Quadruple Chili Cheeseburgers

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A fat patty of grilled beef draped with a melty, oozy slice of pepper jack cheese, topped with roasted green chilis, and a handful of pickled jalapeños, served on a hearty bun with a generous swipe of chipotle mayonnaise. This is the burger that bites back.

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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Quadruple Chili Cheeseburgers

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:1 hour
Special equipment:grill
This recipe appears in: From the Archives: The Quadruple Chili Cheeseburger Serious Entertaining: Backyard Burger Bash Burger Topping Week: The Quadruple Chili Cheeseburger


  • 2 whole fresh poblano or hatch chilis
  • 2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo, finely chopped, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 8 slices pepperjack or pepper colby-jack cheese
  • 4 large hamburger buns
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños


  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    Place chilis directly over a gas burner and cook, turning occasionally, until charred and blistered all over. Alternatively, place chilis as close as possible to broiler element set to high and cook, turning occasionally, until charred and blistered all over. Transfer to a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Set aside for five minutes, then remove from foil and carefully peel off most of skin. Discard stems and seeds. Roughly chop chilis.

  3. 3

    Combine chipotle, adobo sauce, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    Place burgers directly over hot side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred and internal temperature registers 125°F 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 two slices of cheese, then transfer to a large plate and tent with aluminum foil.

  6. 6

    Toast buns directly over hot side of grill until browned, about 30 seconds.

  7. 7

    Place bottom buns on a cutting board. Top with burger patties. Top burger patties with roasted chilis and pickled jalapeños. Top with chipotle mayonnaise. Close sandwiches and serve.


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