These Bacon Burgers with Maple Bourbon Caramelized Onions are so juicy, loaded with flavor, and easy to make. Bacon-infused ground beef that’s perfectly seasoned and flavored, with sharp cheddar cheese and maple bourbon caramelized onions. It’s savory, a lil’ sweet, and smoky: the best burgers you’ll ever have!
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 lb ground beef (grass-fed, kobe/wagyu recommended)
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese (we use Tillamook)
For burger assembly:
- 4 hamburger buns of choice (we love using pretzel, brioche, and potato buns!)- lightly toasted, if desired
- butter lettuce and tomatoes, as desired
- mayonnaise, mustard, and other condiments, as desired
- Cook the bacon: Add the chopped bacon into a large (at least 10-inches, and preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon pieces, turning every so often, until completely crisp. Then use a slotted utensil to remove the crisp bacon and set aside onto a paper towel-lined plate, do not shut off the heat.
- Caramelize the onions: There should be plenty of rendered bacon fat in the skillet, add the sliced onion into the same pan and stir to coat the onions with the grease. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions until tender and golden, stirring the onions every so often for even cooking, about 25-30 minutes. Properly caramelizing onions is a slow cooking process, and it will take time for them to break down and fully caramelize, careful not to overcook.
- Meanwhile, prep the bacon burgers: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, worcestershire, mustard, garlic powder, old bay, salt/pepper-to taste, and reserved bacon pieces. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to bring the mixture together until just combined- overworking the burger mixture can lead to tough burgers, careful not to overmix.
- Evenly divide the bacon burger mixture into 4 even portions. Use your hands to flatten each portion into a burger patty, about 1-inch thick. Then set the patties aside on a platter/plate.
- Back to the onions: Once the onions are golden, create a well in the center of the pan. Pour in the bourbon to deglaze and stir together along with the onions, about 30 seconds- scraping up any bits with a wooden utensil. Then pour in the maple syrup and stir to combine. Remove the maple bourbon caramelized onions from the skillet and set aside. Carefully wipe the skillet clean.
- Cook the bacon burgers: Add the oil into the skillet over medium-high heat and heat through. Place the bacon burger patties directly into the skillet with a bit of space in between each one. Note: if you can’t fit all the patties in, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side- until golden and slightly charred (or until your desired level of doneness). Do not press down/smash the burgers as they cook, we want to keep all the flavor/juiciness locked in!
- At the 1-minute mark left on the cooking time, place a slice of cheese over the top of each burger. I like to place a lid or similar heatproof object over the skillet to allow the cheese to steam and get extra melty. Then transfer the bacon burgers to a clean plate/platter and let rest for a few minutes before assembling the burgers.
- Serve: Assemble the bacon burgers as desired, on lightly toasted buns with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, and a helping of the reserved maple bourbon caramelized onions. Serve burgers alongside your favorite side items- if desired. Enjoy!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
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