Burgers are one of those things that anyone can like. It’s because they’re versatile. Anyone can find something they like. Whether it is traditional, with minimal toppings or loaded with unusual toppings like fried eggs or peanut butter. You can even take your pick of meat choices – beef of course is standard. You can also choose from turkey, chicken, or fish. I would say this Smoky Chipotle Burger with Homemade BBQ Sauce is the middle of the road. It’s a step up from your basic fast food burger, but not loaded with fancy toppings either.
The patties for this burger are made from lean ground beef with the addition of pureed chipotle peppers and Worcestershire for a smoky kick. These are definitely a million times better than storebought frozen burger patties.
The patties are good, but what really makes these burgers stand out is the homemade BBQ sauce. It is probably the best I’ve had. You can make it for anything that you would use BBQ sauce for – grilled chicken or meat, sandwiches or pulled pork. This sauce is cooked, which makes it extra thick and delicious. It’s sweet and smoky with a bit of heat thanks to the addition of chipotle peppers and smoked paprika. If you can’t find smoked paprika, use regular paprika, but it won’t be quite as smoky.
I make these patties roughly 1/4lb each. For me, that means taking a ball of meat that is roughly a handful, and flattening it into patty form. I also make the edges thicker than the center to help them cook evenly. The patties can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you need them, or even frozen if need be. Just make sure they’re not touching when you freeze them or you’ll never get them apart.
The patties can be cooked however you like. When I’m making burgers, I always prefer to use the grill. But they can be cooked in a grill pan or griddle on the stovetop as well. I’ve even made them on my countertop grill (George Foreman style – does anyone else still use those??) with great success.
Then comes the best part – dressing the burger. This is where all those delicious toppings come in. Smoky bacon (that you will have cooked while the burgers were cooking), smoked cheddar cheese and red onions. And not to forget the best part – that delicious BBQ sauce! These are perfect with a simple green salad.
In other news, I’m headed out tomorrow for the first leg of our cross country drive – from Nova Scotia to Wisconsin. Peanut is super excited to sleep in Granny and Grandpa’s trailer. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 cloves garlic minced or chopped
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
- 2 Tbsp pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 8 slices thick cut bacon cooked
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 16 slices smoked cheddar cheese
- 8 fresh hamburger buns
Stir all the sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened. (Partially cover with a lid to prevent splatters). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.
Mix the ground beef, pureed chipotle and Worcestershire together with your hands. Form into 8 patties. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat grill at medium high heat for 10 minutes. Oil grill with an oiled paper towel. Place hamburger patties on the grill. Cook for about 7-10 minutes on each side.
Assemble hamburger patties, cheese, bacon and onions on the buns. Top with a generous portion of the BBQ sauce.
It’s no secret that burgers aren’t generally health food. These ones are no exception. They pack a hefty caloric punch, especially considering that you will probably eat them with some sort of a side dish (ideally salad or vegetables). If you’re looking to cut calories, the easiest way is to make the patties smaller. You could also try using turkey bacon (I’ve tried some really good ones, I promise) or reduced fat cheddar cheese, though you likely won’t be able to find a smoked version. Don’t try to use ground turkey in place of the ground beef, as the burger will be lacking in flavor.