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Backyard Blowout Burgers

By • Jul 8th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

I told you it was coming. Back in April, when The Cheesecake Factory was soliciting entries for a custom-built burg to add to their menu, I submitted my own creation.  Sort of a “what if…” burger idea I’d been mentally preparing in my head for the better part of a year.  And I told you that if I wasn’t chosen as a contest finalist, then I’d whip up a prototype and unveil it here for Nation.  And as you’ll see, the July 4th holiday presented the ideal opportunity for this particular burger.

My idea was for the ultimate cookout burger, everything that’s great about a summer barbecue, all in one handheld package.  The goal was, basically, to put an entire cookout on a bun. Fellow carnivores, I present to you the Backyard Blowout Burger:

It was a lot of fun to make and admittedly pretty damn cool to look at, but did my Frankenstein of a Fourth of July burger elicit oohs and aahs… or did I have a giant dud on my hands? Not so fast, dear reader; you’ll have to wait for the grand finale.

I had always envisioned this cheeseburger as a real monster, so my first step was to scale back the burger itself.  My usual half-pound super-thick pub-style burgers would simply be too much.  A thinner diner-style patty was needed.  Since I’d be tied up working on an entire roster of side items that would become my toppings, I went the easy route and used frozen patties, just as the average Joe would for a big bash.  Back before I really got into working with my own ground beef blends and shaping my burgs by hand, I had always had good luck with Bubba Burgers, a supermarket brand out of Jacksonville, Florida.

These third-pounders are meant to be slapped on the grill while still frozen and take just about 10 minutes to cook to surprisingly-juicy perfection.  If you’ve got a backyard full of people, they’re a quick and high-quality alternative to making dozens of patties by hand and missing your own party.  I laid mine out, sprinkled on some Montreal steak seasoning, and added hot dogs that would come into play later.

When the burgers were cooked through, I began assembly.  No summertime cookout is complete without baked beans, so that was the first thing to get loaded on the bun.  I tried to keep mine thick, as there was some concern about the bread soaking up too much of the tangy sauce and becoming soggy.  With a bed of baked beans in place, the patty went right on top:

Next up, mac and cheese.  Often served cold or baked for a cookout, I went hot-off-the-stove and extra-creamy.  This layer would be the cheese in my cheeseburger, so I didn’t skimp:

Hot dogs are a summertime staple on the grill, and every kid under 8 knows they’re a perfect match with mac and cheese, so that came next.  I split a beautifully-blackened dog down the middle, butterflied it, and spread it out on the grill to put some char on the flat opened side.  This allowed the frank to sit nicely on the mac and still accept more fixins on top:

The burger’s final layer was the one that had me dragging my feet for so long on making this thing to begin with.  I’m not a big fan of common potato salad, usually served cold with often-undercooked lumps of potato and out-of-place bits of crunchy celery or green pepper folded into some unnaturally-yellow slop.  Blecch. But I knew that my core concept of “a cookout on a bun” would fall short if potato salad weren’t included. Then my wife stumbled across a recipe for a potato salad made with chunks of red potato toasted on the grill, tossed with a vinegar-mustard dressing, and topped with bacon crumbles.  Served hot, it’s the antithesis of typical potato salad… and exactly what I needed.

(We first tried warm potato salad as a side item at Flip Burger Boutique.  So although I was thoroughly unimpressed with Richard Blais’ hoity-toity hamburgers, I guess I am indebted to him for inspiring my wife to find a potato salad recipe that I could sink my teeth into… and eventually use as the crowning topping in my burger experiment.)

The Backyard Blowout Burger was complete. It was absolutely towering as it sat on the plate.  But I had achieved my objective: everything that comprises your standard cookout plate… all on a single hamburger bun.

The height did pose an initial problem when it came time to dive in.  There was some pressing and smashing involved to get the burger to a point where it could be gripped and picked up, but it proved do-able.  Thankfully, not so big that it became a knife-and-fork job, which would have rained on the backyard-bash vibe I wanted this burger to embody.

With the popping of distant firecrackers and thundering of faraway cannons as my suppertime soundtrack, I began to see the Backyard Blowout Burger as the perfect menu offering for our nation’s birthday.  I was taking several varied and disparate entities, each bringing something unique to the party, and uniting them under one bun… in order to form a more perfect burger, if you will.  But I knew it was all pure folly if it didn’t stand on its own as a success.

Well, strike up the band, baby.  The Backyard Blowout Burger was awesomely spectacular, a melting pot of textures and flavors that exploded in my mouth. Each taste was well represented: the tangy baked beans, the creamy mac and cheese, the perfectly-charred hot dog with its unmistakable saltiness, and the hearty hot potato salad… all anchored by a totally tasty burger that held the whole thing together…

…in a matter of speaking. The Backyard Blowout does live up to its name in more ways than one, proving to be a seriously messy burger.  But let’s face it: if you don’t have some cleanup after your 4th of July festivities, you probably didn’t have a very good time.

There’s still plenty of summer left, cheeseburger chowhounds.  I invite you to fire up a Backyard Blowout Burger of your own and tell me what you think.

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3 Responses to “Backyard Blowout Burgers”

  1. 1
    Dinner Time: The Backyard Blowout Burger Says:

    [...] An entire backyard cookout between two buns: potato salad, baked beans, mac and cheese, hot dog and a beef patty… [...]


  2. 2
    Dobfek Says:

    Hi! It’s great! :) I would try it! It sould taste good! :D

  3. 3
    Kritika Says:

    Wow these burgers look delicious. I am bored of the regular kinds.. and am always up for trying variations. A friend tried this is Seoul What do you think?

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