The Ultimate Tailgater Burger

This Ultimate Tailgater Burger features 2 burger patties – and there’s bacon ground into the patties!

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The Ultimate Tailgate Burger!I’m a huge college football fan, so I’m pretty excited about that the games finally kickoff again this weekend.  Did you know that it’s been 234 days since the last college football game?  I did.  Around our house, it’s kinda become a tradition to make a pizza and watch the Saturday night games in the basement.  (Check out this post on how to make your own pizza dough.  I make this dough every Saturday in the Fall!)  But we also like to have friends over for big games, and hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill are our go-to football food.

The Ultimate Tailgate Burger!Earlier this summer, my wife and I visited Charleston, SC, and while we were there, I had the opportunity to try the famous burger at HUSK.  This burger is seriously famous, too!  This past May, Forbes Magazine named it one of the 10 Must-Eat Burgers in the U.S.  Chef Sean Brock has also won multiple James Beard Awards in recent years.  So what makes this burger so special?  Well, for starters, the beef for the burgers is ground along with several slices of smokey bacon.  Yup, there’s bacon in this burger!  As if that’s not enough, the condiment is a special sauce made from ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, and jalapenos.  Sound delicious?  Well, it is!  So delicious that I had to come home and create my own HUSK-inspired cheeseburger.  Too bad gameday rolls around only once each week because I can totally see myself craving this Ultimate Tailgater Burger all week long!  

The Ultimate Tailgate Burger!This Ultimate Tailgater Burger (inspired by the HUSK Burger) is similar to a classic American fast-food burger…except that it’s way more delicious!  Here are a couple tips for making this burger:

  • Thin Patties: The beef/bacon burger patties should shaped very thinly.  (This means that they will also cook very fast!)  I used a grill to make mine, but Chef Sean Brock at HUSK cooks his inside on a very hot, nonstick griddle.
  • Shaved Onions and Pickles: This is key!  In order to recreate that fast-food style burger, you should slice your onions and pickles very thin.
  • American Cheese: Hey, it’s not a classic American-style fast-food burger without American cheese, right?  (I confess that I sometimes use cheddar, but American cheese melts so much better!)
  • Smoked Bacon: You should look for the smokiest bacon you can find.  Seriously.  This provides that delicious smoked flavor without all of the work.  And you should grind the bacon with the beef.  (If you choose to use ground beef, just chop the bacon into very small pieces and mix it in.  Tip: Freezing the bacon for 20-25 minutes will make it easier to chop.)
The Ultimate Tailgate Burger!

The Ultimate Tailgater Burger

This Ultimate Tailgater Burger features 2 burger patties - and there's bacon ground into the patties!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 double-cheeseburgers
Calories: 607kcal


For the Burger

  • 16 oz. beef chuck unground
  • 2 slices smoked bacon
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 3 kaiser-style buns
  • unsalted butter
  • ¼ onion sliced very thinly
  • 1 dill pickle spear sliced very thinly

For the Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 4-5 slices pickled jalapeno
  • ½ dill pickle spear coarsely chopped


  • Using a meat grinder, grind the chuck and bacon together. Add the black pepper and mix until well combined. Shape into 6 evenly-sized flat patties.
  • Grill on medium-high heat until cooked.
  • Meanwhile, process the Sauce ingredients (ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickled jalapeno, and pickle) with a small food processor or immersion blender until completely smooth.
  • Spread a small amount of unsalted butter on the inside portions of the buns. Place on the grill (butter side down) for 30-45 seconds.
  • Remove buns from grill and spread a small amount of the Sauce on the buttered side of each bun.
  • Assemble by placing thinly sliced onions and pickles on top of the bottom bun. Next alternate between 2 burger patties and 2 slices of American cheese. Place bun on top.


If you don't have a meat grinder at home, you can use ground chuck. Just chop the bacon into very fine pieces and mix it in with the chuck.

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