Super Bowl Recipe Challenge: Double Cheese & Onions Burger vs. Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger

bacon burgerWe're getting ready for the showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Giants by cooking up some crowd pleasing football party foods in our Super Bowl Recipe Challenge. Each day we'll be pitting two delicious recipes against each other and declaring one a winner. Join us today as we make hamburgers.

I love experimenting with hamburgers. There's an infinite number of ways to have it your way! For the Super Bowl I thought I'd try out two "super" ideas: The Animal-Style Cheeseburger (from In-N-Out's famous "secret" menu), and the Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger with Apples. This isn't just a burger with strips of bacon in it -- it's a burger with ground bacon mixed in with the beef. Who will win?


Animal-Style Cheeseburger adapted from Serious Eats 

This is a double-decker cheeseburger with special sauce and caramelized onions. If you want to totally geek out on getting this as authentic as possible check out Serious Eats' version. But maybe you also have laundry and children and don't have all weekend -- in which case, I have a slightly simplified version.

animal burger







  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 4 slices American Cheese
  • Caramelized onions: See instructions below or just use onion jam.
  • Special sauce: See recipe below or just use Thousand Islands dressing.
  • Dill pickles 
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce
  • 2 toasted buns

Form four patties with ground beef, salt, and pepper. Mash as flat as you possibly can. While you grill first side, spread mustard over top. Flip burgers, cooking mustard-side down. Add cheese slices and continue cooking until burgers are cooked and cheese is melted.

More from The Stir: Super Bowl Recipe Challenge: Slow-Cooker Spinach Dip Vs. Bread Bowl Spinach Dip

Caramelized onions instructions

Thinly slice an onion and add to pan with a little bit of oil. Cook, stirring, until the onions start to brown. Add about 2 tablespoons water, let cook on medium-low until water evaporates, and then add more water. Keep going like this, stirring occasionally, for a half hour or so until the onions are a deep brown.

Special sauce

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

I felt like I needed a diagram to construct these burgers. Mine still turned out looking like the Sears Tower even though I tried to make my patties as flat as possible.

animal burger














Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger with Apples

I get my bacon-beef mix from my local butcher, Fleisher's, and I've also gotten it from Lindy & Grundy in LA. If you have a favorite butcher shop it's worth asking for. But I wanted to see if I could make a combo grind of my own.

bacon burger









You will need a food processor for this recipe. Put the bowl and blade in the refrigerator to chill beforehand. When you're done, run everything through the sanitize cycle of your dishwasher. Another option: Just use half ground beef, half ground pork to make "bork."

  • 1/2 pound raw bacon
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • Dijon mustard
  • 4 toasted buns


Place bacon into food processor and pulse until just barely ground. Then combine with ground beef, salt, and pepper. Mix well by hand, divide into 4 equal parts, and form patties. Press patties as flat as you can.

Grill patties on one side, flip and top with cheese slice, and then finish grilling until patties are thoroughly cooked and cheese melted. Place in buns and top with apple slices and mustard.

And the winner: The Animal-Style cheeseburger wins the cup.

This was a hysterical mess to eat -- not just because of the height, but also because of the sauces. And it's way more work. But it's worth it. Man that's one tasty burger. Bacon burger is also good, but those sauces kick ass.

What's your favorite way to do burgers?


Images via Adriana Velez

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