- 1 slice hearty white bread (crust removed, ripped into quarters)
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 - 1 1/2 lb ground beef (85% lean)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or 1/2-inch thick pieces of American cheese slice)
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked
- 4 hamburger buns
Keep the meat as chilled as you can throughout the entire process, up until cooking.
- In a large bowl, mash the bread into the milk with a fork, creating a paste (called a panade).
- For a gas grill, oil the grates, turn all burners to high, cover and heat for about 15 minutes.
- Leave primary burner on high, but reduce other burners to medium.
- Meanwhile, place the meat in the large bowl with the panade.
- Add the salt, pepper, and garlic to the bowl.
- If you want to add bacon pieces into the patty, mix cooked, cooled and diced bacon with seasonings.
- (You can sub 1/2 cup real bacon bits for the diced bacon slices.)
- Use your hands to mix it all together.
- Don't overwork the meat, just until combined.
- Ideally, you should handle the meat as little as possible.
- Divide meat into 8 equal pieces (about 2.5-3 oz each).
- Form each into a thin patty.
- Use one hand to flatten and the other to shape around the edges.
- Place cheese onto the middle of 4 of the patties.
- Place a plain patty on top of a cheese patty.
- Do this for all, so you end up with 4 large patties.
- Pinch the sides of the patties together to seal.
- Each patty should be about 3/4-inch thick.
- Make a slight depression with your thumb in the center of the top of the patty.
- Remember to keep the meat cold until cooking.
- Lightly season with salt just before cooking.
- Place burgers on cooler side of the grill.
- Cook with lid closed, turning once, until burgers are well browned on both sides, about 12-15 minutes total.
- Don't press down on patties while cooking.
- Remove from grill when done.
- For best results, tent loosely with foil and let the patties rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve on buns and top with bacon and more of your favorite toppings!
The panade keeps the burgers tender and moist.
I like to put a layer of plastic wrap over the work surface when I make the patties. With that layer underneath, I can easily transport and store the patties before cooking. It makes for easy clean-up too!