Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburger

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post from anyone, including, but not limited to: Sargento, Food City, Kingsford, PK Grill, or JJ George.  I'm just linking the stuff I paid for and used.

If you follow any burger threads on social media, you know that the trendy thing is towering stacks of half a dozen smash burgers, dripping with cheese.  They look amazing, but for me, they are over-the-top.  I'm not a snake with a jaw that I can un-hinge at will.  

This burger is simple and doesn't look like much.  It doesn't even have a shred of lettuce.  But this was the best burger that I have had in the past couple of years.  It's a straightforward ground chuck patty, a seasoned slice of tomato, grilled onions, aged Gouda, mayo, toasted bun, and sorghum-bourbon bacon.

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburger featuring Sargento's Aged Gouda

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburger

Published 3/24/2020


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh ground chuck
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely ground NMT Beef Rub v.2 (divided) or another beef rub
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices Sargento Aged Gouda cheese
  • 4 slices sweet Vidalia onion
  • 4 slices tomato 
  • 8 slices cooked bacon


  1. Make the burger patties. Form the ground chuck into four 6-ounce patties.  Don't worry, you'll season them later.  Some tips - Keep your beef cold until the last minute.  Wash your hands with cold water before working with the beef. Place your patties back in the fridge for 30 minutes before grilling if you have the time.
  2. Preheat the grill to 450-500f (Medium-High).  Don't rush getting your burgers on the grill.  Make sure it is nice and hot.  If you don't have a grill thermometer, you should only be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grill for 2-3 seconds max.  
  3. Toast the buns and grill the onions.  Place the buns cut side down until toasted, this should just be a few seconds. Place the onion on the grill and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the beef rub.  Cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Grill the burgers.  Lightly oil your cooking grates and place the burgers down.  Season with 1 teaspoon of the beef rub and cook for 3 1/2 minutes.  Flip and grill until done to your desired doneness, about 3 1/2 minutes for medium-well. Top each burger with a slice of cheese about 1 minute before they are done.  I only do medium-rare or medium if I personally ground the meat within the past few hours.
  5. Make the burgers. Season the tomato slices with the last 1/4 teaspoon of seasoning.  Place tomato and onions on the bun bottoms, top with a burger, bacon, and give the bun top a small slather of mayo. 
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hrs. 15 mins.
Cook time: 0 hrs. 20 mins.
Total time: 0 hrs. 35 mins.
Tags: grilling, burgers

Food City grinds their beef fresh several times daily, the key to good burgers.
For good burgers, you want fresh ground beef (chuck, round, beef, etc.). Did you know some places have their beef ground offsite?  Buy your beef at a store that grinds it fresh at least daily if not hourly. My Food City grinds fresh several times a day.  It's fun to do specialized blends of brisket, sirloin flap, short rib, or whatever. I like to do that when I'm grinding my own beef.  But if I'm buying it at the grocery store, I go for fresh ground chuck.
My grill of choice for this cook was my PK Grill.  No specific reason or strategy.  I just felt like using it.  Kamados are my favorite type of grill but I have lots of grills and smokers and like using them all.

I used Kingsford Charcoal Briquetes with Pecan to grill these bacon gouda burgers on the PK Grill.
I used Kingsford Pecan briquettes, in part, because I like pecan with beef but mainly because the store had the small bags on sale for $4. But I do like using the wood impregnated briquettes, especially hickory, pecan, and apple, for my drum smokers, offset smokers, and this grill.

The JJ George Grilling torch is my preferred way of lighting all of my pits.
I fired up the coal with my JJ George Grill Torch, as always.

Seasoning the onions is a small touch, but I find it makes a noticeable difference.

They may look enormous when they go on, but they will shrink up, so make your patties bigger than your buns.  

Is there any burger better than a fire-grilled burger?

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburgers featuring Sargento's Aged Gouda
We LOVED the Sargento's Aged Gouda slices.  It has a rich buttery, nutty flavor and melts well. I think it's new, or maybe it's just new to us, but it might be my favorite new cheese slice for burgers.

Home cured and smoked sorghum bourbon bacon.
We used the Sorghum Bourbon Bacon recipe from my second book - The Offset Smoker Cookbook.  Not just the recipe, some of the actual bacon that we made for the book pictures.  I found a pack in the freezer that we had forgotten about.  There's no more in my freezer - so make your own, don't try to steal mine!

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburgers featuring sargento's Aged Gouda
Absolutely fantastic!