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I want to make unique and hopefully really awesome bacon cheeseburgers tonight.

If I had been thinking I would have purchased cuts of meat to grind myself, possibly with the cooked bacon, but what I have is a pound of grocery store ground chuck. I also have a pound of good, but typical American bacon.

I want to make the bacon a part of the burger patty instead of laying strips on top. I'm considering a couple of ways to do it. Obviously one way is just to cook, drain, cool and crumble the bacon and mix it with the beef when I make patties. If I do that, how much bacon can I get into the patty and still keep the patty intact while frying? I'd appreciate any good tips or caveats.

The way I'd LIKE to do it (if it works as I envision), is to par-cook the bacon and press the cut to size and cooled strips onto both sides of the patties before frying. I've learned to handle and press the beef as little as possible to make good burgers, so what could I do to make the bacon "stick"? What I'd like to achieve is the bacon crisping and forming a kind of crust around the medium to medium rare burger.

I plan to cook the burgers in a cast-iron skillet, melting sharp cheddar on top.

EDIT: Joe's answer below got my mind whirring. I'm looking for the bacon cheeseburgers to be "unique and hopefully really awesome", and bacon lends itself to playfulness, so "off the wall" ideas are totally welcome.

Any advice?

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I recently saw a commercial for something I would like to try (but haven't) Stufz Burger Press It looks like a 'neat idea' but I'm skeptical... –  Cos Callis Feb 21 at 5:47
    
Heehee, those do look like fun. A bit gimmicky, but fun. :) –  Jolenealaska Feb 21 at 7:06
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I am a luddite on this one. Part of the pleasure of a bacon burger is the textural contrast of the shatteringly crispy bacon topping and the patty. You will lose that if you put the bacon inside the patty. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 21 at 13:29
    
@SAJ14SAJ Agreed. I think significant amounts of bacon flavor will be lost unless you use lot, not to mention the satisfying chew/crunch. –  AlexMA Feb 27 at 19:30

3 Answers 3

I think the options you describe are very manageable. We have two kinds of bacon burgers where I live (apart from the regular piece of bacon loosely on top of a patty):

  • the bacon is cooked, then crumbled/chopped finely and mixed in with the raw mince meat. You can choose how large you want your bacon chunks to be.
  • the bacon is raw, and wrapped around a patty. If you wrap it well (with lots of overlap), the bacon stays in place. Be careful, as bacon can shrink a whole lot. If you want to be extra safe, you can use a toothpick to hold everything in place.
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One possibility is to simmer (boil?) the bacon in water. You can then cook it far enough that you don't have to worry about undercooked pork inside your burger, but you can stop it before it's totally crispy, drain it, chop it up, and then mix that in with your ground beef.

(I admit it, I've seen way to many episodes of 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives' ... someone used this, then took a mass of par-boiled bacon, formed it into a patty, and cooked that up to place on top of the burger)

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Interesting idea! Especially the patty mound on top. Hmmm... A crazy yet possibly brilliant idea is forming. Be sure to check back here, I may have really fun pictures in a day or so. :) –  Jolenealaska Feb 21 at 3:08

The closest I've come to doing this is making bacon mashed potatoes lol, but I have had burgers with pieces of bacon and cheese in the mix (though it was possibly soy bacon).

I would say that cooking it all the way and then crumbling into the patty mixture is your best bet. If you're worried about the patty holding together with mounds of delicious bacon inside, consider adding an egg to your beef mixture (my preferred method). Unfortunately, I can't guarantee that the bacon would stay crisp with this preparation.

If you line the patty with the par-cooked bacon, you'll miss out on the mallard reaction with the beef (i.e., the beef wont char as well where the bacon is).

Hence, the best way to guarantee the most flavor out of your burger and bacon is to cook them separately. Here's an idea I came up with that I'm dying to try:

Step 1) Using half-strips of bacon, create a patty by criss-crossing the bacon strips. Cook your bacon patty on a flat-top griddle until both sides are crispy and awesome.

Step 2) Take 2 mounds of your seasoned ground beef and smash them onto the flat top. You may wish to wait until the bacon is cooked so that you can cook the burgers in the bacon grease. I can't be held liable for a heart attack/stroke.

Step 3) Once your two burgers and bacon patty are cooked, assemble your sandwich! Bottom Bun -> Burger #1 -> Bacon Patty -> Pepperjack and other fixins -> Burger #2 -> Top Bun.

Step 4) Om nom nom

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That's funny, cause it's very much like what I'm about to do. My dinner guest for last night postponed until tonight, so I've had another day to think about it. By George, I think I've got it. Hopefully I'm just a few hours from the most stupendous burgers ever! :) –  Jolenealaska Feb 21 at 20:51
    
@Jolenealaska Looking forward to pictures added to this post lol –  TonyArra Feb 21 at 20:56

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