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3 Ways to Spice up Burger Party

Posted by Chef Perry Perkins on

3 Ways to Spice up Burger Party

~Chef Perry Perkins~

Burgers are my favorite lunch to grill over the coals of my Caja china, while dinner is roasting inside (plus, I'm cheap, and hate the ide of wasting those beautiful glowing coals by not grilling SOMETHING over them, lol).

Now, there's not a thing wrong with the good old-fashioned American Cheeseburger, in fact, it's awesome, but if you feel like expanding your horizons just a bit, here are my three favorite "gourmet" burger styles.

All the patties are prepped and grilled the same way, so it's easy to make a big batch of one recipes, or let your guests choose which style they want to try.

4 “Better Burger” Tips:

  • 80/20 ground beef
  • Chill patties 15 minutes, after forming
  • Season AFTER grilling (except salt)
  • Toast buns for flavor and burger stability
  • I like to sear my burgers REALLY close to the fire, so I flip my top grill(s) over so that the grates are resting directly on the coals. You can also “re-purpose” an old flat grate from another type of grill. Works great!

The Burger Patty:

Form beef into four (6 oz) patties, slightly larger in diameter that the buns, and season generously with salt just before placing burgers on grill.

Grill burgers for 4 minutes, flip, sprinkle generously with black pepper and grill for 3 more minutes.

Remove burgers from the grill and rest 10 minutes, tented loosely with foil.

Bacon & Blue

  • 1-1/3 pounds le

    an ground beef (80/20% lean)

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 8 slices of thick bacon, cooked crisp.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted on grill.
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced

Combine the cream cheese, blue cheese and half of the bacon (chopped). Set aside at room temp.

Spread each bottom bun with mayo, and top with lettuce, then tomato.

Grill the patties, and sprinkle each with a little garlic powder, as it comes off the grill, then place on the bottom buns, on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the bacon-cheese spread the top of grilled burger patties.

Top with remaining bacon and buns. Serve.

Fried Onion Bacon Burger

  • 1-1/3 pounds lean ground beef (80/20% lean)
  • 8 slices of thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 LG SWEET onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted on grill.
  • 2 Tbs Yellow Mustard
  • 16 Dill Pickle chips

Lightly toast burger buns.

Fry bacon, and drain on paper towels.

Heat a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet, over medium-high heat. Add onions and season generously with salt.

Fry until the onions are well browned, about 2 minutes, add the cooked, chopped bacon for the last 30 seconds, or so. Immediately spoon the mixture onto the bottom burger buns, and cover with top buns (this allows the onion flavor to steam into the bread.

Grill burgers.

Add burger to bottom bun, then spread the inside of the top bun lightly with yellow mustard.

Serve immediately.

Make 4 singles, or 2 doubles!

Note: For even more of that charred, smoky flavor, cook your onions over indirect heat, on a well-oiled grill.

The Elvis

Nope, it’s not just a gimmick at your favorite burger joint, the savory, umami combination of bacon, and beef, dill pickle, and crunchy peanut butter is out of this world!

  • 1-1/3 pounds lean ground beef (80/20% lean)
  • 8 slices thick Bacon
  • 1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, coarsely ground, to taste
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, split & lightly toasted.
  • 1 Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 16 Dill Pickle chips
  • 8 Tomato slices, thin

Prep you Caja grill top(s) for 2-zone grilling.

Whisk together peanut butter, honey and chipotle powder.

Dredge your bacon in brown sugar, and grill over indirect heat until just starting to crisp (about 10 minutes per side). Set aside and keep warm.

Spread peanut butter mixture on each top bun.

Assemble burger with bacon, onion, pickles, and tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!

Looking hard for a drive in, searching for a corner cafe, where the hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day! ~ Chuck Berry

Rock on!

~Chef Perry

As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.

Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.

His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”

You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at

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