Cooking with Fire Episode 25: the Beer Can Bacon Burger

Pitmaster Josh Cary and Chef Tom Jackson talk about the 1904 Saint Louis World’s Fair and why it is the center of so many food creation myths and Tom cooks up a delicious Beer Can Bacon Burger with beer braised onions and jalapeños.

Beer Can Bacon Burger Recipe


  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 tbsp favorite BBQ rub
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 2 oz shredded cheddar
  • 2 oz shredded pepper jack
  • 2 ciabatta buns (or other hefty bun)
  • iceberg lettuce, shredded


Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the onions, jalapeño, beer and BBQ rub. Cook until liquid is gone and veggies are softened.

Preheat your grill to 275ºF. Form two (1/2 lb) balls with the 80/20 ground beef. Press a beer can into the center of the ball and form a sort of bowl around the bottom of the can. Remove the can from the meat. Season the beef with BBQ rub. Wrap sides of the bowl with the reserved slices of bacon.

Add the onions and jalapeños to the inside of the “bowl,” filling 2/3 full. Top with the shredded cheeses.

Smoke the burger until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF, about 1 hour. Turn the temperature up to 500ºF and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. While the burger smokes you can toast your ciabatta buns. Serve the burger dressed with the lettuce and your favorite condiments.

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