Star Ingredient: ground beef
Flavor Affinities: BACON + CHEDDAR + APPLE
Tastes: sweet and sour meets savory
Textures: saucy and chewy
Wisdom: To build layers of flavor, there’s apple to contrast the meatiness of beef on several levels; there’s apple smoked bacon, sliced green apple, and apple barbecue sauce.
Get ready to sink your teeth into the juiciest grilled burger of your life. We are talking about an epic hamburger today, well cheeseburger to be exact, and we’re going all Texas style. This burger has everything: cheddar cheese, apple smoked bacon, easy apple barbecue sauce, and crisp slices of green apple, lettuce, and onion — all wedged ceremoniously between a brioche bun.
This is the perfect contrast of savory and light because green apple is so crispy and sour, and you know a grilled cheeseburger is all kinds of savory deliciousness. Do you have Memorial Day plans this weekend? I don’t know about you, but any holiday that involves barbecue or grilled food is just fine in my book.
How to Make an Epic Texas BBQ Burger
Grill That Burger (bacon too)
For the best tasting burger, I recommend grilling over coal or wood. If you have a gas grill, that’s the next best thing. I like to get the grill nice and hot, and brush the grill grates; I swear by these non-bristle grill brushes because they are way safer (you never want to accidentally eat a piece of wire).
Shape the beef patties into flat pancakes about 3/4″ thick. Try to get them as close to the same size as possible. Aim for a size larger than the bun size because they will shrink up a bit, and you want every bite to be both bun and beef.
Season both sides generously with kosher salt and pepper. Then sear each side, turning only once to develop grill marks – I like to use this giant grill spatula. Once you flip the burger, add a slice of cheddar cheese, and it will get all gooey and delicious. I like to cook with the grill lid closed, so be sure to lower the heat to medium or medium-low to prevent over-cooking.
You never want the flame high enough to touch the meat directly. Keep the flame well below the burger because fire on meat does not taste good.
Crispy Bacon Tips
While the burgers grill, pan fry the apple smoked bacon in a saute pan over medium-low heat or just throw them on the grill next to the burgers. Use a paper towel to blot away excess lard as this can get in the way of crispy bacon. Turn the bacon over and continue to cook until golden and crispy (note that bacon continues to firm up a bit as it cools). Drain on paper towel before serving.
I also want you to consider the merits of roasting bacon in the oven at 350F – a great method for cooking large batches of bacon for a party. You can fill a whole baking sheet tray and it comes out crispy every time.
Apple Barbecue Sauce
This easy apple barbecue sauce takes 5 minutes to make and can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. You can make it ahead and use it to slather over and over again on your grilled burgers. It’s so good!
Don’t forget a cold beer to wash down your salty burger and keep that apple bbq sauce nearby because it’s so good, you might want extra:)
Epic Texas BBQ Bacon Burger
- 1 recipe easy apple barbecue sauce
- 1 pound ground beef 80% lean
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 8 slices apple wood smoked bacon
- 4 oz cheddar cheese sliced
- 1/4 green apple sliced thin for serving
- 1/4 red onion sliced thin for serving
- 8 slices dill pickle
- 4 leaves bibb lettuce for serving
- 4 brioche burger buns
- Preheat the grill for 10 minutes.
- Form the beef into 4 flat rounds approximately 3/4" thick. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Set the patties on the hot grill grates and lower the heat to medium (or medium low) depending on how well your grill retains heat. Lower the lid and check on the patties after 3 minutes.
- Flip once grill marks have developed. Add a slice of cheddar to each burger and cook another 3 minutes or to your desired doneness. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until golden, flip and continue to cook until crispy. Strain on paper towel.
- Serve the cheeseburgers on brioch buns with bacon, pickles, sliced apple, onion, and lettuce. Slather generously with apple barbecue sauce just before serving.
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