National Hamburger Week II – The Secret of the Ooze

Finished plate

National Hamburger Week / Month is back again!  Now with Marisa pregnant, and having to eat her meat atleast medium-well, I had to think fast.  How can I make a burger still delicious, yet still cooked all the way through.  Boom, Juicy Lucy’s.  Yes, made famous in Minneapolis, and covered on every single show on the Food Network, Travel Channel, and Cooking Channel.  Essentially a burger with melty cheese in the middle.

Meat Divided

I divided the meat into 4 to make 2 burgers

The first step to any good burger, is good ingredients.  So I decided to grind the meat myself.  I didn’t want to make a big production out of grinding it, and adding in different cuts, etc.  So I decided to just go with 100% Chuck.  If it’s good enough for Bobby Flay, it’s good enough for me.  I already covered grinding meat in a previous post.  Don’t cheap out on the buns and cheese either.  EDIT:  I got lazy, and bought ground chuck from the butcher.  It was from a butcher, and was freshly ground.  Don’t hate.


Then I smashed each one with a pot and some wax paper.

I separated the meat, and pounded out 4 thin patties.  These will be my beautiful cheese enclosures.  The trick is to make sure they are sealed.  The last think you want is for the cheese to explode while on the grill.  


I added a chunk of some good Wisconsin Cheddar into the middle.

Covered with the other patty and molded into one.

Covered with the other patty and molded into one.

After adding my cheese, I sealed the burger up with the other smashed patty. I made sure I didn’t see any yellow shining through. I knew i would have to be extra careful when flipping these bad boys.

The Burgers are on!

Then Fired up the grill. I started the peppers first, so they could get a char and soften up.

I fired up a chimney of coals. I oiled up my grates, and tossed some peppers on first. They were sitting in some oil, salt and pepper for an hour. I gave them a nice char, and then put them on the cool side with the cover closed to soften up. After a few minutes I gently put the burgers on.

Almost Ready

The cheese started to poke out a bit while cooking, but I avoided the cheese explosion.

I figured these would have to be one-flippers, since I had to be gentle. After I saw a nice crust forming on the bottom I flipped them. I saw a little cheese poking through, but nothing too messy. After a few more minutes I pulled everything off.

Oozing with cheese.

Oozing with cheese.

And there you have it. My finished Juicy Lucy’s. Next time I will make the burgers a bit bigger, and put some more cheese inside. They definitely could have used a bigger hunk of cheese inside. But all in all, they were delicious.


Juicy Lucy adapted from here


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