For the uninitiated, a Juicy Lucy (also spelled Jucy Lucy) is nothing more than a simple burger stuffed with cheese. On the surface, it might appear to be little more than an average cheeseburger, but there’s an amazing thing that happens when the cheese is set inside the beef instead of on top. The result of hot beef fat dripping onto a highly meltable cheese (American being the optimal choice here) results in a molten concoction that brings danger onto unsuspecting mouths, but immense amounts of joy to those who display patience.
Separate the burger into 8 pieces and create 1/4-inch thick patties out of each one.
Fold the American cheese slices in half, twice, making a square, and stick into the middle of four of the patties, gently pressing down into the meat
Place the other four patties on top of the patties that have the cheese, pinch to seal the edges, and form into perfect burgers roughly 3/4-inches thick. It's very important to seal it in! Season the patties liberally with salt and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and each side.
Pour a little oil on a cast iron pan and set it over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, gently place in your burgers in the pan. Cook until a hard caramelized crust forms on the bottom of the burger (3-5 minutes), flip, and repeat. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, remove from the heat, and set aside to rest.
Add your butter and onions to the pan and cook in the residual oil and beef fat until the onions soften and start to brown (approx. 3-5 minutes). Remove onions from the pan and set aside.
Place your buns down on the pan and lightly toast to warm through (30 seconds-1 minute). Place your burgers on the buns, top with the onions and pickle chips, and enjoy!
:::WARNING::: If you don't let your burgers rest, you WILL burn your mouth with molten cheese.
Keane Amdahl is a veteran Twin Cities food writer and author of the new book, Lake Fish: Modern Cooking with Freshwater Fish. Having currently worked as the sustainable seafood coordinator at the Minnesota Zoo, he is currently the marketing and business relations specialist with Fortune Fish Minnesota and can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @FoodStoned.