Burger, Stuffed Burger

Introduction: Burger, Stuffed Burger

About: Just a semi-retired guy practicing semi-retirement.

Ok, so this is my second Instructable... the amazingly simple Bacoshroom StuffedBurger, AKA "Burger, Stuffed Burger!"

This will be fast, but hopefully, thorough.

I actually cook out on my patio about 5 times a week, especially in the summer. Where I live, heating up the interior of the house cooking with an oven or stovetop adds about 200 bucks a year to your electric bill. So, I have two awesome grills (both bought for this old guy by his wonderful better-half), a good propane three+side burner and a Kamado-style. Not mentioning brands, but they will probably be evident as I post more stuff.

This particular Instructable is not about a whole meal, although I did cook it all outside. This one focuses on the Burger, Stuffed Burger. Sort of like "Bond, James Bond," the stuffed burger is versatile, elusive, full of secrets stuffed away inside, many identities, and almost everyone loves 'em.

There are two ways to approach the stuffed burger in my opinion, the purist method, and the meatloaf method (not to be confused with the amazing Meat Loaf Aday). The meatloaf method adds a bunch of binders to the meat to make it hold together better during cooking. The binders also contain additional liquids, making it stay moist, even when over cooked.

This is NOT the meatloaf method. This will be the purist method. Basically, the meat is as purchased from the grocery. Nothing added to it for binders or moisture. You should only use good quality meat, preferably 80% lean 20% fat, fresh ground, not factory packaged.

NOTE: This process is versatile, just like good ol' James Bond. If you use feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, greek olives, and mint for the stuffing, you get a stuffed greek burger. If you use cheddar and bits of saute'd hot-dog and sauerkraut, you get a ballpark stuffed burger. Hot-peppers, cheddar, taco seasonings and onion... well, you get the picture.

Supplies

1 Grill, any flavor

1 Burger Spatula big enough to handle your burger

1 Instant read thermometer

Tools to get the meat out of an avocado.

Ingredients:

Per burger, which feeds me or two regular people.

1 lb. of good quality ground beef (divided into two 1/2 lb burgers)

2-3 Slices of cheese, round or rounded, in this case, provolone

2 oz of diced bacon

2 oz of diced mushroom

1/2 of a ripe avocado

1 pad of butter of a tbs of olive oil.

Seasoning (Salt, Pepper)

Buns and Mayo if you want them... I advise NOT putting ketchup on this burger.

Step 1: Prep Meat...

If you did not buy pre-packed, 1/2 lb burgers, divide the 1 lb into two equal sized patties. Flatten to about 1/2" round patties.

Lightly season one side (the "inside")

Step 2: Prepare the Filling...

Dice the bacon and mushrooms in 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch pieces. Saute' them together in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil at a medium-high heat. I did this outside on the side-burner of my gas grill, but you can prep this in advance in your kitchen, if going prepping for camping out. Season to taste while Saute'ing.

Step 3: Pre-heat the Grill...

Assuming you have a clean grill-grate, spray or wipe it with a non-stick oil before lighting it. If your grill-grate is not clean, well... CLEAN IT. A dirty grill-grate might add flavor, but it will gross out your guests, and make your food stick. There, I said it.

Now, assuming your grill can have both a direct and indirect cooking space, light the direct heat side to what you would consider "searing hot" for your grill.

If you grill is NOT capable of both direct and indirect grilling, set it to a medium LOW heat.

Step 4: Pack the Burger!

First, apply the filling. You can use either one or two slices of cheese, I prefer two, but I am a cheesy filling type.

Place the first piece of cheese on one burger, push it in a little, not too much, just raising the edges around it a bit, making sure that there is exposed meat evenly around the edges for pinching to the other burger.

If you want a second slice of cheese, apply it to the second burger patty and, again, make sure there is a good pinching edge all around it.

My favorite way to pack, though not the easiest, is the "pinch method."

Place the burger without the filling on top of the burger with the filling, aligning them. Now, start to pinch the edges of the burgers together. Pinch good, you want the meat to blend well. Keep the pinching near the edge, you don't want to pinch into the cheese or filling. Pick up the burger and keep pinching around the edge. As you complete a full pinch-circle, fold the edge over slightly and pinch around the burger again. Do this a few times, occassionally stopping to pat the edge all around to see if the meat has blended well, and not exposed any filling.

This process can take a few minutes, but with some care, you won't leave big cracks in the meat. This process is MUCH easier with "meatloaf" style stuffed burgers because the meat is moister and blends together better. But I think the extra effort is worth it for the "purist" burger satisfaction of this particular packed patty.

Once you have packed the burger, season the outside well. Salt and Pepper, and some granulated garlic powder if you like.

Step 5: Cook It...

NOTE: All cooking time can vary with different grills and meat thicknesses. If you are uncertain at any point, use your thermometer. Your goal is to get the filling to about 135, and let it set long enough that the meat should hit 160 (that's the federal recommendation)edge to edge (which is impossible to measure accurately). It might take you a burger or two to get this down to a "perfect" cook for you. Experiment. Even over cooked a bit, this is a great burger.

With indirect heat area available:

Place the burger on the direct heat side of a pre-heated grill.

Grill for 2 minutes, if it releases easily, lift it and rotate 1/4 turn, and grill 1 more minute.

Move to indirect side for 5 minutes, close lid.

With direct heat area only:

Place the burger on the grill.

Grill for 3-4 minutes, if it releases easily, lift it and rotate 1/4 turn, grill 2-3 more minutes.

For both methods:

Flip the burger and repeat the above steps for your grilling method, but add in a temperature check.

Using an instant read thermometer, about 1/2 way into grilling the second side, start to check the temperature at the middle of the burger (edge-to-edge, and top-to-bottom middle). Yes, the thermometer will be measuring the filling. This is good.

When the thermometer reads over a 100F, place another piece of cheese on top if desired.

Do not turn it again. And most instant reads cannot be left in while grilling.

Check temperature about every minute.

When the thermometer reads about 135, remove the burger and let it set about 10 minutes.

Step 6: Cut Up Some Avocado...

Carefully split and slice an avocado. Place the slices on top of the burger...

Step 7: Enjoy...

I like to place the avocados on before cutting, so that some of it ends up spreading onto the filling.

On a low carb diet, eat as is.

Or, put it on a toasted bun with a bit of mayo. Either way, the bacon-mushroom filling, the provolone and avocado, makes for a great burger. Add in the basic beef, which has remained juicy without fillers, and you have an awesome package of pleasure.

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