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bacon infused burgers....help

I want to make ground beef burgers with bacon in the ground meat. I read about some restaurant doing this & it sounded yummy. I do not grind my own meat so will be buying it at the store....what should I get considering there is fat in the bacon? I usually get 75/25 but wonder if I should get sirloin or 85/15. And since we like our burgers rare...should I precook the bacon? And lastly...how do I do the bacon? Just try to chop it really, really fine & mix it with the meat or should I try to put it in the food processor?
Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. I would do the food processor to "grind" the bacon, then mix it in with the ground beef by hand. I grind my own bacon burgers and do 3lbs chuck to 1lb bacon to give an idea of a ratio. I do not precook the bacon, but I do cook to medium when I do these, versus my usual med rare when I'm not doing the bacon. I think doing it with an 85/15 or even 90/10 would be best.

    9 Replies
    1. re: juliejulez

      I agree. If you can't grind together, as I do, chop as finely as possible and mix into the beef until consistent. I, too, eat my burger on the rare side, and never worry about heating the bacon to 160 degrees. In fact, I like to eat bacon raw on occasion. As far as the beef grind, the bacon should offer as much fat as needed. I would choose the cut by the taste desired..For me a well-trimmed chuck would be great. Otherwise, sirloin, I suppose.

      1. re: primebeefisgood

        My $0.02 -- make a great burger with 80 - 20 chuck & put the bacon on top where it belongs and can be appreciated. And don't overcook the bacon of its going on a burger.

        1. re: rjbh20

          Agreed. And make sure the bacon is crispy and not chewy so you don't risk pulling the whole slice out and having it slap you on the chin. I just prefer the two seperate and distinct flavors.
          I just wonder if it wouldn't hurt to gently simmer in water or broth to make the bacon more safe if you are set on adding it into the beef uncooked. This would also help in rendering fat and remove some of the calories. Add a smidge of liquid smoke if you are worried about losing the flavor. Although I don't think you will.

          1. re: suzigirl

            i don't like cooking my scrambled eggs in bacon drippings because i enjoy the two separate flavors, but that's not what the op is asking.

            as to simmering bacon to remove the fat? that's also kinda missing the point. not everybody is fat-phobic.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              I wasn't suggesting the poster simmer the bacon because of a fat phobia. It was to make it safe to grind into the beef to serve more rare. I think i was doing exactly what I stated. Posting to Rbjh20 and the original poster with my opinion.

              1. re: suzigirl

                Bacon is safe. Well, it's as safe or safer (due to curing?) than other meats. Mishandling can allow bacteria on the surface as it can with the beef it's being mixed with.

                1. re: suzigirl

                  "This would also help in rendering fat and remove some of the calories."

                  ~~~

                  lol. ok. i guess i misunderstood that bit. :)

                  bacon is cured. it's safe to eat as is. most just prefer it cooked and crispy.

          2. re: primebeefisgood

            I grind my own my own meat and have thought about bacon in the beef. Doing it by hand, how do you mix it in without "overhandling" the meat?

            1. re: c oliver

              Very gently, plus a little cold water. My actual recommendation is to grind it together much like a sausage. Apparently Sparkareno doesn't have access to a grinder.

        2. Just thinking out loud. When cooked by its self in a skillet, bacon probably reaches 300-F to 400-F resulting in browning and rendering the fat and creating the wonderful flavor.

          Bits of bacon in the center of a burger would probably be lucky to reach 200-F (more likely 165-F), so the taste may not be the same.

          Adding crumbled, cooked bacon and some rendered bacon grease to the ground beef may result in more flavor when it is cooked.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Antilope

            If bacon got to 400 F it would be carbon, I believe.

            1. re: primebeefisgood

              When you fry bacon in the oven, the recommended oven temperature is usually 375-F to 400-F.

              1. re: Antilope

                Yes, but it' unlikely that the bacon itself reaches 400F. I cook a whole chicken in an oven set to 400, but if the chicken hot 400, it would be history.

                I agree, though, that part of the flavor of bacon as we know it is when it's cooked.

                The OP should definitely try it. There's really little that can go wrong. I tried it, and found that given an equal amount of bacon, I found much more flavor when I cook a few slices and top the burger, rather than add the same amount chopped into the ground beef. Ditto when I've had bacon burgers when out, the taste of bacon is faint. But hey, lots of folks like bacon in their burger.

            2. re: Antilope

              My/Batali's Italian sausage recipe has pork and bacon(me)/pancetta (Batali) and it's wonderful. No problem with taste or texture.

            3. See this is what I was wondering...concerned about the consistency of the bacon as well as the flavor. I don't want to bite into bits of rare bacon. But if I partially cook it should I still run it through the food processor?

              1 Reply
              1. re: sparkareno

                Running it through a food processor, or crumbling it really small would probably be the thing to do.

                I'm thinking about burgers I've been served with strips of cooked bacon on top. It usually results in a piece of rubbery, chewy bacon, it doesn't stay crisp.

              2. We've added partially rendered bacon into a home ground mix of sirloin and short ribs by baking the bacon slices at 350 for about 10 minutes. Bacon is partially rendered but still pretty soft, easily ground in food processor and then run through the meat grinder with the other beef ingredients. We use a good smokey bacon like Usingers to add the smoked flavor through the burgers and the grilled result is fabulously moist and flavorful.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ThanksVille

                  I think that would work even though OP isn't grinding the meat. Good idea.

                  I don't think the fat proportions are particularly important. When I make sausage I use pork shoulder and bacon and it's great.

                  1. re: ThanksVille

                    this.^^

                    i worked at a restaurant that had bacon burgers on the menu for awhile and this is how they did them.

                    they were insanely good.

                  2. Well, having tried a few different approaches, my favorite is to get thick slices of twice smoked bacon. By thick, I mean, close to a quarter inch. I julienne the slices and add 'em into my meat. I like the texture that way and double smoked bacon does not require any cooking at all, so it's great for rare burgers.

                    Second favorite was to actually cook off regular bacon until it was just shy of crisp. Then, make a sorta lattice out of a coupla slices and place 'em in the center of the patties. You can even put cheese inside the bacon lattice. If you're really lookin' for something totally over the top (or just pretty stoned) fill with the bacon/cheese bundles as described and top with more bacon and cheese.*

                    Most importantly, don't forget to dimple each burger.

                    *I've never tried to combine the first burger and the second one, but, come on, you know that's gotta be ungodly good . . . .

                    1. I buy the 90% (or sometimes Stew Beef) and re-grind it with about 8 slices of thick bacon per pound..all together, no pre-baking...but we cook to medium. You might wanna sautee first, but it's the release of the bacon fat into the meat that is gonna give you the flavor. Mushrooms, onion, spices all go into our meat mix as well

                      1. the only time I did this I took the leftover chain from triming out a tenderloin...and took some applewood lardons and parcooked them a bit in a skillet... then i ran it all through my meat grinder,,,,, the most amazing burgers ever