Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo)

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

It's time to board a small charter flight to Polynesia, the land of Spam and pineapples. Why Spam and pineapple? Because it's a delicious combo that hits the rich/fresh/sweet flavors and the crisp/moist textures. Who wouldn't want that on a burger? Add a couple of slices of Swiss cheese along with a nice spoonful of sriracha-mayonnaise and the burger explodes with spice and goo—which is why a toasted English muffin and all its juice-catching nooks is such a great choice here (though regular burger buns would be mighty tasty too).

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo)

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:45 mintues
Special equipment:grill
This recipe appears in: From the Archives: Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo) The Burger Lab: The Principles of Topping Burgers
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces freshly ground beef chuck
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha-style hot sauce
  • 4 slices Spam
  • 4 slices fresh pineapple, about the same size as a Spam slice
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 English muffins, split

Procedures

  1. 1

    Divide meat into four even piles and shape into burger patties about 1/2-inch wider than English muffins. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. 2

    Combine mayo and sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  4. 4

    Place burgers directly over hot side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred and internal temperature registers 125 to 130°F on an instant read thermometer for medium-rare, about 5 minutes total, or 135°F to 140°F for medium, about 6 minutes total. Top each burger patty with 1 slice cheese, then transfer to a large plate and tent with aluminum foil.

  5. 5

    Place spam and pineapple slices on hot side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until heated through and well charred. Place 1 slice cheese on top of each Spam patty. Transfer Spam and pineapple to cool side of grill.

  6. 6

    Toast English muffins on grill. Place bottom buns on a cutting board. Top with a slice of pineapple. Add burger patty. Top with SPAM. Top with sriracha mayo, then close burger. Serve immediately.

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