This epic journey all begins with a burger, and we used a quarter-pound ground beef patty that was about 1/2-inch thick. This may be obvious, but it’s worth saying anyway: there is plenty of fat in this recipe because of the bacon, so there’s no need to overdo it with the burger. Try to get a leaner blend of ground beef for your patty. We went with 96 percent lean, 4 percent fat. Before you get started, sprinkle your burger with a little pepper and sea salt to make sure it is well seasoned.
When you first thought of a bacon-wrapped burger, you probably wondered how it was possible to weave thick, wide slices of bacon over a burger. You were right to wonder — it’s not possible. To prep our bacon strips for the basket weave, we cut them in half lengthwise so that they were thin enough to work with. Look for the longest bacon available at the store so that it will fit around your burger, and by no means buy center-cut bacon. For this recipe, we used applewood-smoked bacon, but feel free to use your favorite variety. In total, you’ll need five whole slices of bacon, cut in half. Start by laying five cut strips of bacon out on the cutting board to begin your basket weave.
As your bacon basket-weaving progresses, you’ll want to make sure to tighten up your work and make sure all of the strips are tightly weaved together and centered so that each strip is equal in length.
Your finished bacon basket weave will be so beautiful, you’ll want to stop there, but this is when the fun begins.
To add the burger into the equation, place the patty in the center of the basket weave. The patty might be wider than the actual weave of bacon, so you’ll have to use your hands to compress it enough to fit on top of the weaved part of the bacon.
To start weaving the other side, bring one set of five strips up over the burger on the top and bottom so that they’re aligned and their ends are touching.
Now you can start weaving the perpendicular set of bacon slices into the burger. This part of the process is not as easy at the first basket weave, because you’ll have to lift slices and tuck others into each other so that it not only looks presentable but stays together.
After you’ve weaved your bacon together on the underside of the burger, you’ll want to do some housekeeping to make sure all of the bacon is perfectly tucked and presentable. This part is messy, and you’re going to get meat and bacon fat under your fingernails — fair warning.
As you can see, such a simple process of weaving pork products together over a burger is a beautiful thing. Once the underside of your burger is weaved together well, you’re ready to start grilling.
You’re going to want a nicely preheated grill before you place your burger on the grill. The temperature of the grill will depend on the temperature you want your burger to be. For a rare burger, you’ll want to do a higher heat for a shorter time; this allows you to cook the bacon well enough without overcooking the burger. For a medium-rare burger, cook on lower heat for a longer amount of time, which will ensure that the burger is cooked longer without overcooking the bacon. Place the burger on the grill with its underside facing down first. This is the weaker part of your masterpiece, so you’ll want to sear it together before cooking the other side.
After about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on what temperature you’re cooking your burger to), you’re ready to flip the burger. Never, at any point, try to flip the burger before at least five minutes of cooking on its underside, to ensure that it’s seared together well. Immediately after flipping the burger, cover it and let it cook for five to 6 minutes. This is done to ensure that the burger is getting an ample amount of cooking heat, and to give the bacon a boost in cooking, as well.
After letting it cook covered for a few minutes, cook the burger uncovered for the last five to 10 minutes. The reason you don’t want to cook the burger covered for too long is because the moisture from all of the bacon’s fat (and the burger’s) will make the bacon moist and prevent it from getting crispy.
After about 20 to 30 minutes, your bacon-wrapped burger should be cooked to perfection. Unfortunately, there’s no cheating with a fork and knife with this recipe, so you’ll have to trust your fingers and an inserted internal thermometer to ensure that it’s cooked all the way through. We recommend the latter.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the ultimate bacon-wrapped burger. This isn’t just some burger with one slice of bacon wrapped around its sides, but it’s a perfectly weaved and wrapped bacon burger, cooked to perfection both inside and out.