Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
44 Mins
Total Time
44 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 burger)

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

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 2

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon, ketchup, and next 7 ingre­dients (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.

Step 3

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews


July 17, 2015
My family loved these burgers, especially the BBQ sauce!  Next time I will use more onion.

Emz101's Review

June 04, 2014
I didn't love this the way others seem to. I found the bourbon just overpowered everything and it was all I could taste. I think maybe if I were to make a similar burger again I would substitute red wine for the bourbon and put a lot more flavors into the burger itself.

KathrynNC's Review

October 03, 2013
Excellent! We will definitely make this again. Relatively simple and not too long to make.

daneanp's Review

September 02, 2013
Believe it or not, when assembling the burgers I accidentally omitted the bacon (which I had reheated in the microwave from breakfast). Still an outstanding burger. With the bacon it could only be orgasmic. Definitely adding to our regular weekend rotation. A perfect choice for Labor Day and I would serve this to guests without hesitation. Better than a restaurant. Way better.

Debbie0115's Review

August 05, 2013
Great burger! This was the first one I chose to make in this section of burger recipes. Putting the grilled onions in the burger was a nice touch. Next time I need to make more red onion because I only used one and need more! I made the sauce ahead of time. We had this with the Roasted Potato Salad with Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette. The entire meal felt like we were in a restaurant.

Whygal's Review

August 05, 2013
OUTSTANDING BURGER!!!! I have never put BBQ sauce on a burger before and it was amazing. The onions added so much flavor to the burger. I agree with a previous reviewer that this tasted like a restaurant entree. Can't wait to have a cookout and serve these burgers!

jchphd78's Review

July 06, 2013
Excellent burger recipe, flavors are absolutely delicious. This is a pretty quick recipe and some of the steps can be made ahead. Made it with grass fed beef and it was enjoyed by everyone in the family even those who usually don't eat beef!

carolfitz's Review

June 26, 2013
Very good. Made to recipe. Prepped the onions & sauce in the morning so it came together pretty quickly at dinner time. Served with CL's potato salad 101 & grilled corn.

wybadiity1's Review

June 13, 2013
This was one of the best tasting burger recipes I have tried. Tasted like it came from a gourmet burger shop! Full of flavor and bbq sauce has a great taste and a nice bite.

ktleyed's Review

August 04, 2014
Yumm, loved these burgers!