Jucy Lucy Burgers

Stuffed crust pizza is a well-known take on the classic Italian meal. Cheese stuffed burgers however? That was a new one for me.  Known as Jucy Lucy burgers, they are a twist on the classic American comfort food, with cheese sandwiched between two thin burger patties.

Find out how to make your own Jucy Lucy burgers at home with this simple recipe …


Jucy Lucy Burger

Time
10 mins prep
8-10 mins cook
Difficulty
Easy
Servings
4 burgers
Serve with
Ramos chips/fries
Wine match
Tomfoolery “Young Blood” Grenache

What’s a Jucy Lucy? And Why the Odd Spelling?

A classic cheeseburger has cheese served on top of the burger. A Jucy Lucy, however, has the cheese inserted inside the meat, resulting in a molten core of cheese-y loveliness.

There are two bars in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that claim to have invented this … Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club. The former serves a single American cheese option and names their burgers “Jucy Lucy”. The 5-8 Club has different cheese filling choices and uses the name “Juicy Lucy”. The coin landed heads and I went with Matt’s Bar’s spelling, although in honour of the 5-8 club I used mozzarella and cheddar for the cheese centre.

As to the odd spelling for the offering at Matt’s Bar, this is apparently down to a typo on their menu that wasn’t spotted until the print run had finished. So it stuck.

Four burger patties with cheese layered on two of them
Two formed Jucy Lucy burgers, left hand one has been shaped
Cooking first side in the Minimax ...
... and then the second side
Jucy Lucy burger cut open revealling the cheese centre

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Cast iron pan/skillet
  • Whisk
  • Kitchen scales

Ingredients

  • 2lbs/900g beef or buffalo mince
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Cheddar cheese (preferably smoked)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Sliced tomato
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 4 burger buns

I made ours with buffalo mince as we had some packs left after making buffalo chili. For the cheese centre, I used medium cheddar and mozzarella that I had previously cold smoked. Smoked cheeses are also available from supermarkets and cheesemongers. The Worcestershire sauce is optional, the classic recipe uses this. We didn’t when we made it. It’s a personal choice.

Method

I cooked ours in our Big Green Egg, this is just as easily done in a cast iron frying pan. But heck it’s summer and I’d rather cook outside.

  1. Break the egg into a bowl and whisk it up. Add in the beef/buffalo mince, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Combine and squeeze the ingredients together.
  2. Create eight equally sized, thin burger patties from the mince, laying them out on a clean, slightly oiled chopping board. Place thin slices of cheddar and mozzarella on four patties.
  3. Make burger “sandwiches” with the remaining patties, pinch the edges tight. Then shape to a standard burger. The video clip below is of my wife shaping the burgers:
  4. Pre-heat a cast iron pan/skillet over a medium heat, adding a little cooking oil. Cook the burgers for 4-5 mins on one side, then carefully flip the burger. Pierce the top with a cocktail stick to allow any air trapped inside to escape and cook for 4-5 mins on the other side.
    • For a Big Green Egg I cook direct heat on a CI surface, dome temperature of 250°C/480°F on a Large or 220°C/430°F on a Minimax.
  5. Add spread to the burger bun, then the burger and top with desired condiments.
Jucy Lucy burgers served with chips and Stoke's ketchup

Hints and Tips

  1. Only flip the burgers once at the 4-5 min mark. Continually flipping them can cause the cheese to break free.
  2. Use cheese from the fridge rather than at room temperature. This means that the centre doesn’t get too hot and result in the “molten lava” cheese effect when biting into the burger.
  3. The sides of the burger can be browned by very carefully lifting the burger with tongs and rolling it on its side on the hot griddle surface.
  4. I prefer standard seeded burger buns over brioche buns for Jucy Lucy burgers.
  5. Use a little oil on the patties when shaping to stop them sticking to your hands.

 

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