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Galley Recipe: Stuffed Bacon-Cheddar Burgers

Try this recipe for the ultimate Cheeseburger in Paradise.

July 7, 2021
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Stuffed bacon-cheddar burger
Cheeseburger in Paradise Lynda Morris Childress

Until recently, my husband, Bob, and I cruised the Bahamas and Caribbean every year aboard Scaramouche, our Tayana 58. As we headed south from Florida, our home port, my mind sometimes drifted to the favorite “meals out” we’d left behind. One was a delicious, juicy burger from our local bar and grill. I decided to create my own ideal burger on board, and it’s since become our benchmark, whether eating aboard or dining out.

The ideal burger is made from ground chuck with 20 percent fat (this is not the time to go lean), and is grilled to a crusty char outside and (per our own preference) perfectly rare to medium-rare inside. Use a digital meat thermometer to cook the burgers to your own desired level of doneness (see “Cook’s Notes,” below). The first bite of that ultimate burger should be juicy and full of flavor. Enjoy every bite!

Stuffed Bacon-Cheddar Burgers Recipe

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 6-8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, diced in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns (we like brioche)
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, softened (optional)

Serves: 4

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Preparation: at anchor

Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: easy

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If using a grill, preheat it for direct, medium-high heat (at least 400°F).

Spread bacon in a nonstick skillet. Bring heat to medium, and cook bacon until it’s beginning to brown and almost crispy. Transfer to a paper towel on a plate to drain, and chop into pieces once cool. Remove skillet from heat. If you’re pan-grilling the burgers, set pan aside—do not wash.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add the bacon and cheese pieces. Mix by hand and form four equal-size patties, about 1 inch thick. Make a small indent with your thumb in each patty to prevent burgers from bulging as they cook.

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Grill: Brush grill grates with a little vegetable oil. Place patties on the grill and cover for 4 minutes. Flip burgers and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare. If desired, top with cheese slices just before burgers are done; close lid until cheese melts. Remove to a plate and let rest.

Stovetop: Use a paper towel to wipe excess bacon grease from skillet, leaving a thin coating. Over medium-high heat, cook burgers for about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Add extra cheese as above if desired; briefly cover pan until cheese melts.

Butter the cut sides of the buns and grill briefly before plating. Add your favorite toppings. Serve with potato chips.

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