slice of tomato, nice green leaf of Romaine lettuce, Heinz Ketchup and Heinz Mustard.
You are ready to chow on burgers and wow your guests. These burgers will be a guaranteed hit!