When it comes to comfort food, a burger will always be my first choice. And when it comes to burger decadence my Ultimate Pulled Pork Cheeseburger is at the top of my list of “Foods I want to devour”.
Oh, the joy of cheeseburgers…sigh. There was a time in my life when I didn’t eat red meat. I found some solace in turkey and chicken burgers, but they never came close to that meaty beefy deliciousness of a grilled burger with all the fixings.
The great thing about burgers is they play well with all types of food. I’ve seen them topped with everything from bacon to lobster. I think that’s what truly makes hamburgers the all-American food.
What do I need to make the Ultimate Pulled Pork Cheeseburger?
Now it’s time to create some deliciousness! Let’s gather the ingredients we need to make my Ultimate Pulled Pork Cheeseburger.
In chef-speak we call this the mise en place. Whether you’re making burgers or baking a cake, getting all your ingredients together before you start cooking is a good habit to get into.
Not only does it make the cooking process faster, it ensures you have everything you need to make the dish you’re creating. Nothing is worse than getting to an ingredient in the recipe to find out you don’t have it on hand.
What type of meat should I use for Burgers?
Depending upon who you ask, you’ll get a multitude of different answers. Grill masters have their own secret blend of beef to make the perfect burger. Meat grinding techniques are also important in creating the perfect burger.
That being said, it’s a lot of work for truthfully not enough results. Finding a fresh or frozen burger that works for you will still create a better burger than most restaurants will serve you.
When I look for burgers at my grocery store, I check for blended meat burgers. If they don’t have those I look for Black Angus burgers and then burgers made with ground chuck 80/20. Low-fat meats like a 90/10 blend will make for a dry tasteless burger. Fat equals flavor!
When I mention blended-meat burgers, I’m talking about a premade burger you’ll find in the fresh meat department of your grocer. A blend of chuck and brisket will add flavor to your burger. Grill masters will usually add brisket or short rib meat to their burgers to enhance the flavor.
How do I Grill the Perfect Burger?
Prepare the Burgers for Grilling
With fresh burgers keeping the meat cold is crucial to grilling a good burger. Frozen hamburgers should remain fully frozen before cooking.
Season the burgers before cooking. I like to brush the burgers with Worchester sauce and season them with sea salt and black pepper. You can do this ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until needed.
*Feel free to use any of your favorite seasonings or condiments to flavor your burgers before cooking.
Use High Heat when Grilling Meat
I’m talking seriously searing hot heat….get the picture? And that means starting with good charcoal or a very hot gas grill. You want the grill heated up to 450 – 500 degrees F before adding your patties.
High heat does wonderful things to beef. The natural sugars in the meat caramelize causing what is known as the Mallard Reaction.
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars created by heat. Caramelization is the browning of sugar by oxidation under heat. There are small amounts of sugars in meat, that cause this reaction and give you that rich, complex flavor that we love.
There are also fats on the surface, and they contribute a lot to the flavor of the meat. When heat melts the fat and chemically alters it, the flavor is also drastically altered. Which is why I mentioned earlier that Fat = Flavor.
Always Start with a Clean Grill
Making sure your grill is clean before you start grilling anything should be your first concern. After cleaning the grill and allowing it to get hot, coat the grill by pouring cooking oil on a folded paper towel. Safely oil the grate using long-handled tongs to hold the oiled paper towels.
Now it’s time to start grilling your burgers! There are a few rules to making delicious juicy burgers on the grill.
Rule #1: Once the burger is on the grill, don’t mash it down. If you feel inclined to smash it down (unless you’re using a griddle) do it before you place the meat on the grill.
**If you have problems with the burgers bubbling up in the middle when they cook, push down with three fingers in the center of the burger before you start grilling. Making a slight indentation in the center of the meat should help solve this problem.
Rule #2: Remember how you were always told not to flip the burger more than once? Forget about it. Flipping the burger over a few times will actually help it cook more evenly. But don’t press down on the burger. Pressing on meat forces the fat and flavor out the burgers, which results in dry, bland burgers.
Rule #3: Don’t cut into the burger to see if it’s done. This will release the juices, making the burger dry and less flavorful.
**Use a digital instant-read meat thermometer to check the doneness of the burger.
How Long Should I Grill Burgers?
There are a lot of factors that can determine cooking time. But for a preheated 450 -500 degree grill with a one-inch thick patty these times should be pretty close.
- Rare burgers, cook for 4 minutes total (125°F)
- Medium-rare burgers, cook for 5 minutes total (135°F)
- Medium burgers, cook for 6 to 7 minutes total (145°F)
- Well-done burgers, cook for 8 to 9 minutes total (160 °F)
**USDA recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked ground beef. The safe minimum internal temperature for ground beef is 160 °F
I love toasting my hamburger buns. This is something I do after I’ve flipped the meat over but before I add the cheese to the burger.
The burger should basically be done before you add the cheese. Make sure to let the cheese melt. Melting does magical things to the flavor of cheese!
When the cheese is melted it’s time to top the burgers with our heated pulled pork, barbecue sauce and bleu cheese crumbles.
You can slow-roast a pork shoulder to make your pulled pork, or look for it prepackaged at your local grocery store. The same goes for barbecue sauce. You can make your own or use your favorite brand of sauce on the pork.
I love creating deliciousness in my kitchen, but sometimes shortcuts are a good thing. You can take all day making the ingredients for the dishes you prepare or buy good quality products that allow you to spend more time with your family and friends instead of in the kitchen.
I love my Cheeseburgers on the rare side. My wife is the polar opposite, there can’t be a trace of pink anywhere in the meat. It’s challenging for us to eat at the same time when we have burgers for dinner.
I usually let her hamburgers fully cook on one side before adding mine to the grill. Or I eat one while I’m waiting for hers to get finish cooking. A good burger is a wonderful thing and savoring it hot off the grill is how I like to eat them!
Wouldn’t you like to sink your teeth into this ah-mazing Pulled Pork Cheeseburger?
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like these:
- Oven Roasted Perfect Pulled Pork
- Dry Rub Grilled Baby Back Ribs
- Grilled Dry Rub Chicken Wings
- How to Grill a Steakhouse Style Steak
- The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich