It may be an American trait to try and improve an established classic. Burgers these days are topped with all manner of ingredients, including eggs, avocado, even French fries. With a Juicy Lucy, the extra goodness is inside; a traditional hamburger is stuffed with American cheese. Cheeses like pepper jack and mild cheddar also melt well. Two Minneapolis bars, the 5-8 Club and Matt’s, claim to have created the stuffed burger in the 1950s. Home cooks should use a high-quality chuck with 15 to 20 percent fat content—fat equals flavor and moisture. Be sure to let the burgers rest a few minutes after cooking as the cheese filling can be extremely hot.
Recipe Servings: 4
+ 5 minutes resting
- 4 slices American cheese (about 3 oz)
- 1½ lbs ground chuck (15–20 percent fat content), chilled
- 1¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill (or use grill pan)
- 4 (4-inch) hamburger buns, split and toasted
- Sliced pickles, for serving
- Cut each cheese slice in half and then in half again to form 4 squares. Place pieces on top of each other to form cheese stack. Set aside.
- Place meat, salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire, and pepper in large bowl. Mix with clean hands until just combined.
- Divide meat into 8 equal portions and place on work surface.
- Using fingertips, press 2 portions of the meat into two ¼-inch patties. Should be about 1 inch wider in diameter than hamburger buns.
- Place one stack of cheese in center of one patty and then top with second patty.
- Pinch edges of patties together to form tight seal.
- Cup patty with hands to round out edges and press top gently to slightly flatten out patty.
- Transfer to plate and make remaining cheese-filled burger patties, totaling 4. Refrigerate until grill or grill pan is heated.
- If grilling, heat grill to medium high (375°F–425°F) and then rub grate well with paper towels dipped in vegetable oil.
- Place patties on grill (or grill pan). If grilling, close lid and cook undisturbed until grill marks appear, about 3–4 minutes.
- Flip patties with spatula, close grill again and cook until grill marks appear, another 3-4 minutes.
- Remove to clean plate and let rest in warm place 5 minutes. Cheese filling can be dangerously hot, so don’t skip this step.
- Place patties on toasted hamburger bun bottoms, top with pickles and cover with bun top.
- Serve immediately.
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