It seems as though when the rest of the world is swimming up stream, I’m merrily floating down stream. While everybody marches to the beat of a different drummer, I’m always in step with the tubas. It’s not by choice, for the most part. It would only make sense in writing a BBQ blog that I would want to go with what’s trending. And though I do put forth an honest effort, a lot of times I fail. Well this is one of those cases. A year or so ago when sliders were all the rage I was cooking and blogging GIANT burgers. Now that the big “steak house” and “stuffed burger” are all the rage, I’m going smaller. But let me tell ya, in style or out, these things were an EPIC hit in Tailgate Town this year. In fact other than a taster, my son and I got none and had to settle for a stadium hot dog. They were THAT good and went THAT fast.
What to expect: Let’s begin with the beef. A nice deep smoky flavor enhanced by the bourbon that does double duty by keeping the patties moist while smoking and adding a nice boozy flavor. Add a healthy dose of a slightly sweet BBQ sauce. Combine that with grilled bacon that is going to give you yet another layer of flavor. Top with a FRESH jalapeno that not only brings a little heat, but freshness, and texture Tie it all together with a quality slice of Swiss cheese, and add a world renown King’s Hawaiian roll.
* Some notes on this recipe.
It can be multiplied indefinitely for however many you are feeding.
4 per person is a good number to figure. They are rather filling.
ALL of our recipes, and cooking are ALWAYS done lid closed unless otherwise stated.
Yeild: 12 sliders.
What you’ll need:
About an hour or less. The patties can be made while the coals catch fire.
Grill set up for indirect cooking
1 lb 80/20 ground beef (80/20 is the ideal meat to fat ratio for great burgers, leaner makes them dryer, more fat and they shrink on the grill)
2 Tbls of bourbon
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp steak seasoning/rub
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
3 slices Swiss cheese
6 or so slice of bacon, cooked and cut into thirds. (I say “or so”, because you and I both know you’re going eat some while cooking it. It’s the birthright of the Pitmaster.)
1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
12 King’s Hawaiian rolls (It MUST be King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls. We did many test cooks with different rolls for a contest. King’s were the perfect texture, balance of flavor, and gave us the best meat to bun ratio.)
How we did it:
Begin by mixing the 2 Tbls of bourbon, 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 4 tsp steak seasoning/rub, and1 tsp garlic salt in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
Add your ground beef, and work into mixture.
At this point the meat will be very wet. If you feel that it’s too wet to work, with place it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes this will “firm” it up.
Make your patties.
The best way we found to do this is by using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter.
Roll you beef into ball slightly larger than a golf ball. Place inside cookie cutter and gently press down with the bottom of a beer bottle. (Told ya we made A LOT of these in the test kitchen.)
If the beef wants to stick to your hands and/or the bottle, just apply a little oil.
Set your grill up for indirect grilling, add a chunk of your favorite smoking wood, and place the little patties in the void between the coals.
Let smoke for about 10 minutes, when they have taken on color and are soft to the touch, add your BBQ sauce, bacon, and jalapeno.
Let cook 5 minutes more.
Add cheese, cook one minute more covered until the cheese is melted.
Plate, serve, enjoy.
Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.