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Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr

Tennessee Burger with Bourbon and BBQ Sauce

We describe the Tennessee Burger with Bourbon and BBQ Sauce as a Southern triple threat--loaded with bacon, BBQ, and bourbon.

Cooking Light JULY 2013

  • Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 burger)
  • Hands-on: 44 Minutes
  • Total: 44 Minutes


  • 3 bacon slices
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups vertically sliced red onion
  • 5 tablespoons bourbon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup lower-sodium ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds 90% lean ground sirloin
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 (1 1/2-ounce) French bread hamburger buns
  • 6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato


1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Add oil and onion to drippings in pan; cook 15 minutes or until onion is browned and very tender, stirring occasionally. Add 3 tablespoons bourbon, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly. Remove mixture from pan. Cool 5 minutes.

2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon, ketchup, and next 7 ingreĀ­dients (through onion powder) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

4. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup onion mixture; stir into beef. Divide beef mixture into 6 equal portions, gently shaping each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

5. Spread each top and bottom bun half with 1 tablespoon sauce. Place patties on bottom halves; top each patty with 1 tomato slice. Divide remaining onion mixture evenly among servings. Top each serving with 1/2 bacon slice and top half of bun.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 358
  • Fat: 11.4g
  • Saturated fat: 3.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 22.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 36.7g
  • Fiber: 4.6g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Iron: 3.2mg
  • Sodium: 544mg
  • Calcium: 76mg