Two of everyone’s favorite bites from the grill team up in this smoked burger recipe, stacked with beef, candied bacon, jalapeno popper filling, and toasted buns. Serve with cold potato salad and a big glass of frosty beer or sweet tea.
For the candied bacon:
8 slices thick-sliced bacon
1-1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
For the jalapeño cheese mixture
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C. shredded cheddar jack or colby jack cheese
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
1-1/2 tsp. Head Country Championship Seasoning, Original
For the burgers
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 tsp. Head Country Championship Seasoning, Original
4 brioche buns, halved and toasted
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add a cooling rack (like the kind used for baking) to the inside. Add the bacon slices to the rack in an even layer. Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar. Place the baking sheet in the oven.
Turn the oven to 425 degrees F. (Make sure you put the bacon in a cold oven to allow it to bake as the oven heats up. This helps the bacon candy properly.) Cook for 15-20 minutes; the time varies based on how quickly your oven heats up. Remove from the oven when cooked through and glossy. Cut slices in half and set aside.
To make the filling, combine all ingredients for the jalapeño cheese mixture. Set aside.
Combine beef and seasoning. Form the ground beef into 8 large, thin rounds. Spoon 1/4 C. of the jalapeno cheese filling onto one patty. Cover with another patty. Pinch the edges together well to seal the burger, reshaping as needed. Repeat with remaining patties and filling.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, about 350 degrees F. Place burgers on the grill grates and cook, flipping halfway through, until cooked to desired doneness. For medium rare, that’s about 6 minutes per side.
Place burgers on toasted buns and top with candied bacon. Enjoy!