Teriyaki Bacon Burgers

Summer is coming! I can feel it! And for me, summer means one thing: GRILLING!

There is no more classic grilled food, in my humble opinion, than the good old beef burger. This one will seriously tingle your taste buds, because it puts all the good stuff INSIDE the burger, instead of piled on top.

Teriyaki Bacon Burgers

You’ll want to start by dicing 1/4 of a medium sweet onion (very small dice!) and cooking up 4 slices of bacon. Once the bacon is cooked and cooled, break it into small pieces.

Then, in a medium bowl, add a little over a pound of ground beef. (Generally, I see them in the store packed in 1.25-1.40 pound packages.) Personally, I like to use 93% lean beef. It’s a bit more expensive, but the burgers don’t shrink as much! If you use 85% or 73%, just bear in mind that there will be a fair bit of shrinkage to your patties once they start cooking!

To the ground beef, add your cooked bacon pieces, the diced onion, 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce, and hefty sprinklings of the following: salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground ginger, and if you’ve got it, your favorite dry steak seasoning. (I use Montreal Style Steak, which is made by McCormick.) If you’d like a little heat, sprinkle in either some chili powder or some cayenne.

Teriyaki Bacon Burgers

Combine it all together with your hands. DON’T OVERWORK THE MEAT. Work it until everything is well distributed, and then stop! If you work it too much, the burgers will be tough – no bueno! Once it’s well combined, make it into four patties. They’ll be pretty big – that’s okay! Remember they will shrink!

Teriyaki Bacon Burgers

To prep your grill, spray with with cooking spray and turn the heat to medium high. (Or equivalent process for a charcoal grill. Mine is gas – I know, I cheat!) Let it warm up for a few minutes, then put the burgers on! They should sizzle when they hit the grates. Cook to your desired level of done-ness, flipping halfway through. I like my burger pink inside because it’s super tender and juicy that way, so that should be about 5 minutes per side for burgers of this size. If desired, after you’ve flipped them and they are almost done, top with mozzarella cheese! Serve them on a toasted bun with whatever condiments you prefer. I LOVE barbecue sauce on my burgers. If you’ve never tried it, you should. It’s especially good with these!

Teriyaki Bacon Burgers

I made a salad ahead of time to serve with the burgers – the freshness of the veggies in the salad is a great compliment to the savory burgers! (Plus it’s far better for you than a side of fries or chips!) Full Recipe:

Teriyaki Bacon Burgers

Yield: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 sweet onion, small dice
1 & 1/3 (ish) pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground ginger, steak seasoning, cayenne (optional)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (if desired)

4 hamburger buns, plus condiments, for serving.

Process:

1) In medium bowl, combine ground beef with cooked bacon, diced onion, teriyaki sauce, and spices. Work with your hands until just combined. DO NOT OVERWORK MEAT.

2) Form into four equal size patties.

3) Spray grill with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Place burgers directly on grates and let cook for 4-5 minutes per side (medium), or until desired temperature is reached.

4) When only a minute or so of cooking time remains, top with mozzarella cheese, allow to melt, and then serve burgers as desired. (Try them with barbecue sauce!)

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Honey Teriyaki Slow Cooker Chicken with Fried Rice

When you cook for large groups of people as often as I do, slow-cookers really do become your best friend. I swear. It’s like the greatest cooking tool ever invented.

My last visit to the slow cooker was to make last week’s amazing apple pulled pork. If you happened to miss that, seriously, go read it, and mark a day to make it. It’s the most popular post I’ve ever written, by a long shot!

This week, however, we’re paying homage to the other side of the world and tipping our hats to Asian cuisine, with a little bit of a twist. This requires almost no work at all, seriously, so there should be nothing keeping you from tackling this one!

Start by making your sauce right in the slow cooker itself. Dump in 1 cup teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp thyme, and salt and pepper (about 1 tsp each). Use a whisk to combine it all (it may take a minute or two to fully break up the honey and dissolve the brown sugar).

Sauce

Take 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them up into bite size pieces. As you cut each breast, put the pieces right into the slow cooker.

Chicken

Stir the chicken a little to ensure every piece is coated, put the lid on, set the slow cooker to low, and walk away for 4 hours.

After the time is up, the chicken should have darkened in color from absorbing the sauce. It should also be super tender and pretty much fall apart if you try to stab it with a fork. Use a slotted spoon to dish the chicken out, and then serve with fried rice (recipe below) or stir-fried veggies. (Tip, use the leftover sauce from the chicken to flavor your rice and/or veggies.)

Finished Dish

I have done several variations of cooking with this honey-teriyaki concept and this is by far the one that is the least work, but they are all delicious! When it gets warmer out, I’ll post the grilled version – it still has an Asian flair but is definitely much more home-town barbecue-esque!

Depending on the size of the breasts you use (the ones I used were fairly large), this should feed about 5-6 people, bearing in mind that it’s meant to be combined with rice or vegetables to make a full meal.

Full Recipe:

Honey Teriyaki Slow Cooker Chicken

Yields: 5-6 Servings when served with rice or vegetables.

Ingredients:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Process:

1) Combine all ingredients except chicken in slow cooker; whisk to combine.

2) Add chicken to sauce in slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and darkened in color.

3) Remove chicken from slow-cooker with a slotted spoon and serve with fried rice or vegetables.

For those interested, here’s a quick process on how I do my fried rice:

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 green, orange, or yellow pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs

If you are NOT using the teriyaki sauce from the chicken above, also:
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup soy or teriyaki sauce, to taste
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Process:

1) In a large sauce pan, add the uncooked rice. Pour the water on top of the rice, add the olive oil and salt, and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer until all the water is absorbed. (15-20 minutes, typically.)

2) In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and then quickly saute diced peppers and onions (3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute, then push veggies to the side of the pan.

3) Crack eggs directly into the empty half of the pan and quickly move them around to pan-scramble them (1-2 minutes).

4) Once veggies and eggs are done, add them to the rice and stir to combine.

5) Add seasoning elements (either remaning teriyaki sauce from above, or sauce elements listed in this recipe). Stir to combine and then serve immediately.