Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger Bar

By Stacie Morgan, September 17, 2015, Recipes

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarWelcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day, and Bounce Energy is here to help you celebrate! Save energy while tailgating this weekend and clean out your fridge at the same time with this delicious Build your Own Cheeseburger Bar!

Grilling is an excellent way to make a lot of food when entertaining a large group because you can prepare so many things simultaneously. Everything you need to cook for this custom burger bar can be made on the grill. As an added bonus, the grill is outside which means it won’t heat up your kitchen!

While there’s nothing wrong with a classic burger with lettuce, cheese, and ketchup, step outside the box to give guests some different options. In fact, today’s recipe features a ground brisket/sirloin steak blend. Buy a package of ground beef, ground turkey, or a specialty blend offered at your favorite grocery store. You could also choose some of your family’s favorite seasonings and prepare each burger type with a different spice mix.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarThe best part about creating a build-you-own serving station? You can utilize leftovers from your fridge or any of the condiments and extra items you have! If you think about how much food a family throws away each week, try and get the most out of what you have on hand and let people make their own custom creations!  I even like to use the butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce as my “bun” instead of bread for a cool and crispy switch up!

Today’s featured cheeseburgers are a teriyaki marinated pineapple brisket burger and an avocado ranch ground beef burger. The teriyaki burger is seasoned with sea salt, garlic, and black pepper seasoning and then topped with teriyaki marinated pineapples, melted sharp cheddar cheese, shredded carrots, fresh creamy avocado, and honey mustard sauce. The avocado ranch burger is topped with American cheese, onion, peppers, and mushrooms from the grilled veggies packs, fresh avocado, pickles, and jalapeno.

Be sure to check out all of the quick and easy topping ideas listed below!

Build Your Own Cheeseburger Bar

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarBurger Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef (85% lean mean / 15% fat)
  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey (93% lean meat / 7% fat)
  • 1 lb. Ground Brisket/Sirloin Mix
  • Lemon pepper seasoning (one with salt)
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder (equal parts)
  • Half stick melted butter
  • Burger buns (Use whatever you have on hand or what your family and guests like)
  • Your favorite toppings: for example, butter and iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, horseradish pickles, jalapenos, fresh avocado, any sauces from the fridge, buffalo hot sauce)
  • A variety of cheeses (American, Sharp Cheddar, Asiago, Monterrey Jack, or even Mozzarella)

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarPepper and Onion Pack Ingredients:

  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 1 Medium yellow onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • ½ tbsp. Lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mushroom Pack Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. White mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • ½ tbsp. Lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarDirections:

  1. Form your ground meats into 4-8 oz. round burger patties dependent on the size of your chosen buns. You do not want them much thicker than an inch to make sure they will cook enough in the middle without overcooking the outside.
  2. Season each type with one of the different seasonings or season one of each type with the different seasonings. I prefer lemon pepper seasoning on my turkey patties and half Cajun seasoning and half classic salt/pepper/garlic blend on the ground beef and brisket burgers.
  3. Melt the half-stick of butter and add the tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce listed in the burger patty ingredients list and set aside to brush on burgers when on the grill.
  4. Slice your bell peppers, garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Make two separate foil packs by taking 2 to 3 long sheets of foil and layering them on top of each other. Place the listed ingredients inside each respective pack and fold up the edges to make almost a bowl out of it. These will cook at the same time as the burgers on the grill.
  5. Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarHeat your grill over medium high heat. Add a little oil to the grates to prevent burgers from sticking. I usually put my burgers on once the grill reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I cook the burgers for 4 minutes on each side, then turn the heat down and let them go until medium to medium well done. Cook your turkey burgers to well done. When the patties are almost done, brush them with the melted butter/Worcestershire mixture for a finishing touch.
  6. Grill the foil packs on the opposite side of the grill at the same time as the burgers. They will make delicious sautéed peppers and mushrooms, and you don’t have to do anything on the stove in the kitchen!
  7. Set everything out and get creative making your own cheeseburgers!

Sauce, Bun, and Topping Ideas:

  • Honey Sriracha Ketchup: Mix in a little Sriracha and honey into your family’s favorite ketchup for a sweet and spicy twist on this classic burger topping. This sauce pairs great with any of the patties, butter lettuce, tomato, pickles, and American cheese.  It’s a classic with a sweet Sriracha kick!
  • Lemony Basil Asiago Mayo: Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your mayonnaise.  Mix in some fresh chopped basil and shredded Asiago cheese for a tangy herby sauce. This sauce pairs great with lemon pepper seasoned turkey patties, any kind of lettuce, a little extra mozzarella cheese, and fresh or sun dried tomatoes.
  • Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Build Your Own Cheeseburger BarCajun Honey Mustard: Mix together equal parts Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, and sweet honey. Add in a little bit of the Cajun seasoning used on your burgers, and you have sweet and spicy honey mustard that will go perfectly with pretzel buns. Use any of the patties and sharp cheddar cheese along with any toppings for a perfect burger!
  • Avocado Ranch Dressing: Mix together a packet of buttermilk ranch dressing using sour cream, mayonnaise, and milk as directed. Mash in some fresh avocado and maybe even a little green Tabasco for a quick and easy twist on this classic. This sauce goes excellent with the brisket/sirloin patties, the peppers, onions, and mushrooms from the foil packets, a little extra avocado, and some fresh slices of jalapeno.
  • Teriyaki Marinated Pineapple: Pour some teriyaki marinade over fresh or canned pineapple chunked and let it marinate while the burgers are grilling. This topping pairs perfectly with the ground beef burgers, melted cheddar cheese, honey mustard, shredded carrots, and a little fresh avocado.

I hope your next cheeseburger tailgate will be a fun adventure to try out any of these great combinations! Let us know what your favorite burger toppings are in the comments below.

See you next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts recipe to help reduce your energy use!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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