Juicy Lucy Burger – our version is stuffed with cheddar cheese, seasoned with a BBQ dry rub and topped with homemade uncured Maple pork belly bacon. This is one incredible burger!
It’s National Burger Month in May so what better time to share my version of the famous Juicy Lucy Burger. The Juicy Lucy Burger has its origins in Minneapolis, where there has been a long standing rivalry between two well established restaurants, The 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar, both of whom claim to have made the original cheese stuffed burger.
There is a bit of a trick to making a Juicy Lucy burger well. The burgers will have to be well cooked to get the cheese completely melted and oozing, so I generally have the grill at a little lower temperature and cook them longer than normal burgers. As in this great article, with plenty of assembly instruction, from The Burger Lab over at Serious Eats I also coarsely grind my own chuck (blade) roast to make the burgers. The difference in the favour of the ground chuck roast vs “off the shelf” finer ground beef is night and day in my opinion. Whenever chuck roast is on sale now, I always grind some for burgers. It really does give burgers a much deeper, beefier flavour. If you don’t have a meat grinder at home, ask your butcher to grind it for you but be sure to specify coarse grind.
You can choose whatever cheese you like to stuff into these burgers. I’ve used cheddar here but blue cheese is a real favourite of mine too. I think beef and blue cheese is a natural comnination but you can use any cheese you like that melts well.
These burgers are, by necessity on the large side. I use a full 8oz of beef in my burgers but the smaller appetites in our household have been known to share one between two people. Using a little less cheese at the centre, you should be able to get away with using 6 ounces of beef as well for a smaller burger.
For this burger, I put my recent success with making uncured Homemade Maple Bacon to good use in topping the burger along with some fresh ripe tomatoes and crisp lettuce. It’s a burger that needs practically nothing else, especially since it is so well seasoned with my versatile Smokin’ Summer Spice BBQ Dry Rub.
One word of warning: It is ALWAYS advisable to cut a slit in the top of the burger when cooked before serving. This will release the pressure inside the cheese pocket so that it doesn’t burst open. That cheese can get pretty hot in there.
- 2 lbs coarsely ground beef chuck
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese
- Smokin Summer Spice Dry Rub
- Homemade Maple Bacon or good smoked bacon
- 4 kaiser rolls or soft burger buns
- fresh sliced tomatoes
- leaves fresh lettuce
Weigh all the beef onto 4 ounce portions at the beginning and flatten them to about a 5 inch disk between two pieces of plastic wrap.
Cut the cheese into about a 3x3 inch shape and place in the centre of four of the flattened patties.
Cover the cheese with the other 4 patties, ensuring that no air is trapped around the cheese. Pinch the edges of the patties together all around the perimeter, blending the two meat portions together as much as possible. Lay the cheese filled patties on a flat surface and shape by hand into an even thickness. The parties should still be 4 1/4 to 5 inches in diameter wen fully formed.
Very lightly season with salt before dusting each patty well with the Summer Spice rub. (There is a little salt in the rub, so don't overdo the salt seasoning.)
Grill on medium to medium low heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Pierce a 1 inch slit in the top of the cooked burger before serving. (See Note)
Serve on toasted Kaiser Rolls with the maple bacon, tomatoes and lettuce.
One word of warning: It is ALWAYS advisable to cut a slit in the top of the burger when cooked before serving. This will release the pressure inside the cheese pocket so that it doesn't burst open. That cheese can get pretty hot in there.