How to Make Stuffed Burgers

Dress up boring burgers by putting a surprise inside

  • 01 of 07

    Making Stuffed Burgers

    stuffed burgers
    Leah Maroney

    It's hard to find someone who doesn't like a burger, but this quintessential American meal can become a little ho-hum after a while. These burgers, however, are anything but boring—and the secret is inside the patty. By stuffing your hamburgers with everything from cheese and bacon to mushrooms and onions, you can make a delicious burger that is sure to impress anyone—even the most jaded burger eater.

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  • 02 of 07

    What You Need

    The trick to making successful stuffed burgers is to make 2 very thin patties out of good quality ground meat, then place your stuffing on one patty, top it with the other patty, and seal it closed. If formed right, and grilled well, you will have delicious stuffed burgers worthy of envy.

    To make a stuffed burger, you need ground meat that isn't too lean (80/20 is ideal) and whatever stuffing ingredients you would like, from bacon and cheese to pizza toppings to cheese and jalapeno. An outdoor or indoor grill and a quality spatula round out the list.

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  • 03 of 07

    Choosing the Meat

    stuffed burgers
    Leah Maroney

    The real secret to stuffed burgers is using the right kind of ground meat as you need something that holds together well on the grill. Since lean meats tend to dry out and crumble on the grill, you need a meat with a bit of fat. You can use other types of meat, but ground chicken or turkey can be difficult to work with and can easily fall apart. You can certainly use blended meats; try combining ground beef with ground pork or lamb to produce a richer flavored burger patty.

    A pound of ground meat is typically going to make 3 patties. Divide the meat into twice as many equal parts as the number of patties you are making. Do your best to make the portions as equal as possible.

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  • 04 of 07

    Forming the Patties

    stuffed burgers
    Leah Maroney

    Once the meat is divided, form these portions into patties. Each patty should be thinly pressed (not too thin or they will tear) and roughly the size of the buns you will be using. You can prepare them on a large cutting board so you don't have to handle the patties too much.

    When forming the patties, try to create a rim around the edge. This makes a space for the stuffing and helps you seal the patties closed once stuffed.

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  • 05 of 07

    Stuffing the Burgers

    stuffed burgers
    Leah Maroney

    If you are using a meat or vegetables in your stuffing, it is important to cook them ahead of time—otherwise, the burger meat will be burnt before the stuffing is cooked. If you are using another type of meat, like bacon, make sure to cook it first as it will not cook once inside the burger. And since onions and mushrooms both release a lot of water as they cook, which will ruin your stuffed burgers, you need to cook them beforehand as well. Basically, it is best to cook any vegetables down and drain them completely before you stuff them in the burgers.

    Once the stuffing is ready to go, place 2 to 3 tablespoons on half of the patties. Remember that you will need to close up each burger without having it burst at the seams so do not overfill.

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  • 06 of 07

    Sealing the Patties

    stuffed burgers
    Leah Maroney

    With the stuffing on half of the patties, it's time to seal them up. Place the patties without stuffing on top of the stuffed ones. To make it easier to lift these patties off the board, try using a thin-bladed spatula. This will help you keep the patties properly shaped.

    Now, work around the edges of the stuffed patties to seal them closed. Make sure to join the edges together tightly so the patties don't come apart on the grill, causing the filling to leak out, making a mess of your grill.

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  • 07 of 07

    Grilling the Burgers

    stuffed burgers
    Leah Maroney

    Now it's time to grill your burgers. Remember that stuffed burgers tend to be pretty thick and will take longer to cook than regular burger patties. Also, keep in mind that these patties can be more delicate than unstuffed burgers, so be careful. A good, wide spatula is a must.

    Place the patties on a hot grill and let them cook until the sides start to turn brown. You do not want to flip these burgers more than once, so get one side cooked before turning them. 

    When the sides of the patties are completely brown, start checking for doneness. These patties should be firm all the way through when cooked properly and read 165 F (74 C) through the middle. Because the stuffing has been in contact with raw, ground meat it is just as important that it be heated to the same temperature.

    When done, remove burgers from the grill, allow to rest for about 5 minutes, and place them in a bun with your favorite toppings.