Classic BBQ Cheeseburger on the Goldens' Cast Iron | Heath Riles BBQ

Classic BBQ Cheeseburger on the Goldens' Cast Iron | Heath Riles BBQ

When I was a child, my dad used to grill up cheeseburgers on the pit. His method of seasoning the burger patties generously with seasoned salt (probably Lawry’s) and basting them with barbecue sauce made for a uniquely special taste. It’s that special taste that I wanted to recreate and maybe even improve on with my Classic BBQ Cheeseburger recipe. This one is an ode to my father and a celebration of all the special moments I had with him, including enjoying his smoky BBQ cheeseburgers.

The Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need for my Classic BBQ Cheeseburger recipe:

  • Ground beef. For this recipe, you’ll need about 1 1/3 lb of ground beef. Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. This is my blend of salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, and paprika. It’s the perfect seasoning for a beef burger. Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. This sauce is my special blend of sugar and spices with a tangy ketchup base that makes for the perfect balance of savory and sweet.
  • Condiments. I use some traditional condiments to build my Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers, including mayonnaise, sliced onion, sliced tomato, lettuce, and pickle chips.
  • Cheese. You can’t have a cheeseburger without the cheese! I melt sliced American cheese on these Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers. I love cheese and use two slices per burger patty.
  • Hamburger buns. You’ll need 4 hamburger buns. Choose your favorite variety to build the perfect BBQ Cheeseburger.

The Cooker Setup

Here’s the main equipment I used and how I set it up. See the equipment and tools section for everything I used to make these Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers. I used a Golden's Cast Iron Kamado Grill for these Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers. The Golden’s is a cast iron grill rather than a ceramic grill.

For this Classic BBQ Cheeseburger recipe, I set up the grill into two zones: one direct and one indirect. The fire in the grill is essentially built up under the direct side. In this recipe, I refer to the direct zone is considered the “hot zone” and the indirect zone as the “cool zone.” Lump charcoal. I built my fire for these Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers with lump charcoal. You’ll want to select a premium quality hardwood lump charcoal for this recipe.

The Process for Making Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers

The detailed procedure for these Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers on the Golden’s cast iron grill is covered in my video and the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Prep the grill. Prepare your fire in advance. Get it heating to 400º. Remember to set up a cool zone and hot zone.
  • Form the burger patties. I take a 1/3 pound of beef and roll it into a tight ball. Place a piece of parchment over the ball of beef and smash it down lightly with a spatula. Repeat to make a total of 4 burger patties. · Season the beef patties. Sprinkle some Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub on the side facing up. You’ll want to be very generous with the seasoning here. It helps give them that special flavor just like my dad’s burgers had when I was growing up.
  • Place the burgers on the cool zone. Place the burgers seasoned side down on the cool zone. Season the unseasoned sides with the Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. Close the lid and let the burger patties smoke for about 10 minutes.
  • Flip to the hot zone. Flip the burgers over onto the hot zone. Let them cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Flip back to the cool zone. Flip the burgers back over to the cool zone, then baste both sides with Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. Close the lid and let the sauce cook onto the burgers for 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add the cheese. Add 1 or 2 slices of cheese to each burger patty. Shut the lid for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Assemble the burgers. Assemble the burgers in the following order: bottom bun, mayonnaise, lettuce, burger patty, tomato, onion, pickle chips, a drizzle of Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce, top bun.

The Results

These Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers were a trip down memory lane for me. They smell and taste just like my daddy’s cheeseburgers. I think you’ll enjoy them just as much as I did, and they might even give you some nostalgia of your own.

Serving Suggestions for Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers

Serve these Classic BBQ Cheeseburgers with:

  • French fries. One great classic deserves another. Mississippi Coleslaw. My Mississippi Coleslaw is spicy, crisp, and creamy. It’s the perfect complement to these BBQ Cheeseburgers.
  • Cold beer. Add an ice-cold beer and one or all of the above to have the perfect, classic cheeseburger experience.

Equipment and Tools

Golden's Cast Iron Kamado Grill, Royal Oak Charcoal, large metal spatula

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