Barbecue Bacon Burgers Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

A barbecue sauce-glazed juicy burger with crisp grilled bacon, grilled onions, and cheddar cheese.

Recipe Details

Barbecue Bacon Burgers Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 45 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 slices thick-cut slab bacon, split in half crosswise (see note)

  • 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

  • 4 slices cheddar or American cheese

  • 4 sturdy burger buns


  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. 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 grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  3. Place bacon and onions in between hot and cool sides of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until surface of bacon is bubbling but not yet crisp and browned, and onions are lightly softened, about 15 minutes total.

  4. Place burgers directly over hot side of grill and cook until well charred, about 2 minutes. Flip patties and brush with sauce. Cook on second side until well charred, about 2 minutes longer, brushing with sauce occasionally. Flip burgers again, transfer to cooler side of grill, brush with more syrup, and continue to cook, brushing with sauce occasionally, until patty 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 1 slice cheese, then transfer to a large plate and tent with aluminum foil.

  5. Brush bacon with barbecue sauce and place directly over hot side of grill, sauce-side down. Brush top with barbecue sauce. Cook until well charred, about 1 minute. Flip and cook until second side is well charred, about 1 minute longer. Top each burger patty with three pieces bacon, then top each with a couple of slices of onion.

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

  7. Place bottom buns on a cutting board. Transfer patty/bacon/onions to bottom bun. Brush top bun with barbecue sauce and close sandwich. Serve.


For best results, use slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. For a bigger burger, top with sliced avocado and fried pork rinds.

Special equipment


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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
819 Calories
43g Fat
44g Carbs
61g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 819
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 186mg 62%
Sodium 1562mg 68%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 61g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 436mg 34%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 1006mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)