Making individual burgers for people has grown quite tiresome, so I decided to feed a tailgate with giant 3 LB burgers instead. In this Instructable you will learn the amazingness of creating a larger than life burger and feeding it to six hungry people.
1 Skillet (that you don't mind putting on the grill)
1 Cast iron skillet (can be the same as above)
1 Griddle (to cook bacon)
1 Oven (To bake Bread)
1 Probe Thermometer
1 or 2 Spatulas
1 Bread Knife
Burger (Makes 1, serves 6):
3 lbs of Ground Beef (75% lean Ground Chuck is my preference)
14 Slices of Bacon
1/2 Lb Sliced Cheese (I chose provolone for the real run, but cheddar for my test both were good)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 oz Beer
The Bun (makes 2 big buns):
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
1 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoons salt
The pictures are from two different times I made this so you will see some differences.
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Step 1: The Bun
First, You need to make the bun or else you will have nothing to put that delicious meat on later. You will want to do this ~3 hours before you want to eat the burger so it has time to cook and cool. I have also had good luck with store bought bread that was not really meant for this purpose. For a tailgate I used Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread from Stella's in Madison WI. You apparently can order online, but I just stop by and say hello. Any bread that is about 12" across can work, but softer breads will be best for eating.
1. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water and butter until very warm, 120
degrees F (50 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix together half the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
3. Mix milk mixture into flour mixture, and then mix in egg.
4. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (~8 minutes)
6. Let sit for 30 minutes
7. Slit top so there is room to expand
8. Pre-Heat Your Oven to 350F
9. Let sit for another 20 minutes
10. Bake at 350F 20 to 24 minutes, or until golden brown
11. When removed from the oven brush the top with some egg white and sprinkle seeds on top.
* Tap the top and it should sound hollow when finished
Let it cool for an hour or so and then slice it in half life like you see in the picture.
Step 2: The Beef
This is the simple part. Take your meat and form a patty that will fit on your bun. You will want to do this at least 1 hour before you want to cook it so it has time to rest and warm up to room temperature.
Add some salt and pepper and you are good to go.
Step 3: The Bacon Blanket
Bacon stips would be hard to put on a burger like this and cut it. So, I wove a quick bacon blanket. I saw Guy Fieri do it on some show and although he is annoying, this is a pretty awesome trick.
1. Lay out 7 strips of bacon on a plate
2. Slide the 8th strip of bacon under the 1st strip, over the 2nd, under the 3rd, over the 4th etc.
3. Continue this with the remaining 6 strips until you have what you see in the first picture
Step 4: Cook the Bacon
I used a cast iron griddle and a cast iron skillet to cook this bacon. Since flipping this baby is hard, I heated up the skillet and the pan on separate burners. The griddle was on medium heat, like you normally cook bacon, but the skillet was as hot as it could go. I put the bacon blanket on the griddle and then immediately put the red hot skillet on top (just like it was on the burner, flat side down). This cooked the bacon faster and alleviated the need to flip.
This can be done a bit before you start the meat since bacon stays well. If you want to heat it up, just throw it on the grill as the burger cooks.
Step 5: Cook the Burger
1. Rub your grill grates with oil and then heat your grill to medium high heat. If your using Charcoal, you want glowing white coals.
2. Take your probe thermometer and inert it into the side of the burger. You can see it in the picture below.
3. Place a skillet on the grill for pre-heating
4. Put burger on the skillet
5. Let cook for ~12 minutes or until the probe read 105F
6. Flip the skillet onto the grates of the grill
7. Let cook for ~8 minutes (Should be around 120F)
8. Take your once of beer, and gently pour it over the burger. (This adds some flavor, keeps it juicy and steams the cheese for faster melting)
9. Place cheese on top
10. Wait until it is melted (Internal temp should be around 135F)
11. Remove from heat and place on a plate to rest for 5 minutes
*This isn't your parent's burger and it is a bit unwieldy to flip. I since bought a giant novelty flipper that works, but I put it in a skillet to make sure there was no disaster on the first flip. After the patty cooks a bit, it holds together better and that is why you can put it right on the grates.
Step 6: Place Burger on Bun and Cut
After the burger rests place it on the bun. Add the bacon like you see in the picture, then you will need to cut it.
I used a bread knife since the bread was the hardest part cut and I cut it like a birthday cake.
First, one cut down the center, then each half is cut into thirds.