This post is in partnership with Cache Valley Cheese
As a kid, my dad wasn’t much of a griller. He was more of the nacho-making guy. Woman-ing the grill was more my mom’s expertise, and let me tell you, she had her burger game down.
Now, as an adult, with not just one, but two grills ready to be fired up at a moment’s notice, my husband and I share the man/woman-ing of the grill. When it’s his turn, you’re likely to see this ribeye steak action happen in all the best grilling ways. When it’s my turn, you’ll usually see me trying out new things like grilled cauliflower steaks, you know, for those times calling for a bit lighter flare.
But where we always meet in the middle is when it comes to grilling burgers, and when it comes to burgers we absolutely do not discriminate. Bison. Turkey. Chicken. You name it, if we can shape it into a patty, we’ll grill it.
But when it comes down to it, there’s nothing more memory-making than a solid, trusty, old fashion-ed beefy burger topped with always-good cheddar cheese. That is, until you double down and load the patty with even more flavor thanks to bombs of melty cheddar cheese chunks and salty bacon bites. I swear, can I ever do anything just the standard way?
After one bite of this burger the answer is obvious: No, and please never do.
In several ways this burger is just a basic burger. I didn’t use a fancy blend of meats, or add a lot of binders and flavor-ers like you see in some hamburger recipes that quickly morph the All-American burger into looking more like Mom’s Sunday night meatloaf (this one’s my fave!).
Instead, I use 80% ground chuck beef (I like the extra fat content to keep the burger really juicy), and simple salt and pepper for seasonings.
Where the kicker for this burger recipe comes in is in adding diced cheddar cheese and bacon to the burger mix, giving bits of bacon in every bite with melty, creamy cheddar bursts right alongside.
Just like my mom did when we were kids, I use Cache Valley Creamery’s Cheddar Cheese on my burgers because it’s the high-quality cheese that’s been made since 1937, and so naturally I feel good feeding it to my family, too. I use medium cheddar cheese for a more intense cheese flavor and an extra boost of high-quality calcium. Ah, who am I kidding? The calcium is just a bonus, it’s really all about how much better creamy, melty cheese makes any burger.
But we don’t stop with just the chunks of cheese built into these burger babies. I’ve doubled the cheese factor by topping mine with slices of Cache Valley Creamery’s American Singles. This is the secret that makes these totally irresistible.
Along with the cheddar chunks I added diced bacon to my burger mix that I cooked half way in a skillet on my grill’s sideburner, then chopped it up and mixed it in. That way, some of the fat is rendered off of the bacon so you don’t end up with greasy grill flare-ups, but the bacon flavor still seeps into the burger.
Because we’re all about layering the bacon flavor, the caramelized onions are then cooked in the reserved bacon fat to become sweet, caramelized onions. I cook the onions in the same pan as I did the bacon, add a pat of butter to add just a bit more creaminess.
When forming your burgers, always use a light touch so the meat doesn’t become overworked resulting in a tough burger. Because these burgers are going on the grill and also have the bacon and cheddar added in, you’ll want them to be at least 3/4-inch in thickness so they don’t fall apart when flipping. Once your burger’s been shaped, make an indent with your finger in the top of the burger so it doesn’t bulge or dome.
Along with bacon-rendered caramelized onions, I top my burgers with standard lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Always more pickles! For burgers I LOVE the cheap hamburger chips you find at diners and fast food joints.
While you could certainly top your burgers with ketchup and mustard, I mix up a batch of fry sauce that compliments the bacon and in no way distracts from our beefy, cheesy bites. If you like lots of sauce, you may want to consider doubling it. It’s really that dippably good.
I always cook my burgers on a hot grill, between 450°F and 550°F. Place the patties on the grates and let them cook, undisturbed until they release from the grill and are ready to flip. If they are sticking to the grates, a crust hasn’t formed and they aren’t quite ready.
Below are suggested cooking times for grilling beef burgers:
- Medium Rare (130-135° F): Grill for 3 minutes, flip, grill for 4 more minutes.
- Medium (135-150° F): Grill for 3 minutes, flip, grill for 5 more minutes.
- Medium Well (150-165° F): Grill for 3 minutes, flip, grill for 6 more minutes.
- Well Done (165° F and up): Grill for 3 minutes, flip, grill for 7 more minutes.
Remember that cooking time will vary depending on the grill’s temperature and the thickness of the patties. Always use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat to determine the correct temperature.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 3 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 pounds 80% ground chuck beef
- 4 ounces (about ½ cup) diced Cache Valley Dairy medium cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning the onions to taste
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the onions to taste
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 6 brioche or white buns
- 6 Cache Valley Dairy American cheese slices
- Sliced tomato, pickles, and lettuce
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce (optional)
- In a medium to large skillet (I use cast iron), cook your bacon over medium high heat, turning once or twice until half-way cooked, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the bacon strips to a cutting board and reserve the bacon renderings in the pan and set aside. Chop the bacon into diced pieces and add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef and diced cheddar cheese. Season with the black pepper and kosher salt, and then use your hands with a light touch to gently mix together. Take a large handful of meat, about 6 to 7 ounces, and form a ball in your hands. Form the meat into patties about ¾-inch thick and press your thumb into the center of the patty to form a dimple to keep it from doming when cooked. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or make ahead and refrigerate overnight.
- Prepare and preheat your grill on high.
- While the grill is heating, heat the reserved bacon renderings over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for about 10 more minutes or until soft and caramelized, lower the heat to simmer and keep warm, or remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Spread the remaining butter on the cut side of the buns and set aside.
- When the grill is hot (at least 450°F), place the burgers on the grates and cook for 3-5 minutes, undisturbed, then flip, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the internal temperature is 135°F for a medium-done hamburger. Add a slice of the American cheese to each burger and cook just until the cheese melts. Transfer to a platter and let rest for about 5 minutes while you toast the buns on the grill grates.
- Mix the mayonnaise with the ketchup and if you’d like a bit of BBQ sauce. Spread the sauce on the bottom and tops of the buns with the cheeseburgers and garnish with lettuce, tomato, pickles and the caramelized onion.
Cache Valley dairy products are sold at retailers throughout Utah, including Walmart, Smith’s, Macey’s, Fresh Market, Harmon’s and more. Learn more about Cache Valley products and history here or on Facebook or Instagram.
Hey, thanks for stopping by, make it a great day and grill something cheesy, and good.
This post is in partnership with Cache Valley Cheese. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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