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Stop wondering what to do with that half empty jar of bacon jam in the fridge, instead make these Bacon Onion Jam Burgers and wish you had more jars in the cupboard. Juicy seared burgers topped with sharp white cheddar and a gooey bacon jam will make your mouth happy with every bite.
Bacon onion jam is the stuff a foodie’s dreams are made of, at least for this foodie. It’s gooey, savory, a little sweet and loaded with caramelized onions and bacon. How could it NOT taste good on a burger?
While there are many, many bacon jams available to purchase through gourmet makers, (even get it on Amazon), I of course always recommend you make it from scratch. It’s a heck of a lot easier than you think, and I already have the perfect Maple Bacon Onion Jam recipe ready for you. While that’s getting all jammy and delicious on the stove, you’ll have the perfect amount of time to prep burgers to smother with it. It’s okay to drool.
The Perfect Burger PAtty
You can go to 5 different chefs and they may each tell you something entirely different about what makes the best burger patty. Season the mixture, only season the surface, go with ground chuck, no go with a blend of blah blah.
Here’s the deal, I’ve eaten a LOT of burgers. I can accurately dub myself a burger snob. From classic ground chuck, to a sirloin brisket blend, each have their merits. Maybe your reading this saying, hey lady, I have the package of generic ground beef in my fridge. That’s fine too.
If there’s one thing I want to emphasize when aiming for a good burger, it’s don’t shy away from the fat! If you’re going to eat beef, let the fat do it’s job and go for a 80/20 ratio, no leaner.
If however you’re intrigued by the thought of gourmet burger blends and grinding your own meat (it really is fun), check out this blog post, she shares tons of tips and options for you.
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you I don’t love a good gourmet burger with unique hand crafted toppings. BUT, a good burger doesn’t have to be complicated! When you’re making Bacon Jam Burgers, it’s best to let the burger and the jam shine.
- Burger Patties – As previously discussed, a high fat blend of burger meat, shaped into 4.5 to 5 ounce patties is preferred.
- Bacon Jam – I like to heap a few tablespoons on each burger. If you’re making your own, my maple bacon onion jam will easily top 10 burgers. If you’re cooking less burgers than that, good news, you have extra to make bacon jam crostini, or you know, to eat with a spoon.
- Buns – I like to experiment and make my own, but you can do you here. A sturdy, brioche bun is always a favorite when in doubt. (This is one of my favorite burger bun recipes, I usually double it!)
- Mayonnaise – I’m not a fan of dry buns for a burger. Mayo provides a little moisture, a little richness, without overwhelming or detracting from the other flavors.
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese – This one I stand firmly behind. Every time I tested these I tried a different cheese and it really needs to be a strong, big flavored cheese to matter on a bacon onion jam burger. If not, you won’t taste it and that’s not a happy thing.
- Dark Leafy Greens – In different tests we tried arugula and spinach, and both are good. My husband detests arugula, but I think the peppery bite is fantastic. Spinach is milder, but still retains enough body and crispness to enhance the overall bite of your burger.
- Salt & Pepper – Because you’ve gotta season those patties!
Not complicated am I right? If you’re making your own bacon onion jam, hop on over to the recipe here and add those ingredients to your shopping list as well.
Let’s Make Burgers!
First things first, have the bacon jam ready! The overall time it takes to make the burgers themselves is pretty quick, so if you’re making homemade jam, definitely do that first. Once you’re jam is in the final 15 to 20 minutes, you’re good to start prepping and cooking your burgers.
- Take a moment to prep your ingredients. Shred or slice your cheese, have burger buns sliced and nearby, and your greens washed. Form your patties to about 1 inch thick, pressing a little thinner in the center (reduces the risk of shrinking), and stand by with seasoning.
- Heat a griddle, heavy bottomed pan, or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Since you’re using 20% fat burgers, there’s no need for oil.
- When you pan is hot (and I mean hot), toss your buns into the pan cut side down to give them a quick toast. If you’re using a smaller pan, you can do this in your toaster or a toaster oven too. This takes me about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Season each burger patty with about 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. (keep in mind that bacon jam will have it’s own salt.)
- Place the burgers down on the hot griddle or pan and don’t move it again for 5 minutes. If you bacon jam is cold from the fridge, I’d recommend heating it up, either in a saucepan over gentle heat or a quick jolt in the microwave.
- Once browned on the first side, flip the burgers. Let cook on the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
- In the last 3 minutes of cook time, place on the cheese. Cover with a lid or foil to trap in the steam and create gooey, melty cheese.
- Spread your burger buns with mayo and layer the bottom bun with a handful of greens.
- When burgers are cooked, slide them on top of the greens and dollop a few tablespoons of bacon jam on top. close with the top bun and serve immediately!
Pro Tip 1: I cook our burgers to a medium temp, which is about 5 minutes per side. For medium rare, shave that down to 4, for medium well up it to 6, and for well done, 7.
Pro Tip 2: Don’t have a griddle? (Get one!) You can use a pan, or grill your burgers on the bbq as well. I find that griddles or cast iron skillets create the best texture on the burgers, and keep them juiciest.
There you have it, perfectly juicy, jam topped burgers that you’ll wish you made more of. Good thing they’re easy to make right? Serve it up with some homemade double fried french fries, easy oven roasted potatoes, or even a tomato spinach salad to make yourself feel a bit better about getting your grub on.
OF COURSE! Please do, I think they’d be delicious. Be sure to cook them to the appropriate temperatures for food safety.
In full truth when I cook burgers I often throw an extra one on the griddle for my husbands lunch the next day. Is it just as good? I think he’d say no. Burgers are best eaten fresh, but there’s no harm in reheating extras the next day so long as they’re stored in the fridge in a sealed container once cool.
You can, I simply recommend choosing one with a strong flavor. Jack, medium and mild cheddars, provolone hardly added any flavor to this burger. Go sharp!
Eat & Enjoy
Whether you’re a burger aficionado, a fan of classic burgers, or just looking to use some bacon jam you got in a gift basket, I think this burger will do the trick for you. Bacon and onions are a classic burger topping after all, but cooked down into a jam takes this burger straight into the gourmet league. I hope you enjoy, and until next time, Happy Eating!
If you like this burger recipe, check out these other burger and sandwich recipes:
- Crispy Chicken Sandwiches with Creamy Avocado Spread
- Brie and Truffle Burgers with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Creme Fraiche
- Thai Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- Crispy Panko Chicken Burgers
- Red, White, and Blueberry Bacon Burgers with Basil Aioli
- Mongolian Barbecue Burgers with Asian Slaw
- 20 ounces ground beef
- 4 burger buns
- 3/4 cups bacon onion jam
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup leafy greens (arugula or spinach)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- If making your own bacon onion jam, do that first. (See note below)
- Shape your ground beef into 4 patties, about 1 inch thick, making them slightly thinner toward the middle to prevent shrinking.
- Heat a griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, slice cheese, slice buns, and get other ingredients ready.
- When griddle is hot, place on buns to toast for 2 to 3 minutes*. Season the burgers with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Place burgers on hot griddle and let cook, without moving for 5 minutes. Meanwhile if your bacon jam isn't warm, heat gently in a sauce pan or microwave until warm.
- Flip burgers and cook for an additional 5 minutes*. In the last three minutes, place the cheese on top of the burgers and cover with a lid or tent with foil to let the cheese melt.
- While your burgers finish cooking, spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each burger bun and layer the bottom buns with greens.
- When burgers are done, place on top of the leafy greens. Spoon two to three tablespoons of bacon jam on each burger and top with bun.
- Serve immediately.
If you’d like to make your own bacon jam for the burgers, please see this recipe*You can also toast the buns in a toaster or toaster oven. *5 minutes per side is for a medium burger. For medium rare reduce to 4 minutes per side, for medium well increase to 6, and for well done, to 7 per side.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.