This Western BBQ Burger is perfect for the 4th of July. It’s made with your favorite burger bun slathered with mayo and layered with a crispy beef patty, melty cheddar cheese, smoky bacon, beer-battered onion rings, juicy pulled pork, and BBQ sauce.
This killer burger is a meat lover’s dream!
Prep the Onion and Beef for Your Western BBQ Burger
So, we’ll start with an onion marinade to make them nice and tender. Pour buttermilk into a large bowl along with some ice.
Next, remove the stems and peel from your onions. Slice them into rings that are about 1.5″ thick. Be sure to make them even in size so they cook at the same rate. Place the sliced onion rings into the buttermilk mixture, then cover the bowl and place them in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.
While the onion is marinating, take the 1-2 pounds of ground beef and form it into loose balls about 2 ounces each. Be careful not to over-work the meat. If you mess around with it too much, you can end up with dry, tough burgers. No one wants that!
Bread the Onions
Next, we’ll fry the onions, because buttermilk soaked onions just don’t quite do it.
Preheat your fire to a medium-high temperature somewhere between 375ºF and 400ºF. Add a deep-dish cast-iron skillet or a dutch oven over the fire, then pour in at least 2-3 inches of frying oil. Bring the oil to a temperature of 375ºF. In other words, it should be nice and hot for that perfect fried onion texture. The crispy onions on a Western BBQ Burger is just unmatched.
Now, before we can dunk the onions in the hot oil, we need to bread them. So, in one bowl, mix together 1.5 cups of flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Slowly pour in the light beer of your choice, mixing constantly, until a smooth batter forms. Look for the consistency of pancake batter!
Add more flour to a separate bowl, then pull the onion rings out of the fridge. First, coat the onion rings in the flour. Transfer them to the beer batter and coat evenly.
Let’s Get Fried
Now that the onions are breaded and the oil is hot, we can fry em up!
So, place the freshly breaded onion rings into the hot oil. Cook for about two minutes on each side. The onion rings should get a good crisp and take on a nice golden-brown color. Now, I recommend only cooking 3-5 at a time. Add too many into the oil and the temperature will drop. Cooler oil will make soggy onion rings, and no one likes soggy onion rings on their Western BBQ Burger!
Transfer the fried onion rings to a wire cooling rack with paper towels underneath.
Cook the Bacon for Your Western BBQ Burger
Okay, we’re getting there! Next up, the bacon.
Reheat your fire to a temperature of 375ºF-400ºF. Add a cast iron skillet or flat skillet over the fire, then add in the bacon. Cook until crisped to your liking, then pull the strips off and set them aside.
Lastly, the burger patties, because you kind of need these for a Western BBQ Burger.
Western BBQ Burger Patty!
To make your burgers, add the burger balls onto the skillet. Season each with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder and allow them to cook for 30 seconds or so to crisp up. Next, place a piece of parchment paper over one ball. Firmly press down with a spatula until the burger is “smashed”. This creates a delicious crispy texture you just can’t beat! Repeat with each burger and allow them to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Next, flip each burger over, season with addition salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then top each burger with a slice of cheddar cheese. Allow the cheese to melt for a couple of minutes, then pull the burger off of the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes.
It’s finally time to put together our Western BBQ Burger. Now, I love to use this burger as an excuse to load as many types of meat onto a sandwich as I possibly can. So, with beef patties and bacon already in the lineup, I also like to include a scoop of warm pulled pork. So, remember this Western BBQ Burger recipe when you have any pulled pork leftovers!
Take the bottom half of your favorite burger bun and slather it with mayonnaise. Add on a cheesy burger patty followed by a couple pieces of crispy bacon and a layer of beer battered onion rings. Spoon on a scoop of pulled pork, top that with a drizzle of BBQ sauce, then finish it off with the top bun.
And your Western BBQ Burger is served!
Western BBQ Burger
This Western BBQ Burger is a crispy beef patty on a bun topped with cheese, bacon, beer-battered onion rings, pulled pork, and BBQ sauce.
- 1-2 lbs Ground Beef
- 6-8 slices Cheddar Cheese
- 1.5 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1.5 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder
Beer Battered Onion Rings:
- 2 whole White Onions
- 2.5 cups Buttermilk
- 2 cups White Flour
- 12-16 oz Light Beer
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- Frying Oil
- Pulled Pork reheated
- 8-10 slices Bacon
- Burger Buns toasted
- Favorite BBQ Sauce
Add to a large bowl the buttermilk with some ice. 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. Place all the onion rings into the buttermilk, cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Finally, form your ground beef into loose 2 oz balls and place in the fridge to set until ready to use.
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 paprika. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. Top each burger with a slice of cheese and let melt for 1-2 minutes. Once melted, pull each burger off and rest.
Now let’s start building the burger. Add some mayonnaise to the base burger bun and then add a single or double patty burger on top. Next, add the bacon slices, beer battered onion rings, a handful of warm pulled pork, drizzle of bbq sauce and then the top bun. Serve and enjoy!
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!