The ultimate in party food. Why decide between hamburgers and pizza when you can have both in this ultimate burger. Made of pizzas.
Because, this is America, that's why.
Step 1: Obtain Ingredients
You will need:
- The ground flesh of cow
- The smoked flesh of swine
- The stuff that salads are made of (to make it healthy.)
- 2x pizzas. (Med is fine. Large if you want to get crazy.)
Grab some good bacon, and whatever assortment of toppings you usually use on your burgers.
You can make your own pizza, or just buy them ready-to-go from local chains.
Step 2: Create the Patties
Use your favorite burger recipe to mix up a batch of meat. I went with simple for this batch, just adding an egg as a binder, Bacon Salt, and a bit of leftover parmesan cheese I had in the fridge. Figure on about 2 pounds of mixture per 12" (Med) pizza, 3 pounds with a large.
Remember, the patties will shrink a bit when cooking, so you will need to make your patties a few inches larger than the pizzas you are using for your "buns."
A 14" skillet can be used as the mixing bowl, the mold, and the cooking vessel for a patty perfectly sized for a 12" pizza after cooking - however most people aren't likely to have one this large at home. Free-forming your patty on a large round pizza pan or cookie sheet also works.
My largest pan was 12" which resulted in a ~10" patty that was a bit too small for optimal burger-to-bun ratio. A cookie sheet was sufficient to hold the rectangular patty for our deep-dish pizza bun.
The patties are too large to easily flip or transfer so throwing them on a grill proved challenging. Both patties ended up just being baked in a 350 degree oven until cooked through. (Approximately 30-50 minutes based on thickness of your finished patties.) You will likely need to drain the pan at least once during the cooking.
Step 3: Prepare Your Other Ingredients
While your meat is baking, you can start on your other ingredients.
I fired up the electric skillet and started searing off pounds of bacon strips. (The oven is also appropriate if you have room, since its already hot.)
Large white onions were chopped to saute, and thrown into a pan with a generous shake of Bacon Salt.
Slices of raw red onions can also be used if prefered. Keep your homemade pickles, slices of tomato, ketchup, mustard, and lettuce. It's your burger now... own it.
Step 4: Order the Pizzas
Your burgers should be done baking, and will now need 15 minutes to rest. A hamburger without a bun is just meat on a plate. To fully embrace the hamburger goodness, you need a bun. What better bun for a chunk of meat than two meat-covered pizzas?
Time to order yourself some pies.
We picked up two examples from nearby chains. (Neither of which will be named, since their corporate offices didn't feel it was worth a free pizza for me to namedrop. Your loss, Mr. Corporate Exec Guy. For $12, this all could have been yours...)
Thicker pan crusts tend to hold up better to larger patties, but regular or hand-tossed crusts work fine. (Thinner offerings or crispy crusts can still be used if you prefer, but prepare to cut your meat back considerably into much thinner patties. Still very tasty, but you end up with something wide and flat.. Results are more like a large quesadilla than a burger... and this ain't a quesadilla contest.)
For this Instructable we grabbed two medium meat-liker's pizzas (with extra bacon) and two cute little rectangular deep-dish pizzas. Wrapped in bacon. Like you needed a reason...
Note: Remember to ask when you order DO NOT CUT the finished pizzas. This is the hardest part of the build, especially since most chains will forget and cut it anyway over half the time, no matter how nicely you ask. Pizza Shop #1 succeeded this day, but our rectangular deep-dish pizzas arrived cut and somewhat mangled. (No, I'm not waiting 20 minutes for you to make another one, cashier lady...)
Step 5: "And I'll Form the Bun!"
All of your ingredients have been summoned from their ancient slumber, where they wait till a hero is ready to assemble them. Now it is time to show the world your pizzas's Ultimate Form.
- Pizza #1: The foundation of the world.
- Burger: Mandatory cow.
- Bacon: One-and-a-half pounds of bacon, arranged for optimal pork coverage.
- More Cheese: To hold the bacon down.
- Onions: Not much to see, but so much to taste.
- Lettuce: The green stuff that salads are made of. See, you are eating your vegetables!
- Pizza #2: The lid, whose power can barely contain this mass of meaty goodness.
If you build it, they will eat. Toss on pickles, tomato slices, mustard, or whatever else you see fit to add to your burger.
Flipping the second pizza over to act as the top lid can be tricky whole, but it's a huge mess if your pizza has arrived cut into 8 slices already. (Especially trying to align the top slices to bottom slices you can't see.)
Step 6: The Weigh-in & Final Words
The weigh-in was impressive. Our 12" round pizzaburger was a massive 8lbs 8 oz when fully assembled. The smaller rectangular deep-dish was still an impressive 5lb 6 oz.
The box simply cannot contain all this meat. Now just find some friends to eat it.
Final Notes: After eating, it was decided the patties used for this build were simply too thick. The patty shown on the 12" Goliath is roughly 4 pounds of burger, and 2 pounds on the deep-dish. This has already been cut in half in the ingredients above. You may wish to go even less, or even use multiple thinner patties till you reach the thickness you prefer. These had to be broken down and eaten with a fork, instead of being sandwich-like. (Perhaps we got a bit carried away for the build for this Instructable.... for science of course.)
I find most chain pizzas to be a bit under-baked. Asking for "extra baked" or just finishing them off in your home oven may be prefered. If you're preparing for a party, you can build this pizzaburger pizza ahead of time - minus all of the vegetables that do not reheat (soggy hot lettuce is terrible, kids...) and wrap the entire pizza in a mass of aluminum foil, and refrigerate until needed. Throw it back in the oven for 20-30 minutes before you're ready to eat. It'll bring everything back up to temperature and bring some crispiness back to the crusts.
We chose some of the fancy foo-foo sauces for the 12" pizzas, with the idea that BBQ sauce or garlic parmesan might add to the burger. Our taste-testers agreed that the traditional tomato sauce just tasted better, as the "flavor of the pizza was lost..." without this tomato-y note.
Also, there was not enough bacon.