Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Inside-Out Blue Cheese Burgers

Recipe from Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA

  • Advance Prep: 1 hour for freezing the flavored butter

Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger. Here’s a new take on an American icon. The salty tang of blue cheese makes a terrific counterpoint to ground beef—especially when it’s the refined, creamy Maytag Blue cheese from Iowa. What’s unusual is that the cheese is mashed with a little butter and tucked inside the burgers.


  • Yield: Makes 4 burgers
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For the burgers:

  • 2 ounces blue cheese, such as Maytag Blue
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chuck and/or sirloin
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

  • 4 hamburger buns or kaiser rolls
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Paper-thin sweet onion slices
  • Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, or whatever other condiment you may fancy

Step 1: Place the cheese in a shallow bowl and mash it with a fork. Mash in the butter and peppercorns. Spoon the butter mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a cylinder about 2 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Place the butter roll in the freezer and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. The butter can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Step 2: Unwrap the butter roll and cut it crosswise into 4 even pieces.

Step 3: Wet your hands with cold water and divide the ground beef into 4 equal portions. Working quickly and with a light touch, pat each portion into a thick patty. Make a depression in the center of each patty with your thumbs and place a disk of blue cheese butter in it. Mold the ground beef around the blue cheese butter to encase it. Place the patties on a plate lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate, covered, while you set up the grill.

Step 4: Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

Step 5: When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Generously season the burgers with salt and pepper, then place them on the hot grate. Grill the burgers until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read meat thermometer though the side of a burger into the center: The internal temperature should be about 160°F for medium.

Step 6: Meanwhile, brush the buns with the melted butter and toast them on the grill, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Step 7: Place each of the grilled burgers on a bun with some lettuce leaves and tomato and onion slices. Serve with the condiments of your choice and plenty of ice-cold beer.

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