Bacon Cheeseburger Sausage
Somewhere between brilliance and a sausage wrapped in a chocolate chip pancake on a stick, lay my idea for a bacon cheeseburger sausage. When I first received my meat grinder, I was lost in thoughts about the great hamburgers and sausages I was destined to make with it. At some point those two thoughts melded into one, leading my brain to conceive the bacon cheeseburger sausage. As an American, I feel it was my patriotic duty to set forth and create this totally unnecessary food monstrosity, not so much because I should, but because I could.
A bacon cheeseburger sausage seems simple enough, but there was a lot of think about in order to create the vision in my head. I started with the bacon. Bacon on a cheeseburgers works best for me when it's is nice and crispy, adding a crunchy texture, along with the bacon flavor, to the burger. Inevitability, no bacon would really hold up its crunch through through process of stuffing and grilling the sausage, but I figured I'd have the most likelihood of success by using a thick cut bacon, cooked until extremely crunchy. So I diced up 1/2 lb of bacon and fried it up just that way.
Next consideration was the beef. There was no doubt that this called for a chuck roast, but the question was if a chuck roast would provide enough fat for sausage. I toyed with the idea of cutting in fatback or bacon fat into the sausage, but I was afraid it would alter the flavor of the beef to slightly porky, leaving me a sausage that wouldn't taste enough like a true burger. Then I found this beautifully marbled and fatty piece of chuck. I would say this piece was about 25% fat, and that was good enough for me to avoid having to add any additional pork fat into the mix.
Grinding was the next step. I've found a two step approach to grinding the best for making burgers. I start by sending the cubes of meat through using the large grinding plate. Then once all the meat is ground, I switch to the small grinding plate and send the meat through again. This helps to both distribute the fat evenly and give the burger the perfect texture. I saw no reason why this method wouldn't work with the sausage, so I proceeded as I would have if I were making a regular ol' burger.
Cheese was a tough one. I was torn between using large chunks of cheese or a small dice. I guessed the former would give me pockets of gooey cheese as I ate my way through the sausage, and the later would give my sausage a creamy, cheesy taste throughout. I went with the small dice, cutting 4 slices of American cheese into 1/8" cubes.
Then I mixed the bacon, cheese, and ground beef together. Seasoning was the question I was asking myself here. Sausage is reliant on seasoning to define it, but what flavors defines a burger? I would say beef foremost, and salt and pepper are all you need to bring out the beefy flavor. Smokey was the next thing to come to my head, since dripping fat causes the coals to flare up and smoke, imparting a faint smokiness to grilled burgers. I knew these flare ups would not result in added flavor to the beef inside the casings, so I flirted with the idea of adding cumin. In the end I decided against it though, using just a simple seasoning of salt and pepper like a regular burger.
So I had my beef mixed and seasoned and it was time to stuff them into casings. This was actually tougher than normal. I think the slices of cheese and bacon bits clogged the stuffer a bit, required a lot of force to push the mixture through the grinder and into the casings. Although it took a little more time and energy, I got all of the meat into the casings and tied them off into 8" links.
Now it was grilling time, and in it lay another question of bacon cheeseburger sausage making: To what doneness should I cook them? A perfect burger to me is medium-rare, and I only go above that if the burger joint is suspect or I'm forced to by house rules. Saying that, I cook my sausages all the way through, and eating a medium-rare sausage seems little odd. I decided I would try to go for something in between, shooting for a sausage cooked medium or medium-well. This attempt failed, mostly due to the extreme heat of my grill, causing a very short cooking time. I ended up cooking the thing well done, but it was still plenty juicy because my extra fatty piece of chuck.
The moment of truth had arrived. Did I really stumble upon brilliant creation or was this another useless invention that should have never left my brain? As I said in the beginning, I felt the idea was somewhere between the two, and the end result was the same. It did taste as if I was eating a bacon cheeseburger sausage. Actually more like a bacon burger, since the small dices of cheese did not hold up through the cooking process and I could not taste their presence.
I have to say that the whole thing left me a little hungry for a real burger. So why even bother with the bacon cheeseburger sausage? It's not so much about trying to make a great tasting burger in sausage form, but more acting on a ridiculous impulse, and that's the whole fun of it, and a lot of the fun in cooking. Besides, if someone is getting rich on those sausage pancake sticks, someone else stands to make millions on bacon cheeseburger sausage.
Bacon Cheeseburger Sausage
- Yield 6 to 8 servings
- Prep 40 Minutes
- Cook 10 Minutes
- Total 50 Minutes
- 2lb chuck roast
- 1/2 lb thick cut bacon, diced into 1/4" pieces
- 4 slices of American cheese, diced into 1/8" pieces
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sausage casings
- Cook bacon in a frying pan over medium high heat until very crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon onto a paper towel lined plate and allow to cool.
- Cube the chuck roast and send it through the meat grinder using the large grinding plate. Once all the meat is ground, replace the large grinding plate with the small one, and send the meat through the grinder once again.
- Combine the ground meat, bacon bits, cheese, salt, and pepper. Work the mixture using your hands just until it's evenly mixed.
- Stuff the sausage mixture into medium casings and tie into 8" links.
- Grill the sausage until your desired doneness. Serve on hot dog rolls.
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Michael I wonder if a cheese with a higher melting point would hold up better?
Check out this study:
The key conclusion: "The softening point of cheese increased with reduction in fat content of cheese and increased oven temperature. In general, the softening point of cheese decreased with age of cheese."
So perhaps a less processed, more aged cheese would hold up better? Also that part of the increased oven temperature seems intuitive, but what it really says is the hotter your oven, the slower your cheese melts relative to the amount of heat put in it.
JEP I have found your blog via Serious Eats. Admittingly, I am a vegetarian but I enjoy reading & viewing all food related blogs & lifestyles. Great photos & plan to read the archives!
The Meatmaster @Michael: Thanks for that link, I felt like a real cheese scientist reading it. I went with American because I thought it would melt and be creamy, but obviously I was wrong and it basically melted away. I love the flavor of cheddar, so made a good aged cheddar would work well in these sausages.
@JEP: I like the think the Meatwave doesn't discriminate, and although it will always be mostly meat, I will be throwing in some strictly vegetarian grilling topics into the fold soon. So keep reading. :) I'm glad you're enjoying the blog never-the-less.
Nicole from: For the Love of Food Hi,
I was just tagged by another foodie in regards to 8 random facts about myself, and I'm supposed to pass it on. I thought it'd be interesting to find out more about you! You can find the rules at my post here:
I hope you join in!
Matt Hmm, you were thinking about adding cumin to get a smoky flavour? Why not try liquid smoke? It's basically an essense what tastes like smoke, I think you can even get it in hicory and mesquite varieties... more common in the U.S.A. than here in Australia, I believe, too (though I've seen it in a few specialist food stores).
The Meatmaster @Matt: I don't really dig the flavor of liquid smoke, I prefer the taste of cumin and usually add that. Liquid smoke is a bit intense and just a dash too much can ruin a dish for me.
sausage i like bacon and sausages a lot more than google.
sausage i am a sausageholic and bacon gives you cancer
adam im going to try making the sausage today but am using a hard cheddar and i am going to poach the sausage lightly first, let it cool, then blast it on the grill! I'll let you know how it turns out.
adam DUDE YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO TRY IT THIS WAY! I also added the bacon fat , just plain awesome but not for the artery conscious!
Joe great try
Joe great try
Steve Was thinking of attempting a bacon cheeseburger sausage when i found your recipe. will try it soon but with extra sharp cheddar. i shall also steam the product to medium rare then brown on a very hot grill. this will be my third sausage experience after swedish potato sausage and chicken with spinach and feta. so far, nothing but success. hope the trend continues.
Cooper Tires I used to make burger patties but I haven't achieve the right juiciness of the patty. Never thought that fats can really help me avoid the dryness of the patty. I will surely consider this tip when I cook our burger again. $20 worth of bacon cheese burger is affordable but nothing can beat home-cooked version of it.
B @ DesiGrub Amazing photos and great idea for a sausage/dog. Here's another new idea for bacon aficionado, a new way of revolutionary bacon cheeseburger http://desigrub.com/2011/11/beckoning-bacon-cheeseburger/
bob the butcher WE MAKE ALL KINDS OF SAUSAGE EVERY DAY SWEET ,HOT,COUNTRY,BROCCOLI RABE .CHEESE PARSLEY.BROWN SUGAR APPLE; RAISIN. PIZZA.KIELBASA PORK SAUSAGE /ALSO ASST. CHICKEN WITH THIS TYPE SMOKED CHEDDAR CHEESE AND MONTREAL PUB BURGER SEASONING WORKED PERFECT WE MADE 25 POUNDS SAMPLE 5 POUNDS AND SOLD 20 LBS AT 399 LB IN 30 MIN ON A POTATO ROLL BURGER AND FRIES COME BARB Q TIME WE COULD SELL 50 LS A DAY ON WEEKENDS ALSO MIGHT TRY A PORTABELLA SMOKED GOUDA ALSO A JALIPINO BLUE CHEESE
dave to fix your cheese problem you need to use some high temp cheese(melts at 400 degrees) other than that great recipe