Thursday, May 26, 2016

Burger Month: Poblano and Pimento Cheese Sliders with Home Cured Bacon

May is National Burger Month and Kita over at Girl Carnivore has rounded up a great cadre of burgers for every day of the month from food bloggers across the interwebs thingy.  Probably despite her best judgement, Kita invited me to contribute again this year.

I decided to go pub style this year with a pimento cheese burger but put a few special twists on it. First of all, my pimento cheese, really isn't pimento cheese.  I find the jarred pimentos lacking in flavor so I made a "fire roasted poblano and red bell pepper cheese spread sort of like pimento cheese".  You can see why I still just call it pimento cheese.  

I also upped the bacon ante by curing and smoking my own bacon.  I realize that not many people are going to bother with making their own bacon so I won't make it a part of the recipe.  But you really should try it some time.  I did a version of Chris Lilly's Pepper Maple Bacon except we made Pepper Honey Bacon.  Chris' right hand man at Big Bob Gibson's BBQ is Ken Hess who also happens to be a beekeeper and I had some honey from his Jive Hive, so I used it.  

how to cure and smoke bacon at home, big green egg bacon, kamado bacon
This is a section of a 12lb pork belly that we got from Willy's Butcher Shop in Knoxville.  I smoked it on a ceramic kamado grill (Big Green Egg this time) with some hickory wood.

Kamado Joe bacon, primo bacon, vision bacon, grilldome bacon
I smoked it to an internal temperature of 155°f.  For full details, I have previously done a post on How I Smoke Bacon on a Kamado Grill. 
After smoking, I chilled the bacon for 24 hours to make it easier to slice.  Plus I think it needs a rest after smoking.  I sliced most of it but cubed the end pieces to use as seasoning in things like pinto beans, collard greens, and things like that. 
If you don't want to cure the bacon at home, see if you can find Benton's Bacon.  It's well known in upper echelon restaurants.  It's made here locally using old fashion techniques (they use a real smokehouse, not flash smoking slices or injecting smoke solutions like commercial bacon).  For the burger seasoning, I used a simple rub of 4 parts coarse black pepper, 3 parts Kosher salt, and 2 parts granulated garlic.

pub style sliders burger at home

Poblano and Pimento Cheese Sliders with Pepper Honey Bacon

Published 05/26/16


  • 24 ounces ground beef
  • 4 pretzel slider buns
  • 1.5 teaspoons burger seasoning
  • 4 slices pepper honey bacon, halved
For the sort of pimento cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fire roasted poblano peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon season salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon BBQ rub
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ancho chile
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper


  1. Char a red bell pepper and a poblano chile on a hot grill.  Here's how to fire roast a chile pepper.  
  2. Mix together pimento cheese ingredients together in a large bowl until it is well blended together.  Allow to chill for at least 1 hour before using.
  3. Cook bacon until crispy and set aside.
  4. Divide the ground beef into six 3-ounce portions and form them into 3" patties.
  5. Set up your grill for direct heat and pre-heat it to 450°f.
  6. Just before putting the burgers on the grill, lightly oil the grill grates and season the patties on both sides with whatever burger seasoning you wish to use.  
  7. Grill the burgers for 4 minutes a side and remove from the grill.  Note:  I don't like medium rare burgers unless I ground the meat myself.  If you choose to do so, shorten the cook times.
  8. Assemble the burgers with a burger on the bottom bun topped with a spoonful of the pimento cheese, another pattie, the bacon and of course, the top bun.  
Yield: 4 sliders that won't leave you hungry

Fresh vegetables always taste better. 

Chop off the butt end, slice it open and scrape out the insides.

A grapefruit spoon is a grate tool for lightly scraping off the charred skin.

The roasted chiles really boost the flavor of pimento cheese.  Of course homemade pimento cheese isn't the weird day-glow orange color that you see in most store bought versions.

We're still working on the tater tot recipe but we took shredded potatoes, dried onion, pepper, salt, parsley and garlic and mixed it with a batter of flour, egg, and beer.  

We deep fried the tots until golden, about 5-6 minutes.

I didn't season the burgers until immediately before they go onto the grill.

I cooked these on the first kamado I ever got, my first large BGE.  

Typically I go about 4 minutes per side but what I'm really watching for is to see the burgers start to expel juice out of the top like this.  That tells me they are ready to flip.

Burgers finishing up on the grill.
Despite having a small footprint, these sliders have over a third pound of beef so they won't leave you hungry!

You can check out all of the other epic burger ideas by clicking on the pictures at Girl Carnivore. Kita has also set up a great selection of prizes for giveaways.  The following are this week's giveaways.

  • Swissmar Glow 7PC Fondue Set ($15.00)
  • American Lamb
  • Cabot cheesebox
  • Cert Angus Beef
  • Charbroil Grill
  • Cowboy Charcoal Samplers
  • cutting board
  • GrillMasters Club Box

Where this epic burger creation is my own for #BurgerMonth 2016, I would love to thank American Lamb Board, Char-broil, Cowboy Charcoal, Swissmar, Cabot

Enter the giveaway below on Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where this epic burger creation is my own for #BurgerMonth 2016, I would love to thank American Lamb Board, Char-broil, Cowboy Charcoal, Swissmar, Cabot