The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburgers Recipe

bacon cheeseburger
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

The ultimate bacon cheeseburger with beef cooked in bacon fat, a bacon fat mayonnaise, onions caramelized in bacon fat, buns toasted in bacon fat, and a crisp bacon weave topping.

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 4 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 12 slices thick-cut, naturally smoked bacon

  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 24 ounces (1 1/2 pounds) freshly ground beef chuck

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 soft hamburger rolls

  • 4 slices American or cheddar cheese

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced (about 3/4 cup)

  • 12 dill pickle chips


  1. Adjust oven rack to center and bottom positions, place a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the bottom rack, and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place six slices of bacon on baking sheet side to side running perpendicular to the edge of the counter. Fold down the top halves of 1st, 3rd, and 5th slices. Place a slice of bacon across the top of the folds, running perpendicular to the first 6 slices, then unfold the bacon so that the new slice is woven over and under every other slice. Fold down the 2nd, 4th, and 6th slices and lay another slice of bacon across the top of the fold. Unfold the slices. Repeat until all 12 slices of bacon have been laid on the baking sheet in an interwoven pattern. Place baking sheet in oven and cook until bacon is crisp, about 25 minutes.

    bacon waved on baking sheet
  3. While bacon cooks, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, relish, and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Form ground beef into 4 (6-ounce) patties slightly wider than the buns. Press the center of each patty to make a slight indentation with your fingertips. Season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. Set aside.

  4. When bacon is cooked, remove baking sheet from oven and set broiler to high. Pour off excess bacon fat into a small bowl and set aside. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, being careful not to break it. Allow to drain for 30 seconds, then transfer to cutting board. Cut the bacon weave into four smaller squares and set aside.

    weaved bacon for burgers
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat into mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine. Brush hamburger rolls on inside surfaces with bacon fat and place on a broiler pan or baking sheet brushed-side up.

    preparing burger buns
  6. Remove cast iron skillet from oven using oven mitts or a folded kitchen towel. Place over medium-high heat. Add remaining bacon fat to skillet. Add burger patties and cook, turning occasionally, until well-crusted and center of each burger registers 120°F on an instant read thermometer. Top with cheese and continue cooking until cheese is melted and burgers register 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium. Transfer to a large plate.

    burger patties with melted cheese
  7. Add onions to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

    carmelized onions
  8. Place burger buns under broiler while onions cook and broil until golden brown and toasted, about 2 minutes.

    toasted burger buns
  9. Spread mayonnaise mixture on both sides of burger buns. Place 3 pickles on each bottom bun. Top with a burger patty, a pile of onions, and a square of bacon weave. Close buns and serve.

    cheeseburger with bacon

Special equipment

Cast iron skillet or grill, rimmed baking sheet

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1139 Calories
73g Fat
40g Carbs
78g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1139
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 73g 94%
Saturated Fat 26g 130%
Cholesterol 245mg 82%
Sodium 1938mg 84%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 78g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 363mg 28%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 971mg 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.)