Traditional recipes

All-American Double Bison Cheeseburger

All-American Double Bison Cheeseburger

Divide the ground meat into 8 equal portions and shape each into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Salt the tops of each bison ball.

Heat a skillet over high heat until very hot. If you have an infrared thermometer, the skillet should register at least 500 degrees. Or, test by brushing on a bit of oil. When the skillet starts to smoke, it is ready.

If your skillet is not big enough to accommodate all of the burgers at the same time, cook them in batches. Line a platter with butcher paper or a large piece of a paper grocery bag. (We don’t think paper towels are sturdy enough for this job; they absorb too much moisture and destroy the crust.) Open your windows and/or turn on your oven fan. There’s going to be some smoke!

Place the burgers on the skillet, salted side down. Press gently and cook for 1 minute. After 1 minute, using a sturdy spatula, smash each burger until it is about ¼-inch thick. Salt the tops of the smashed burgers.

Cook for 2 more minutes and then flip the burgers. Lay a piece of American cheese on each burger and cook for 2 more minutes.

If cooking in batches, transfer the burgers to the platter. Repeat until all the burgers are cooked. Note that this method cooks the burgers almost through with just a bit of pink in the center. We sacrifice our usual preference for rare-ish meat in order to get that wonderfully crispy exterior. Once you have transferred the burgers to the platter, don’t cover them or put them in the oven. You want to preserve what you worked so hard to achieve.

To serve, place 1 patty on the bottom half of a bun. (If you have some burgers resting from an earlier batch, place them back on the skillet for a minute to warm them up.) Stack another burger on top and garnish with pickles and onion. Spread mustard, ketchup, and Special Sauce on the other bun half, place that on the burger, and serve.

All-American Double-Bacon Venison Cheeseburger Recipe

Although many patriots choose to celebrate the 4th of July holiday weekend with good ol' American hamburgers, the burger most likely gets its roots from Hamburg, Germany, where ground meat was mixed with onion and other ingredients before being cooked and served much like steak. It wasn’t until German immigrants in New York and Chicago started selling the meat from food carts during the Industrial Revolution that some forward-thinking individual sandwiched the patty between bread slices to make it easier to eat, creating the hamburger Americans embrace today.

Burgers can now be found in almost every American restaurant, from fast food to fine dining. This nation eats approximately 50 billion hamburgers a year. Around here, we like to do our part to keep those numbers up, mostly with burgers made from venison.

We call this version the All-American Double Bacon, because the only thing more American than a good burger is bacon. The double-bacon part comes from not only a bacon topping, but bacon ground with the venison to form a patty with enough fat to hold together on the grill and still be nice and juicy when served.

We go with about a 75% venison to 25% bacon mixture for our grind, but you can adjust it up or down to your liking. For the best burger texture, I like to double grind, both times through the large plate on our Magic Chef grinder. The bacon in our grind comes from the ends and pieces left after slicing the EQ Cured Bacon we make ourselves. You can also find ends and pieces at some groceries and most butcher shops, or you can just add regular sliced bacon to the venison as you grind.

"When making the patty, the less handling the better. Just form it enough that it holds its shape on the grill. Too much pressing and squeezing makes for a dense and chewy burger that just isn’t that appealing."

When it comes to burger size, I prefer a patty in the 1/2-pound range, but you can size them to your liking. When making the patty, the less handling the better. Just form it enough that it holds its shape on the grill. Too much pressing and squeezing makes for a dense and chewy burger that just isn’t that appealing.

For seasoning, I go with the guys from Letterkenny, “S&P is the choice for me.” Salt and pepper are the only seasonings you’ll need for this burger. Don’t apply them until you are ready to put the burgers on the grill.

Bison is a healthier alternative to beef

Not only is bison healthier than beef, but it’s also an excellent source of lean protein. It’s lower in fat than beef but has even more rich flavor to it. Using grass-fed bison is an excellent source of omega 3 acids, which are the healthy fats.

To make this an even healthier bison burger recipe, you can go protein style and substitute the bun for lettuce. This is a great way to cut carbs and also get to taste the bison even more.


Step 1

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high until hot. Divide beef into 4 large loosely packed balls and place in Dutch oven. With a sturdy spatula, aggressively flatten balls as though you were making smash burgers season with salt. Cook, undisturbed, until patties are well browned and crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn each patty, season with salt, and continue to cook until second side is well browned, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer patties to a plate and let cool slightly.

Step 2

Reduce heat to medium. Cook onion in pot, stirring often, until golden and browned around the edges, 10–15 minutes. (Some light scorching and sticking is okay here don’t be shy.)

Step 3

While onions are cooking, transfer patties to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

Step 4

Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, push onion-garlic mixture to one side of pot to make space, tilting pot if necessary to get some hot fat over to the empty side. Add tomato paste to empty space and stir in hot fat until fragrant and begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, banana peppers, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and chopped meat and stir everything in pot together. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is simmering and flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to use.

Step 5

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute shy of al dente (pasta will finish cooking in the sauce). Increase heat under sauce to medium. Using a spider or large slotted spoon, transfer pasta to Dutch oven along with 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Stirring constantly, add cheddar and 3 oz. Parmesan a handful at a time, allowing cheese to melt and emulsify into sauce between additions, about 3 minutes.

Step 6

Transfer pasta to a platter. Top with more Parmesan.

How would you rate All-American Cheeseburger Pasta?

This was so much fun to make! It was so DELICIOUS!! I loved the All American Cheeseburger Pasta and I will definitely make it again soon. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Can't even describe how GOOD and how much BETTER it is than the Hamburger Helper you're thinking of. Banana peppers are not optional! They add so much flavor. Loved this recipe so much, there was no leftover :)

Absolutely delicious! Only modifications from me were using Plant-Based ground beef from Target and Chickpea Cavatappi noodles. The recipe couldn't have come out better! Will absolutely make again.

My kids are this up like they were being paid. For me it triggered memories of my own Hamburger Helper childhood although this was 1000% better.

I never had anything like this before my fiance loved it and so did I ! I didnt have tomatoe paste but it still tasted good. Had it for lunch the following day and tasted better!

Really, really, good. Substituted giardiniera for the peperoncini, and it was amazing.

This is really REALLY good. Comfort food at it's best! I like the slight heat that the red pepper flakes provide. A few other reviewers added less pasta water than recommended because it seemed like too much and all I have to say is trust the process! I actually did think it was very soupy at first and even partway through cooking & adding the cheese but it eventually all comes together to make saucy glossy deliciousness that perfectly coats the pasta. I would definitely make this again!

Delicious recipe, and came together easily! I would definitely make this again.

Amiel, you’ve done it again. You sly fox. Though not the biggest fan of the original, this recipe had me salivating so much so, the very day I came across it, I had to have it. Used a red onion. Ran out of red pepper flakes, subbed in some chipotle sauce, and a bit of mustard. Incredible. Tomatoes, cheese, and beef. Oooh my. Perfect for lunches the next day.

Hard to review. YES, it did taste like a cheeseburger and my son-in-law described it as "Glorifed Hamburger Helper" but. the taste probably due to the retained fat from the meat which does not appear very appetizing as I look at the leftovers today. I added some chopped crispy bacon on the top before serving because that's the way we eat a burger. Otherwise, too much pasta and not enough sauce, although I did not add all of the pasta water as so much was transferred with the pasta. If I did make it again I would use a lower fat meat and double the meat/sauce amounts and add a smaller macaroni such as elbow. I used less than 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes and everyone agreed that no more should be added. The banana peppers added a lot and we added some more on top. I ended up adding the liquid drained from the tomatoes.

This recipe was everything I wanted it to be and more! The combination of banana peppers and sharp cheddar is perfect and delicious. The dish comes together easily and reheats very well. Great for leftover lunch.

I made this exactly as written, and it's a solid recipe. That said, I had high expectations for the 15-year-old twins and husband loving it. It was okay taste-wise--nothing super special. If I made it again, I think Iɽ use mozzarella instead of cheddar and use more Italian seasoning (oregano, basil). No longer "cheeseburger" pasta, but it might be more flavorful.

*This may be just me* but the 1 tsp of red pepper was way too much. All I could taste was heat. I wound up having to double the sauce (which honestly wasn't a bad thing afterwards, thankfully I get DiNapoli by the case) to tamp down the heat. Next time I'll probably stick to a quarter tsp. Amazing otherwise!

Make this recipe immediately, you will not be disappointed. Only two thoughts: I ended up using probably 1.25 cups of pasta water, instead of the 2 in the recipe. I think it would have been too soupy as written. Second thought, there is no way this would feed six people. One bite of this recipe will turn you into lunatic and you will fight everyone else for leftovers. If you care about the people you're eating with, serve something else.

Bison Cheeseburgers with Horseradish Mustard

Food writer and author David Joachim has grilled up just about everything, and we mean everything, including watermelon, doughnuts and bison. Here's his recipe for all-American juicy bison burgers, adapted with permission from "Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything" by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim:

Bison Cheeseburgers with Horseradish Mustard

If you didn’t know they were bison, you’d swear these were all-American cheeseburgers. To ramp up the flavor of the mild meat, we mix a little steak sauce into the meat and spoon some mayonnaise flavored with horseradish and mustard over the burgers. The addition of toppings like ripe slices of beefsteak tomatoes and torn pieces of crisp lettuce are entirely up to you, but resist the urge to cook these past medium doneness. Grilled bison burgers go from juicy to leathery in minutes.

1/3 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons prepared mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

2 pounds ground bison chuck

1/4 cup bottled steak sauce, such as A1

3 scallions (green and white parts), sliced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 slices sharp cheddar cheese

Mix the mustard, mayonnaise, and horseradish in a small bowl.

Heat a grill for direct medium heat, about 375ºF. Using your hands, mix together the bison, steak sauce, oil, scallions, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well blended avoid overmixing. Using a light touch, form into 6 patties no more than 1 in thick.

Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Grill the burgers directly over the heat for 6 to 7 minutes for medium-done (about 150ºF on an instant-read thermometer, and slightly pink in the center), flipping once. Put the cheese on the burgers 1 minute before they will be done. To toast the buns, grill them, cut-side down, directly over the heat for 1 to 2 minutes. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve on the buns. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the burgers and buns separate until just before serving.

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.


1. Preheat the grill, setting the burners to high.

2. Using a bread knife, slice the tops off 2 hamburger buns. Repeat for the bottoms. You should have 4 slices to place in the middle of the hamburgers. Set aside.

3. Shape the meat into 8 large but very thin patties.

4. Grill the patties until well-done, about 3 minutes a side. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cheese slices on 4 of the patties for the last minute of cooking. Toast the buns.

5. Spread sauce on the bun bottoms. Lay 1 plain patty on each bun bottom. Place a few pickle slices on each patty. Cover with the bun middles. Spread with sauce and garnish with onion and lettuce. Top with the remaining patties. Spread sauce on the bun tops and place on the patties.

Modern Variations

Even if most Americans (except vegetarians) share a huge love of cheeseburgers, they also are passionate about the different ways they like them cooked and how they like them topped.

First, there's the fried and smashed patty. This type of burger is common in hamburger joints and diners that originated in the 1930s, possibly not coincidentally the same time the first cheeseburger was invented, and in newer restaurants that emulate these diners. Order these up as a single, double or triple. They are always cooked well-done. Add the cheese (always American), choice of toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickles, raw onions) and condiments (mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise). Simple and splendid, and the genuine article.

Then there's the so-called bar burger. These began to show up on menus several decades later in the 20th century and are thick, juicy and grilled. You get your choice of doneness. You get your choice of cheese: American, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and even Gruyere, Gouda or blue if you are in an upscale restaurant. You can even have more than one type of cheese on a custom order. You can order the usual toppings—lettuce, tomato, pickles and raw onions—for a classic. Or you can add bacon, avocado, guacamole, sauteed onions, mushrooms or chilies. Top this off with the classic condiment you love best—but if you are up for a bit of adventure, dollop on some barbecue sauce, chipotle mayo or Dijon mustard.

Trendy gourmet burgers are dolled-up bar burgers with upscale buns and unusual toppings of a wide variety depending on the restaurant they are a chef's creation. But if you have a jones for a cheeseburger, this really won't satisfy. Not even close.

Double-Decker Drive-Thru Burger

Why This Recipe Works : Introduced by a certain fast-food chain, the double-decker —two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun—has solidified its place in American pop culture.

For our take on this iconic burger, we started with the classic triple bun setup, which we achieved by simply adding another bun bottom to each burger. We knew a large, 12-inch skillet would be essential to cook the eight patties for our double stacks, but we still needed to cook the burgers in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which would cause our patties to steam rather than fry.

To keep the thin patties from shrinking too much, we weighted them with a foil-lined pot as they cooked. Once the first set of patties had cooked, we topped each with a slice of cheese and placed them in a warm oven in the time it took the cheese to melt, the second batch of quick-cooking patties was ready. For this burger’s hallmark flavour, we topped them with our Classic Burger Sauce , along with some shredded lettuce, pickles, and minced onion to re-create this delicious drive-thru classic at home.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound ground beef chuck (20 percent fat)
  • 4 teaspoons softened butter
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 slices melting cheese, such as American or mild cheddar
  • Toppings, such as shredded iceberg lettuce, pickle chips, thinly sliced red onion, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise

Heat broiler. Divide beef into 4 rounds and place each between two layers of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll beef into 1/4-inch-thick patties. Butter inside of each bun. Place on a baking sheet, buttered side up, and toast under broiler.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over high. Generously season patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook burgers 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and top each with cheese cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Place burgers on buns and serve with desired toppings.

How to make the H&F cheeseburger at home

No Atlanta burger packs as much star power as the one Linton Hopkins debuted at Holeman and Finch Public House in 2008. Local and national publications fell over each other praising this double-stack, and I counted myself as one of its most ardent fans. For two years, I averaged two a month, back when the restaurant cooked only 24 a night and you had to arrive at 8 p.m. to reserve a patty that wouldn’t see a flattop for another two hours. Today, there’s no scarcity of H&F cheeseburgers, available in unlimited supply at the pub, Turner Field, and Ponce City Market.

Recently I told Hopkins that I thought I knew how he made his cheeseburger. Kindly, he offered a few pointers on my recipe. After a few trial runs, I landed on what I believe to be a near-identical reconstruction. Sourcing the right ingredients takes more time than the actual cooking part, so plan ahead. You’ll need a mandoline (which yields precise, near-translucent slivers of onion) and a flattop griddle (which gives you control over the temperature and offers enough room to cook multiple burgers at once). And ask the butcher to double-grind the brisket, if you can sit tight for 15 minutes. The wait is worth it, and you’ll never have to leave your house for a burger ever again.

Ingredients for 4 burgers
1 pack H&F hamburger buns, available at H&F Bakery
1 jar H&F bread and butter pickles, available at H&F Burger in Ponce City Market
1 pack Kraft American Singles
1 large red onion
1 pound grass-fed ground chuck (85/15 blend)
1 pound grass-fed double-ground brisket
Butter, melted
Kosher salt

Special Equipment
Black+Decker Griddle

Ask your butcher for 1 pound each of grass-fed ground chuck (85/15 blend) and grass-fed ground brisket. I went to Whole Foods, which made me buy 2 pounds of brisket since they had to grind it to order (ground chuck was ready in the meat case). Tell them you want the brisket passed through the grinder twice for a finer texture.

Each patty is a 50/50 blend of chuck and brisket. First divide each of the meats into 16 even-sized balls. Combine one ball from each to make eight larger balls. Gently press into thin patties. The diameter of each patty should be slightly wider than the hamburger bun.

Half an onion and shave into thin slivers using a mandoline. Set aside.

Heat griddle to 400ºF. Butter the inside of the buns thoroughly, from edge to edge, and toast on griddle until crisp. Set aside.

Season all of the patties with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Immediately place on hot griddle, salt-side down, and gently press with a spatula to set the shape and adhere the meat to the metal for maximum caramelization.

Cook until the juices start to push through the surface of the patty, about 2 minutes. Flip, then add a few slices of onion to half the patties. Top all patties with American cheese. Once cheese begins to melt and enrobe the patty, about 20 seconds, create your double stack, placing the cheese-only patties on top of those with onions. Transfer to toasted buns. Top with 3 butter pickles. Serve.