Texas Tailgate Burger

By • January 28, 2010 15 Comments

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Author Notes: 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, and chips. You will need either a cold beer or a Texas tea to wash this bad boy down! aargersi

Food52 Review: WHO: Aargersi is a 4-time contest winner who knows a thing or two about barbecue.
WHAT: All of your favorite backyard barbecue essentials—stuffed between two buns.
HOW: Form beef patties with pickled jalapeños and chili powder, then throw them on the grill. When they're almost done, top them with a barbecue sauce-cheese mixture. The assembly is the most important part: Stack barbecue kettle chips, the patty, dill pickles, and iceberg lettuce on a bun. Toss the knife and fork, grab a paper napkin, and and open your mouth as wide as you can.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Sometimes all we want on a hot summer day is a simple salad. This is not for one of those days: Yes, you will spend the rest of the afternoon wiping barbecue sauce off of your cheeks and yes, you will get chips everywhere, but consider that the price of the perfect burger.
The Editors

Makes 6 burgers

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 cup 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)
  • 6 onion hamburger buns
  • barbecue-flavored potato chips (kettle style is best)
  • sliced dill pickles
  • Chopped iceberg lettuce (we are going for crunch, not vitamins, here!)
  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. Note: Here's how I form my patties. Grab a softball-sized handful of meat and gently form it into a ball. Then, I sort of do a back and forth hand-to-hand motion for a few tosses (kind of like how you'd make a tortilla by hand), then I pat-pat-pat the meat into a flat disc while corralling the edges with my thumb to keep them smooth and uniform. Finally, make a small thumb-sized indentation in the middle of the patty. That way you get a nice patty without over-handling the meat. That is, if you don't drop it.
  4. Prepare the barbecue 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).
  5. 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 barbecue cheese on each patty. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, place the buns cut side-down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
  6. To assemble the burgers, place an equal layer of barbecue kettle chips on each bottom bun. Add a cheese-covered 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 ol' pitcher of tea.
  7. If you are so inclined, here's my BBQ sauce recipe. Simply mix all of 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.

Tags: barbecue, barbecue, burgers, spicy, tailgate

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Comments (15) Questions (0)

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19 days ago fanaledrinks

Now that's what I call a burger!! :)

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24 days ago mizerychik

This was excellent, and fitting for a 4th of July barbecue. The barbecue cheese plus potato chips was an addictive, tasty combination that made the burger really stand out.

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2 months ago Bevi

I echo the sentiment that any sandwich with chips inside as opposed to on the side is where I am at.

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2 months ago inpatskitchen

Yay Abbie! Congratulations!

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2 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks you guys! What fun to wake up to!!!!

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2 months ago Kukla

Congratulations Abbie on the Wildcard win! This Burger looks and sounds awesome!

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2 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Go Abbie! Congratulations on the Wildcard!

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about 1 year ago Shannon

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

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about 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

:-) unhinge your jaw, like a snake

or

smush it

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about 1 year 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! :)

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about 1 year 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!

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about 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

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

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about 5 years ago Aliwaks

Oh Yum Yum Yum!

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about 5 years ago nannydeb

Yum! I love potato chips on my sammiches!

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about 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.