Slideshow: The Burger Lab: How To Make The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

The Bacon Cheeseburger
The Bacon Cheeseburger

Beef patty cooked in bacon fat, topped with cheese and onions caramelized in bacon fat, a bacon weave, and a sauce made with bacon fat, all served on a bun toasted in bacon fat. It's a lot of bacon, but it's not overpowering. Here's how I make it.

Step 1: Lay out half the bacon.
Step 1: Lay out half the bacon.

Six slices, side by side on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Step 2: Start weavin'!
Step 2: Start weavin'!

Fold up every other slice of bacon in half, then lay another slice horizontally at the bottom of the fold. Re-open the folded bacon so it's not lying on top of the new bacon slice, then fold up the *other* bacon slices.

Step 4: More weaving.
Step 4: More weaving.

Lay out the bottom strip of bacon under the new fold. Unfold the bacon again, the repeat on the top half, this time folding the slices down instead of up.

Step 5: Weave complete.
Step 5: Weave complete.

The completed weave, ready for the oven. Put it in a preheated 400°F oven and cook it until it's crisp. It'll take about 25 minutes. Don't let it burn!

Oh, and if you've got a big-ass cast iron skillet, throw it in the oven too!

Step 6: Form the patties.
Step 6: Form the patties.

For four 6-ounce beef patties with freshly ground beef. You want the patties to be a little wider than your buns. Push a small indentation into the center of the patty like this so that as the edges of the patty shrink while they cook, the patty will remain relatively fat instead of turning into a gold ball.

Step 8: Bacon is cooked!
Step 8: Bacon is cooked!

Pull your bacon out of the oven when it's done.

Step 9: Drain the weave.
Step 9: Drain the weave.

Transfer the weave to a paper towel-lined plate to drain a bit. Set aside.

Step 10: Save that fat!
Step 10: Save that fat!

Don't lose that bacon fat! It's got delicious flavor and is great for cooking with. We're going to use it four more ways before the burgers are done.

Step 12: Make the sauce.
Step 12: Make the sauce.

I make a "special sauce" type spread for my burgers with a mix of mayo, a bit of ketchup, a bit of mustard, and sweet pickle relish. To this, I stir in a few tablespoons of liquid bacon fat.

Step 13: Sear the burgers.
Step 13: Sear the burgers.

Add the remaining bacon fat to that pre-heated cast iron skillet and place it on a burner over high heat. Add the burgers and cook them, turning occasionally. (Yes, you can flip them multiple times—as many as you can without letting them fall apart. It will help them cook faster and more evenly as well as develop a nice brown crust).

Step 14: Keep cooking!
Step 14: Keep cooking!

The burgers may look a little pale for the fist few flips, but keep going and that crust will develop before long.

Step 16: Cheese it!
Step 16: Cheese it!

Add the sliced cheese and let it melt in the skillet.

Step 17: Rest the burgers.
Step 17: Rest the burgers.

Transfer the burgers to a paper towel-lined plate to rest for a few minutes. This will help it retain juices when you eat it.

Step 18: It's onion time!
Step 18: It's onion time!

Add a thing-sliced onion to all that bacon and beef fat in the skillet, season them with salt and pepper, and cook them, stirring every once in a while.

Step 20: Onions are caramelized.
Step 20: Onions are caramelized.

After a few minutes, the onions should be soft, brown, and sweet.

Step 21: Cut the weave.
Step 21: Cut the weave.

Cut the bacon weave into four even squares, one per burger.

Step 22: Start assembly.
Step 22: Start assembly.

Spread the sauce on the top and bottom buns, then add a few pickle slices (or whatever other toppings or bottomings you like) to the bottom or top bun.

Step 24: Add the onions.
Step 24: Add the onions.

Top the patties with browned onions.

Step 25: Add the weave.
Step 25: Add the weave.

Place a square of bacon weave on top of each burger.

Step 26: Close'em up!
Step 26: Close'em up!

Close the burgers and get yourself ready for a good time.

Autopsy
Autopsy
Nice and rosy pink and juicy throughout.