Bacon Blue Cheese Burger
Bacon Blue Cheese Burger isn’t your average cheeseburger. This cheeseburger is a copycat of Dad’s Burger from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Perfectly crusted and seared in a skillet with center-cut bacon, perfectly seasoned hamburger meat, and crumbled blue cheese sandwiched between the two. A salty, creamy, delicious addition to any summer BBQ.
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Copycat Dad’s Burger
Like any good food blogger, in my spare time you’ll find me flipping through old cookbooks or watching some sort of cooking show like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It’s one of my favorites because Guy Fieri is just a hoot to watch! Definitely one of my dream celebrities to meet. You know the kind you see and you’re like, “yeah, we could be best friends!”
Now in all honesty, I’m not a huge burger fan. Mostly because there is something about ground beef that makes me sick. I tend to stick to a Quinoa and Black Bean Burger. But every so often, I’ll risk it for a delicious bacon cheeseburger.
My husband, I would argue, makes the best basic burger. It’s one of the few foods he knew how to make when we got together. Burgers, pasta, bacon, and coffee were his foods of choice. That’s bachelor living for you! He can still take any ground meat and make the best basic burger out there. So you know I had to try and make a copycat of a delicious burger we saw on tv to knock his socks off. Let’s just say he wasn’t disappointed being a taste tester the four times or more I had to test this recipe.
How to Make this Blue Cheese Burger with Bacon
I’m not lying when I saw we had to make this multiple times before getting it right and knowing what to expect. The key really was knowing that it wasn’t going to look exactly like it did on tv, in a professional restaurant kitchen. So here’s our version.
Start by blending the meat with the seasonings. We’re keeping it simple by using garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Because this burger has to cook a bit longer than average due to the bacon, the ground beef really needs to be 80/20. That extra fat is going to help keep the burger nice and juicy during the cooking process.
Next, prep the bacon. I find it easiest to use kitchen shears (scissors) to cut the bacon into small pieces. Cutting them into small pieces instead of long strips will help the bacon cook more evenly and allow for spacing so the second layer of bacon, that closest to the burger meat, will also get cooked.
Place the bacon into the burger press. Be sure to spread the bacon out evenly to get full coverage and even cooking time. It should look as if you have two layers of bacon with how the pieces overlap. Some space is fine.
Next add a Tablespoon of crumbled bleu cheese to the center. You don’t need much. Try to keep it in the center before pressing. As it melts during the cooking process it will spread on it’s own. Keeping it in the center will minimize how much is lost in the skillet.
Now take the burger mixture and divide by four, creating quarter pound burgers. Shape slightly with your hand before putting into the burger press on top of the bleu cheese. Use some force to really smoosh the ground beef down and the air out. You want to create a really nice seal to keep the bleu cheese in as much as possible.
Gently lift the flat of the press off of the burger. If the bacon sticks to the press just use your finger to peal it off and stick it back onto the burger. As you create the burgers, lay them bacon side up on a piece of parchment paper. This will make it easier to transfer them to the skillet.
Now preheat your skillet to 375F. See below for tips on choosing the perfect skillet and heat for the job. This is optional but delicious, add a couple Tablespoons of butter to the skillet. This will help the bacon and cheese from sticking as well as add some off the wall flavor.
Once heated, place the burgers bacon side down in the skillet. We found best results were 1 in a 10-inch skillet or 3 in an 8-inch skillet. Take your second skillet of the same size, or a bacon press, spray with PAM, and place on top of the burgers. This is KEY to making this recipe work! If you have a brick or heat resistant weight you can add to the top skillet, do that just to keep it even and level as the burgers cook. If you don’t, the use of the second skillet only will be heavy enough to get the job done.
Let the burgers cook on the bacon side for about 7 minutes without lifting the top skillet. When you’re ready, use a really heavy duty spatula and really get under the bacon and fried cheese. Be careful of the oil and splatter within the skillet! It’s going to look like all the bleu cheese melted out but I promise there is still a ton there. Flip the burger and just allow it to sear on the other side, maybe 2 minutes. Your just making sure the burger is cooked through.
If you like your burger more on the rare side, you may not even have to flip it. Check with an instant read thermometer before flipping. The skillet on the top does help to bounce the heat and cook the top during the process.
Troubleshooting Heat Distribution in a Cast Iron Skillet
Understanding the type of skillet and your burner is key to making the most of the heat distribution cast iron has to offer. Cast iron is not some magical fairy. If you put a large skillet on a small burner, it is not going to magically spread all of that heat to the edges. It just won’t.
Be sure to use the same size burner as your skillet. So if you’re using a 12-inch skillet, use your largest burner – sometimes called the power burner. You might be saying, “now won’t that make my skillet too hot and burn what I’m cooking?” It will if you don’t control your temperature! In this situation, the largest burner you have is going to have a flame with a larger diameter. You’ll want to set the heat to slightly lower than the recipe tells you. So in this case a medium-low to a low heat, on your largest burner in a 12-inch skillet is what you’ll need. This will control the heat output to the skillet, so as not to scorch the bacon, while also providing and even heat distribution.
We’ve all been there when the middle is screaming hot and the edges are not cooking at all. That is due to using the wrong size burner for the skillet. So use a larger burner on a lower heat setting.
In contrast, if you’re cooking one burger at a time you can get away with using an 8 or 10-inch skillet on a smaller burner and cooking the burger directly in the center. In this case you’ll need more of a medium heat. With either method, you’ll want to be sure the skillet is preheated to at least 375F before placing the burger bacon side down on the skillet.
Tips for this Bacon Burger
- Use center-cut bacon. This bacon has a bit less fat and is more exact from piece to piece, ensuring you get the same cooking time on each piece of bacon.
- Use 2 strips of bacon per quarter pound burger.
- The raw bacon may stick to the burger press. Just carefully remove it and press back onto the cheese. Set the burger on parchment paper, bacon side up, until ready to cook.
Is it Blue or Bleu Cheese?
You can get down with either. Bleu is simply the French spelling of the word. And while technically this cheese originated in France, and thus we should probably pay homage to it’s origins, in most American grocery stores you’ll likely see it labeled at “blue”.
Blue (bleu) cheese is a creamy, tangy cheese with a sharp flavor characterized for it’s blue marble-like qualities produced by mold during the 3 to 6 month aging process. Don’t worry about eating it, unless you’re pregnant. Blue cheese is made using Penicillium which is non-toxic and safe to consume.
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Bacon Blue Cheese Burger
- 2 12-inch skillet or 10-inch skillet see notes in post for best results
- kitchen scissors
- PAM cooking spray
- 1 pound ground beef 80/20
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 8 stips bacon center-cut
- 4 Tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
- 4 burger buns
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter optional
- Start by blending the meat with the seasonings in a large bowl. Separate into 1/4 pound patties and form the basic shape with your hands. Set aside.
- Allotting 2 strips of bacon per burger, cut into bite sized pieces with kitchen scissors.
- Add the bacon to the burger press, covering the bottom as evenly as possible. It should look like two layers of bacon in some places with minimal of the press showing.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of blue cheese to the center. Top with a formed patty and press firmly to compact the ingredients.
- Remove the patty from the press slowly and gently. If the bacon sticks to the press just remove it with a finger and replace onto the patty. Set the patty aside on a piece of parchment paper with the bacon side up.
- Once the patties are formed, preheat the skillet to 375F with 2 Tablespoons of butter. Place the patties one at a time or as room allows, into the skillet bacon side down.
- Spray the bottom of the second skillet with PAM and place on top of the burgers. Cook for 7 minutes. Check the internal temperature for doneness.
- Use the metal spatula to get under the crusted bacon and cheese. Flip the burger to quickly sear on the other side, up to 2 minutes or remove completely if burger is already cooked to desired internal temperature.
- Top with favorite burger toppings and toasted burger buns.
Where’s the beef?! It’s right here, buddy!