Recipes: Emeril's Best Burger Ever Challenge

In June, "Good Morning America" launched Emeril's Best Burger Ever Challenge. "GMA" narrowed the list to five semifinalists, and you voted for your favorites.

Allison Koplan's Stuffed Bacon-Cheddar BBQ Burger, Suzy Tarnowski's Texican Burger, and Tina Osborne's Bruschetta Burger came out on top. And today in Bryant Park, Emeril Lagasse announced the Burger Queen:
Allison Koplan and her Stuffed Bacon-Cheddar BBQ Burger.

You can find all five of the semifinalists' burger recipes below.


Allison Koplan, Tampa, Fla. This is a good old-fashioned barbecue bacon burger, but the way the cheese and bacon taste at each bite, along with the soft, sweet barbecue onions makes my family go "WOW!"


1 lb. ground chuck

1 lb. ground round

2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

2 tbsp. garlic salt

8 oz. block of sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded

1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 medium Vidalia onions, sliced

1 tbsp. butter

1 bottle of sweet barbecue sauce (of your choice)

Hamburger buns

Lettuce (optional)

Tomato (optional)

1/2 cup Onions

1/4 cup Barbecue sauce for basting


Combine ground round, ground chuck, salt and pepper in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the coarsely shredded sharp cheddar and cooked bacon pieces. Let bacon and cheese mixture sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to get soft. Then, shape mixture into balls (for however many burgers you would like to make).

Form 2 patties of meat and place one cheese/bacon ball in between them. Pinch the sides together to seal in cheese ball. Gently press formed patty, to spread out cheese ball. Continue until all patties are formed.

Cook burgers on grill over medium flame for about 7 minutes on each side. While burgers are grilling, slice sweet Vidalia onions and saute them in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter. Once onions become translucent (about 4 minutes), add some sweet barbecue sauce.

Flip burgers, and baste the cooked side of the patties with the same sweet barbecue sauce used in the onions. After about 7 minutes longer, the burger should be done (these are big thick burgers and may take longer to grill to your liking). Baste again with sweet barbecue sauce before removing from grill. Butter hamburger buns and place on top rack of grill for several minutes, until toasted.

To build burger, take toasted bun, add patty, and top with smothered barbecue onions. You can add tomato or lettuce, if you'd like, but the flavors are great without them.


Rocco Giuseppe Poveromo, Wilmington, N.C.

Burger Ingredients: 1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground beef

½ lb pancetta

6-8 cloves of garlic (chopped)

1 medium onion (chopped)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup grated carrot

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup grated asiago cheese

½ cup crumbled goat cheese

Ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

1 tsp oregano

Splash of red wine (Cabernet, if available)

Topping Ingredients: 1 healthy slice of fresh mozzarella cheese

1 roasted red pepper

1 slice "joisy" beefsteak tomato

red tip curly lettuce

2 basil leaves

2-3 arugula leaves

2 anchovy filets

homemade fresh Genovese style pesto sauce

"Whacking" Ingredients: Pinch of paprika

Pinch of grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt and black pepper

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