Texas Tailgate Burger

By • January 28, 2010 • 8 Comments

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Author Notes: It's almost Super Bowl time so I thought this would be appropriate -- here in Texas we take football and tailgating PRETTY seriously. I developed this burger at the start of college football season a couple years ago as a way to combine some tailgate favorites: burgers, barbecue, chips...you will need either a cold beer or a Texas tea to wash this bad boy down! aargersi

Food52 Review: My goodness, there is a lot going on between these two burger buns, and I am officially a fan. The barbecue sauce-onion-cheddar cheese mixture is brilliant, and is a technique I will use time and again. Pickled jalapeños add a little heat (not a lot), while the chips add a nice sweet crunch that goes perfectly with the smoky homemade BBQ sauce. Great burger for game day or a summer afternoon. figgypudding

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 cup nacho-style pickled jalapeños, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (either use your favorite, or use my recipe at the end of instructions)
  • 2 cups shredded smoked sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion (I use Texas 1015, naturally)
  • Hamburger dill pickles
  • BBQ potato chips (kettle style is best)
  • Chopped iceberg lettuce (we are going for crunch, not vitamins, here!)
  • 6 onion hamburger buns
  1. Heat your grill to medium high. Brush the grill with oil to prevent sticking.
  2. To make the patties, combine the chuck, jalapeños, salt, pepper, and chili powder in a large bowl, handling it as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  3. Prepare the BBQ cheese: Mix the barbecue sauce, cheese, and onions and set it aside. Do not refrigerate (you will be using it shortly and you don’t want it to be really cold).
  4. Place the patties on the grill rack and cook, turning once, until they're cooked to your preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. In the last 3 minutes of grilling, carefully place equal amounts of the BBQ cheese on each patty. Place the buns, cut side-down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
  5. To assemble the burgers, place an equal layer of BBQ kettle chips on each bottom bun. Add a cheese-topped patty on top, followed by a layer of pickles, and an equal amount of lettuce. Add the bun tops and serve with an ice-cold beer or a big ole' tea.
  6. if you are so inclined, here's my BBQ sauce recipe. Simply mix all the ingredients together. 1/2 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce (Louisiana style or Tabasco) 4 to 5 drops liquid smoke 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  7. Note: Here's how I form my patties. Grab a softball-sized handful of meat, and gently form it into a ball. Then -- have you ever watched anyone make tortillas by hand? I sort of do that back and forth hand-to-hand bit for a few tosses, then I pat-pat-pat the meat into a flat disc while corralling the edges with my thumb to keep them smooth and uniform. Make a small thumb-sized indentation in the middle of the patty. That way you get a nice patty without overhandling the meat. That is, if you don't drop it.

Tags: barbecue, barbecue, burgers, spicy, tailgate

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Comments (8) Questions (0)


9 months ago Shannon

Looks great, but how in the world do you eat this?


9 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

:-) unhinge your jaw, like a snake


smush it


9 months ago Madhuja

I am putting potato chips on pretty much everything these days, so this recipe is right up my alley! Congratulations on the CP, Abbie! :)


9 months ago EmilyC

Ok, this may be the most awesome picture of a burger ever! Love the sounds of this, especially the kettle chip part. Congrats on the CP!


9 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Em! Shoving chips into just about anything makes it better, right?


almost 5 years ago Aliwaks

Oh Yum Yum Yum!


almost 5 years ago nannydeb

Yum! I love potato chips on my sammiches!


almost 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Me too! I am as likely to stuff them into a PB&J as on to a burger.