Nothing says summer like sitting outside during golden hour, the smell of charcoal in the air, a juicy burger in your hand and a cold brew to wash it all down. You can picture it, right? Now, get ready to taste it with this recipe for BBQ bacon burgers! It’s a classic smashburger, which we all know is the best burger. It’s a great recipe for summertime (or really any season). Add in crispy bacon, barbecue sauce, melty cheese and Samuel Adams beer-battered onion rings, and you’ll never want to leave that picnic table. 

Post sponsored by Samuel Adams.
BBQ bacon burgers fully assembled with onion rings.

Samuel Adams is an OG when it comes to craft brewing in the U.S. The company is celebrating 40 years in business this year and just rolled out a limited release Beers of Summer variety pack. Summer Ale is one of my favorites, and we’re using it for the crispy beer-battered onion rings that will top our burger, but you could also use it to try my Steak Sliders with Beer Cheese! So freakin’ delicious. Be sure to sample Cherry Wheat, Pool Party and Porch Rocker while you’re at it — they’re all right at home at a backyard barbecue. 

Why You’ll Love BBQ Bacon Burger

I love to grill burgers, and this BBQ burger recipe is off the charts. Because we smash the thick patties in a cast iron skillet, that sears the outside of the meat, locking in all the juiciness and flavor. A smashed burger is a delicious burger. Plus, every barbecue is better with bacon, cheese and onion rings. The Samuel Adams Summer Ale is an American wheat ale with a citrus blend of orange, lemon and lime peel, which complements the rest of our flavors perfectly. 

For more recipes featuring onions, check out Burger-Stuffed Onion Rings, Grilled Steak with Cheese Stuffed Onions, Oklahoma Onion Patty Melt and Steak Onion Skewers.

BBQ Bacon Burger Ingredients

  • Burger Patties: We keep things simple for the base of our barbecue bacon burger with ground meat, kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. 
  • Beer-Battered Onion Rings: These onion rings make the dish more than your average BBQ bacon burger recipe. To make the beer-battered onion rings, we’ll use yellow onions, Sam Summer, flour, cornstarch, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and frying oil. 
  • Toppings: Slices of cheese, strips of bacon, tangy BBQ sauce and your favorite hamburger buns finish this recipe out strong. 
BBQ bacon burgers with onion rings and Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

Quick Homemade Barbecue Sauce

There’s no shortage of delicious BBQ sauces at your local grocery store, but if I have time, I’m always extra stoked when I make my own. You can check out my recipe for Guinness BBQ sauce or follow this simple method.

Combine 1.5 cups ketchup, 1.5 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce in your food processor or blender. Then, add 2 tablespoons mustard powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and a couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Blend until smooth.

Finally, put the sauce in a medium saucepan on the stove, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about five minutes. Serve with burgers, hot dogs, fries and more! 

Get stoked for life

This sauce is FYR!

an all-new line created for live fire cooking

Born from a deep passion for food and flavor. Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or live fire cooking around the world, we have what you need to transform every meal into an adventure.

How to Make BBQ Bacon Burger

Ready for the best burgers of your life? Let’s get cooking!

Making the Onion Rings

First, take the stems off your onions and peel the skin. Then, slice the onions into 1.5” thick rings, making sure to separate them into individual onion rings. As a final step, soak them in ice water, which will remove some of the onion pungency and soften the flavor.

Onions sliced and soaked in ice water.

Preheat your outdoor grill fire to a medium-high heat (around 375-400 degrees F). Then, place a deep dish cast iron skillet or large Dutch oven over the fire with at least 2-3” of frying oil in the cast iron. Bring the oil up to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add 1.5 cups of flour, along with the 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of cayenne. Slowly pour in 12 ounces of Sam Summer, beer, while also mixing, until you have a smooth batter with the consistency of pancake batter. Finally, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour to a separate bowl. 

Making the beer batter for onion rings.

Pull the onion slices out of the fridge. Begin by adding one onion ring to the 1/2 cup of flour and coat it evenly. Next, add that floured onion to the beer batter and coat evenly. Take the battered onion ring and add it directly to the frying oil to cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Frying beer-battered onion rings in a cast iron skillet.

Repeat this process until all the onion rings are battered and fried. You can cook 3-5 onion rings at a time, but try not to overcrowd the skillet. Once the onion rings are done, place on a wire rack over a baking sheet with paper towels on it.

Grilling the Burgers

Reheat your fire to medium-high heat (around 375-400 degrees F). Place a cast iron skillet or flat skillet oven over the fire.

First for these BBQ bacon burgers, add your 8-10 strips of bacon to the skillet. Cook until they are done to your liking. Once done, pull the bacon strips off and set aside. 

Smashing ground meat to make smashburgers.

Form your ground beef into loose 2-ounce balls. Then, place the balls in the fridge to set until ready to use.

Next, add your burger balls to the skillet and season with kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Let those burger balls crisp up for 30 seconds. Then, place the parchment over one ball and firmly press it with the spatula until the burger is “smashed” on the skillet.

Repeat this for each burger and let cook for another 1-2 minutes. Carefully flip each burger over and then season the new side with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Top each burger with a slice of cheese and let melt for the last minute of cooking. Once melted, pull each burger off the grill and let them rest.

Topping the smashburgers with slices of cheese.

I love a smash burger. Whether it’s a classic Cheesy Onion Smash Burger, Animal Style Burger or beer cheese burger; I am in… Always! I’ve even given the good old peanut butter and jelly smash burger a go! For another walk on the wild side, check out the Elvis Smash Burger or the Flying Dutchman Smashburger!

Building the BBQ Bacon Burger

Finally, let’s start building this mighty bacon cheeseburger. Add some mayonnaise to the bottom bun and then add a single or double patty on top. Next, add the bacon slices, beer-battered onion rings, a drizzle of BBQ sauce and the top bun to finish. Serve and enjoy!

Assembling the BBQ bacon burgers.

What to Serve with BBQ Bacon Burger

This burger has it all, so you can go easy with the sides. Some optional toppings include tomato slices, a lettuce leaf and pickles. A broccoli or cabbage slaw or simple green salad on the side would be a great addition to this summer BBQ spread. 

Leftovers and Reheating

To store leftover onion rings, put them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, bake them in a 350-degree oven for 5-7 minutes. You can use the oven method to reheat your bacon strips too. 

Store any leftover burgers in aluminum foil or an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat the burgers by putting them in a cast iron skillet on the stove top at medium heat for 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

For More Burgers

FAQs 

What’s the advantage of smashing the burgers? 

When you smash a beef patty, you supercharge the sear on that burger. The extreme heat and pressure seals in the juices and flavor, giving us a crispy crust on top of it all.

What’s your favorite cheese for BBQ bacon burgers?

I love slices of American cheese here for their superb melting properties. You can’t go wrong with melty cheddar cheese or slices of pepper jack either!

What should I use for burger buns? 

Potato buns are classic here, but go for a brioche bun if you’re feeling fancy. 

If you’re not a fan of buns, you could swap them for Texas toast and make a patty melt! Give my Animal Style Patty Melt, Oklahoma Onion Patty Melt and Chicken Bacon Ranch Patty Melt a try!

Where can I find Samuel Adams Beer?

Samuel Adams is based in Boston but sells its delicious beers nationwide. Check out the Find a Sam locator for a store that sells it near you!

Get The Cookbooks!

Flavor X Fire & FOOD X Fire

By Derek Wolf

All the major tastes—salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami—are explored in depth, along with an investigation of other components you should consider when it comes to flavor, such as aroma, heat, and texture.

BBQ bacon burgers fully assembled with onion rings.

BBQ Bacon Burger

This BBQ bacon burger recipe takes the dish to new levels with Sam Adams beer-battered onion rings, making for a delicious summertime dinner.
Author:Derek Wolf
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

Beef:

  • 1.5 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1.5 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1.5 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder

Beer Battered Onion Rings:

  • 2 whole Yellow Onions sliced into rings
  • 12 oz Sam Adams Summer Ale
  • 2 cups White Flour
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cayenne
  • Frying Oil

Burgers:

  • 6-8 Sliced Cheese
  • 8-10 Bacon Slices
  • Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • Burger Buns toasted

Instructions 

Onion Rings:

  • Take the stems off your onions and peel the skin. Slice into 1.5” thick rings making sure to separate them into individual onion rings. Put the rings in ice water to soak.
  • Preheat your fire to a medium high temperature (around 375-400F). Add a deep dish cast iron skillet or dutch oven over the fire with at least 2-3” of frying oil in the cast iron. Bring the oil up to 375F.
  • In a bowl, add 1.5 cups of your flour along with the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne. Slowly add in your beer, while also mixing, until you have a smooth batter with the consistency like pancake batter. Add the rest of your flour to another separate bowl.
  • Pull the onion rings out from the fridge. Drain the water and gently pat the onion rings dry.
  • Begin by adding one onion ring to the flour and coat evenly. Next, add it to the beer batter and coat evenly.
  • Take the battered onion ring and add it directly to the frying oil to cook for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat this process until all the onion rings are battered and fried.
    You can cook 3-5 onion rings at a time, but try not to overcrowd the skillet. Once the onion rings are done, place on a wire baking sheet with paper towels underneath.

Burger:

  • Reheat your fire to a medium high temperature (around 375-400F). Add a cast iron skillet or flat skillet oven over the fire.
  • First, add your bacon to the skillet and cook until they are done to your liking. Once done, pull them off and set aside.
  • Form your ground beef into loose 2 oz balls and place in the fridge to set until ready to use.
  • Next, add your burger balls to the skillet, season with SPG and let crisp up for 30 seconds.
  • Next, place the parchment over one ball and then firmly press with the spatula until the burger is “smashed” on the skillet. Let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Carefully flip each burger over and then season the new side with salt, pepper and garlic. Top each burger with a slice of cheese and let melt for 1-2 minutes. Once melted, stack one burger on top of another to create a double patty. Then pull each double patty off the grill to rest.
  • Now let’s start building the burger. Add some mayonnaise to the base burger bun and then add double patty burger on top.
  • Next, add the bacon slices, beer battered onion rings, drizzle of bbq sauce and then the top bun. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Quick Homemade BBQ Sauce
There’s no shortage of delicious BBQ sauces at your local grocery store, but if I have time, I’m always extra stoked when I make my own. You can check out my recipe for Guinness BBQ sauce or follow this simple method. Combine 1.5 cups ketchup, 1.5 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce in your food processor or blender. Then, add 2 tablespoons mustard powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and a couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Blend until smooth. Finally, put the sauce in a medium saucepan on the stove, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about five minutes. Serve with burgers, hot dogs, fries and more! 

Nutrition

Calories: 945kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 4786mg | Potassium: 853mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 573IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 7mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating