Ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger

Ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger

Sometimes, there’s nothing as delicious and indulgent as an amazing cheeseburger. I take my burgers to the next level by making the ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger, topping cheesy patties with candied bacon, homemade onion rings, and griddled pulled pork. Top generously with lots of Head Country BBQ sauce and you’ve got the ultimate restaurant-style burger at home.

Ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger
Ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger

This recipe seems long—but the two homemade additions to this recipe really take it to the next level. You could cut corners and skip the homemade onion rings (using frozen ones) and use plain bacon, but once in a while, the ultimate decadence cannot be beat.

Both the onion rings and the bacon can be made ahead—up to two hours before you assemble the burgers. I use Head Country products in both the onion ring and bacon recipes, which make for a BBQ trifecta when combined with the burgers and pulled pork.

Head Country Bar-B-Q makes an amazing slate of sauces and rubs that can meet the desires of any palate. I’m particularly fond of the apple habanero flavor on ribs and wings, but found that the hickory smoke really imparts that traditional and nostalgic BBQ flavor on your foods. By using some of the spicy sauce on the candied bacon and a bunch (I mean a lot!) of the hickory smoke on the burger, you get an amazing, juicy burger that will soon become a family favorite.


Onion Rings
Homemade Onion Rings

Homemade onion rings

  • 1 sweet yellow or white onion, sliced in ¾ inch rings
  • 1 cup buttermilk or ¾ cup milk mixed with ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Salt, pepper and a BBQ rub for seasoning
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • A deep-sided cast iron Dutch oven pan

Begin by peeling and slicing onion into ¾ inch thick rings. Separate into individual pieces. Submerge onion slices in buttermilk or milk/sour cream mixture. Allow to soak for 30 minutes or more.

Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl mix flour and baking powder with salt and pepper and BBQ rub.

Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven pan until very hot. A thermometer placed in the oil should read 350* or higher. Prepare a plate or tray with layers of paper towel for draining fried onion rings.

When oil is hot, mix ½ of buttermilk or milk/sour cream mixture (poured off from onion rings) with whisked egg.

 To cook, begin by removing onion rings from milk mixture, tossing in seasoned flour, dipping again in egg/milk mixture and returning to seasoned flour.

Fry in prepared oil until golden brown, turning once. You can fry a few at a time, cooking in batches.

When golden brown, drain to paper towel and immediately season with salt and/or BBQ rub. Set aside.

Candied Bacon
Candied Bacon

Candied bacon

Preheat grill or oven to 375*. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, BBQ sauce, brown sugar and pepper flakes until it creates a thick paste. Arrange bacon slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon paste on bacon slices, spreading evenly.

Bake in grill or oven until cooked through and just crispy- about 15 minutes. Check regularly to prevent burning. Remove from pan and set aside. 

Burger assembly (makes 2 burgers)

  • 1 pound of high-quality ground beef
  • 2 brioche burger buns
  • 4 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 1 cup pulled pork (leftover pulled pork freezes really well!)
  • 4 homemade onion rings
  • 4 slices candied bacon
  • Head Country Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce

Form beef into four patties. Season with your favorite rub.

Preheat grill with cast iron insert on high heat.

When pan is hot, cook burgers for about 4 minutes per side, flipping once, until cooked to your preferred doneness. I cook mine to medium- about 145* internal temperature. Top with cheese until just melted.

Meanwhile, place pulled pork on griddle and heat through.  Toast buns until golden brown.

Assemble the burgers by layering two burger patties on a bun, topped with two bacon slices, two onion rings, and a handful of heated pulled pork.

Top generously with Head Country Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce and top bun.

Onion Rings

Homemade Onion Rings

These homemade onion rings are tender in the center and have an amazing crispy crunch!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish

Equipment

  • A deep-sided cast iron Dutch oven pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sweet yellow or white onion sliced in ¾ inch rings
  • 1 cup buttermilk or ¾ cup milk mixed with ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • salt, pepper and a BBQ rub for seasoning
  • 2 cups vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • Begin by peeling and slicing onion into ¾ inch thick rings. Separate into individual pieces.
  • Submerge onion slices in buttermilk or milk/sour cream mixture. Allow to soak for 30 minutes or more.
  • Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl mix flour and baking powder with salt and pepper and BBQ rub.
  • Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven pan until very hot. A thermometer placed in the oil should read 350* or higher.
  • Prepare a plate or tray with layers of paper towel for draining fried onion rings.
  • Prepare a plate or tray with layers of paper towel for draining fried onion rings.
  • To cook, begin by removing onion rings from milk mixture, tossing in seasoned flour, dipping again in egg/milk mixture and returning to seasoned flour.
  • Fry in prepared oil until golden brown, turning once. You can fry a few at a time, cooking in batches.
  • When golden brown, drain to paper towel and immediately season with salt and/or BBQ rub. Set aside.
Keyword fried onions, homemade onion ring, onion ring, onions
Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon

Candied bacon is a nice combo of sticky-sweet with a good spicy kick from red pepper flakes. Perfect for a sandwich or burger, to accompany breakfast or just as an indulgent snack.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course meat, Side Dish

Equipment

  • A smoker grill or oven
  • A rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • ¼ cup Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup we used a ghost pepper infused maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat grill or oven to 375°.
  • In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar and pepper flakes and mix until a thick paste is formed.
  • Arrange bacon slices on baking sheet and spoon paste on bacon slices, spreading evenly.
  • Bake in grill or oven until cooked through and just crispy- about 15 minutes.
  • Check regularly to prevent burning- it will be done quickly.
  • Remove from pan, drain on paper towel, and set aside.
Keyword bacon, candied bacon
Ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger

Ultimate BBQ Cheeseburger

A decadent, over-the-top cheeseburger that brings together some of our favorite flavors!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Burger, Main Course

Equipment

  • A smoker or grill with a cast iron pan or griddle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound high-quality ground beef
  • 2 brioche burger buns
  • 4 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 1 cup pulled pork leftover pulled pork freezes really well
  • 4 homemade onion rings see recipe in this post
  • 4 slices candied bacon see recipe in this post
  • ½ cup Head Country Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce

Instructions
 

  • Form beef into four patties. Season with your favorite rub.
  • Preheat grill with cast iron insert on high heat.
  • When pan is hot, cook burgers for about 4 minutes per side,flipping once, until cooked to your preferred doneness. I cook mine to medium-about 145° internal temperature. Top with cheese until just melted.
  • Meanwhile, place pulled pork on griddle and heat through.  Toast buns until golden brown.
  • Assemble the burgers by layering two burger patties on a bun, topped with two bacon slices, two onion rings, and a handful of heated pulled pork.
  • Top generously with Head Country Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce and top bun.
Keyword BBQ cheeseburger, burger, cheeseburger, ultimate cheeseburger
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