Whether it is as hot as blue blazes or it is raining, we somehow manage to find that cozy moment among friends and family to enjoy as well two of “the most delicious BBQ pals”- burgers and beer.
There were many times when we craved our favorite burger while needing to wet our whistle with a good beer. However, we also challenged ourselves to see beyond this “traditional meeting” between burgers and beer. Therefore we have explored as well as variations of burger recipes using beer as a key ingredient or even adapting the beer can for shaping awesome burger dishes.
The two sides of the same “coin”
When we wrote this article, we had in mind the purpose of seeing different contexts where burgers and beer blend each other (have a look here to understand different beef cuts useful for your burgers’ meat 80/20). On the one side, within three of the most suggestive and mouth-watering burger recipes considered by us, we wanted to encourage you to be creative and open to other combinations using the two BBQ pals.
On the other way, we also think that one hasn’t experienced a real burger until he/she has tried a stuffed beer can burger. Therefore we chose in essence two recipes of beer can burgers and a classical burger, each of them being unique in the way beer is used- as a key ingredient for the filling or as a tool for having the meat pocket for the filling.
Burgers and beer based filling
This recipe gathers both ways of using beer, as an ingredient for the filling as well as a tool for giving the patty shape for the ground beef. Having the following quantitates for the ingredients, would mean just enough for 2 beer can burgers.
Let the magic begin…
- 1 lb., 80/20 (lean beef / fat percentage) of ground beef
- 1/2 lb. bacon
- 4 slices swiss cheese
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. BBQ rub (it can be easily found in supermarkets)
- 1/4 cup beer
- 1 beer can
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
- pinch of salt
- 2 ciabatta buns (or other hefty buns)
- lettuce, shredded
- ketchup or tomatoes sauce would work just fine
The bacon searing…
1. While you preheat over medium heat your skillet, dice a few slices of bacon (don’t forget to set aside 4 slices useful later on).
2. Set your diced bacon into the pan and slightly sear it (don’t sear it too much because there will be a second round of browning with the mushrooms and onions).
3. Remove the diced bacon and set it aside to rest a bit.
The first phase of the mushrooms’ browning…
4. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the mushrooms, the beer, and the BBQ rub.
5. Cook the mixt until the liquid is gone and mushrooms are softened.
6. At this stage, remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.
7. Meantime preheat your grill to 275ºF.
About time to bring the onions…
8. Preheat another skillet with a touch of olive oil, to medium heat. Then add the onion and a pinch of salt.
9. Slightly wait for the brownie face of your onions. Be careful to stir them often, gently avoiding high heat, otherwise, the onions will scorch.
10. Let your onions join your previously browned mushrooms and bacon. They need to communicate to release the best of their flavors all together.
The beer can comes into action…
11. While the onions and mushrooms mix, slowly cooks, take 2 balls (approx. 1/2 lb each) from the 80/20 ground beef and press a beer can into the center of each ball.
12. Furthermore, shape around the bottom of the can a sort of a “meat bowl”.
13. Once you have the desired bowl shape, remove the can from the meat and season the beef with the BBQ rub.
14. Give more support to your meat bowls, by wrapping their sides with the reserved slices of bacon (it would be enough 2 slices per burger).
There comes the mouth-watering filling…
15. Add into your bowl successively a layer of swiss cheese and then the gorgeous filling till the top of the “meat bowl”. Furthermore, top each burger with one whole slice of swiss cheese.
Lovely smoking moments…
16. Smoke/grill the burgers until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF (check the temperature using an instant meat thermometer). The cooking time will give you more or less an hour (to clean your kitchen perhaps 😝).
17. While the burgers smoke, you can toast your ciabatta buns.
18. The final beer can burgers serving has a fresh lettuce touch, not to mention also the extra flavor (according to your preference) of tomato sauce or ketchup.
Burgers and beer cheese based filling with crispy onions
We couldn’t forget about the use of beer within the cheese sauce- a lovely sauce which is one of our favorites. The following quantities should allow the cooking of 2 burgers..
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 bottle beer
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
For the crispy onions
- 1 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1-2 tbs. of oil used for frying
For the burger
- pretzel/ciabatta buns
- hamburger patties grilled, about 2 portions (containing 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef)
The beer cheese preparation…
This sauce is easy as pie to prepare once you follow the steps.
1. First, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the flour while mixing gradually.
2. Furthermore, pour in beer, whisking constantly, and slowly adding cheese, little by little, until you’ll feel a sauce with a smooth consistency.
3. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the mustard and the hot sauce.
Let’s handle the crispy onions…
4. While preheating another skillet with oil, mix the egg and milk in a small bowl (egg mixture).
5. In a separated bowl whisk together flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper (flour mixture).
6. Dip gradually the onion slices into the egg mixture, then coat them in flour mixture.
7. Shake off excess then place the coated onions in oil and fry them for about 2 minutes until they get deliciously brownish.
8. Then, rest the fried onions on a paper towel and continue in the same way with the remaining ones.
In the end, place the burger patties (that were grilled- we skipped this step because it has nothing special compared to usual burgers) on the pretzel buns and top them with the amazing beer cheese and crispy onions.
Using beer as a tool for making an amazing stuffed burger
The bellow quantities are sufficient for 3 amazing stuffed burgers. In reality, some of the ingredients are subjective, a matter of each one’s tastes (such as cheese sauce, soy sauce). With this in mind, we can adapt easily to different nuances of our preferences, for example, the cheese sauce level used for the filling.
- 1.5 pounds, 80/20 (lean beef / fat percentage) of ground beef
- a pinch of kosher salt
- a pinch of garlic powder
- a couple of splashes of soy sauce
- macaroni pasta
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium diced onion
- 2-3 minced garlic heads
- diced Serrano peppers
- Cheez Whiz (our cheese sauce)
- Montreal steak seasoning
- 1 beer can
- 2 ciabatta buns (or other hefty buns)
- 3 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
- 6 slices of bacon
Preparing the special filling…
1. First, boil de macaroni pasta for about 7-8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in another preheated skillet pour a bit of extra virgin oil and then throw in the diced onion. Let the onion for a couple of minutes to soften and when this happens, add the minced garlic and diced Serrano peppers (this will give that drop of spiciness that wakes our senses in a delicious way).
3. Furthermore, let the onion, garlic, and peppers to soften a bit all together but not for a too long time (it’s enough for about 1 minute).
4. At this point, your macaroni pasta should be ready and this would be the right moment to take them out from the boiling water. Ah… please don’t forget to set aside a bit of water from your pasta.
5. Moreover, place your macaroni into another pan where you will add gradually as well the Cheez Whiz sauce. As you mix it you will see the consistency of your sauce blending more and more. The quantity for the Cheez Whiz sauce is a matter of taste more.
6. Additionally, bring over your pasta, the onion, garlic, and peppers mixture. Nevertheless, you will feel the need also to add some of the saved pasta water for a smoother mixing. Mix everything slowly.
7. Equally important, season the cheesy pasta by using Montreal steak rub (be careful to not exaggerate with it).
Where burgers and beer help meet in a different way…
8. Furthermore, we play with our ground beef which should be enough for shaping 3 stuffed burgers.
9. First, season the ground beef with kosher salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Once the mix is ready, shape 3 “meat bowls” with the help of a beer can (by pressing the beer can into the center of each ball). As a result of this trick, you will have the pockets for stuffing the wonderful pasta filling.
10. Place the burgers onto a baking sheet and wrap a couple of slices of bacon on the outside of the burger patties for flavor as well as better stability later on, during the grilling process.
A bit of art with the stuffing part…
11. Start off with a couple of slices of Monterey jack cheese on the bottom of each meat bowl. Then bring as the second layer, your macaroni with cheese sauce. Then, top it off with a big slice of Monterey Jack cheese.
12. Last but not least, place the beer can burgers onto your preheated grill and smoke them in the first phase for about 30 minutes. Then, check their level of browning and leave them for about 10 minutes more.
13. Toast the ciabatta buns and slide one side of the buns with mayonnaise.
Finally, place the wonderful melting bowls on the bed of mayonnaise.
After all these we can’t talk anymore, we can only enjoy the flavors and feel them without any other word.
Let us know what do you think about these burger dishes or maybe you can also share with us your top 5 burger ingredients.
Cheers to the best burgers and beer!