burger, summer, grilling, wild chef, stuffed

As far as stuffed hamburgers go, the Juicy Lucy is probably the most well-known. This Twin Cities favorite surprises eaters with an explosion of rich, lava-like American cheese with every gooey bite. If you don’t live in Minnesota, you can still experience a Juicy Lucy by making a stuffed hamburger at home.

The challenge with any stuffed burger is keeping the contents in place while the meat constricts as it cooks. Hand-pressing two separate patties, then sealing them together works OK, but they’re messy to make and can still result in blow-outs. There are a number of devices on the market to make this process easier, including the Stuff-a-Burger Press. Just press an even layer of about one-third to one-half pound of ground meat into form, then push the smaller side of the lid into the patty to make a well for your cheese or other fillings. Add the fillings, top with an additional quarter-pound of meat, flip the lid, and press the meat into a thick patty.

The Juicy Lucy isn’t the only rendition of the stuffed burger out there. The health-conscious can pretend they’re getting their vegetables by cramming burgers with avocados, caramelized onions, or diced tomatoes. There are infinite selections of cheeses to pack inside your patties, but always opt for softer varieties that will melt before the burgers are overcooked.

If you’ve never tried a stuffed burger, now is the perfect time to experience it. Once you’ve got the stuffing process mastered, you can spend the rest of the summer experimenting with new takes on this classic burger variation.

For more burger know-how, check out Five Tips for Making Better Wild Game Burgers.