Fourth of July is around the corner and we are in the midst of grilling season—though we know it is always grilling season if you love to grill! Because you can’t kick off summer with any ordinary burger, I introduce the “red, white and blue” burger! This special recipe blends the flavors of blue cheese, bacon jam and sweet smoky roasted red mini peppers for a burger you can only describe as… YUM!!
The taste of live fire
A burger is only enhanced by the smoky flavors of cooking over a live fire, so if you can make these over charcoal—by all means do it! I made these on one of my go-to grills, the Pit Barrel Cooker. This is a grill and smoker that is effortless to cook on, while producing great results every time!
For Fourth of July grilling, you can hang meat rotisserie style in the barrel for smoke/roasting, or grill on the grates for something like burgers or chicken wings. I’ve never made a bad meal in the Pit Barrel, and it is extremely easy to use! Your food cooks convection style in the barrel while juices from your food drip over the charcoal creating the perfect bite every time.
Red, White and Blue Burgers on the Pitbarrel Cooker
- 2 lbs ground chuck roast (80% lean, 20% fat)
- 8 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp. smoked salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 bag red mini bell peppers or 2–3 full-size red bell peppers
- 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
- 3–4 handfuls of arugula
- 8 onion rolls
- Mayo, to taste
- Bacon jam, to taste (see recipe below)
- 12 oz. (1 packet) sliced bacon
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 cup agave syrup
- 1/3 cup brewed coffee
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 dash curry powder
- 1 dash nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tbsp. bourbon (optional)
- Combine the ground beef, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, butter, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Create 8 patties (these are 1/4lb burgers), leaving an indentation in the middle with your thumb so they cook evenly on the grill.
- Prepare your grill for direct heat. If using a standard charcoal or gas grill, prepare to cook over the flame / heat source.
- Cook the burgers, flipping midway through, until you’ve reached your desired internal temperature. I recommend using an internal read thermometer, like the Thermapen, to test internal temps so you’ll know when your meat is done.
- While cooking the burgers, grill the peppers directly on your grill grates until they have developed char marks on both sides.
- Remove the burgers and peppers and let them rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, toast the buns for just a few minutes on the grill and go and slice up your peppers.
- To assemble burgers, add one patty to a bottom bun. Add mayo (if using) grilled red peppers, then tomato and arugula. Spread one heaping tablespoon of warm bacon jam on the top bun, close the sandwich and serve.
Slow Cooker Bacon Jam
You can make this delicious jam ahead of time and slather it on everything! Use it as an appetizer by adding a dollop to a cracker spread with goat cheese. If you’re making jam to give away or to use as an appetizer for a group, go ahead double this recipe.
- Cut the bacon in small pieces and then cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon starts to crisp — about 20 minutes.
- Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and discard all except 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat. Cook the onion and garlic until translucent, scraping up the crispy bits.
- Remove the onion mix and add it to a crockpot.
- Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 2-3 hours on high, or until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
- Once the mixture cools, pulse it in a food processor or with a hand blender until it forms a smooth, consistent, paste-like texture.
- Spoon the mixture into a jar or other airtight container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
PRO TIP: For carb-conscious family members and guests, nothing beats a lettuce wrap. Just set out some iceberg lettuce along with your buns to add a skinny option to any of these burger recipes.
Note: This is a sponsored recipe post. I only endorse products I use and recommend!
Looking for more burger recipes? Check out these related posts!
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