crispy bourbon burger with crispy onion straws
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Sweet Bourbon Burgers with Crispy Onion Straws #burgermonth

These big, beefy, boozy 1/3 lb patties get a healthy dusting of my Homemade Sweet Rub and a high heat sear on the grill for the most amazing crunchy crust. Topped with a sweet bourbon sauce, havarti cheese, and a mountain of fresh, crunchy onion straws.... this burger will put any burger joint to shame.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Barbecue, Comfort Food, Party Food
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 lbs 80/20 ground beef sirloin
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 Tablespoons Homemade Sweet Rub
  • 12 thin slices havarti cheese
  • 6 burger buns pub style
  • 1/4 cup salted butter at room temperature

Sweet Bourbon Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup onion minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lemons zest and juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Homemade Sweet Rub

Crispy Onion Straws

  • 1 large sweet onion cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Sweet Rub
  • 4 cups canola oil


  • In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the sweet bourbon sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce before using.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sliced onions and the buttermilk. In a pie plate gently mix the flour, corn starch, and sweet rub. Place a heavy bottom pot on the stove top and preheat the oil to 400 degrees F.
  • Preheat your grill to high heat (around 450 degrees). In a large bowl, place your ground beef and pour in the bourbon. Mix very gently. Overmixing can make your burgers tough. Form into 6 individual patties. Season on both sides with the sweet rub.
  • Place the burgers on the grill grate and cook for 6-8 minutes per side, or until burgers are within 10 degrees of desired doneness. The FDA recommends ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • While the burgers cook, fry your onion straws. Remove the onion strips from the buttermilk and toss in the flour/cornstarch mixture. Separate them into individual strips and make sure they are each coated with the flour/cornstarch. Gently transfer them to the hot oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion straws are crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel and season with salt. Set aside until you are ready to assemble your burgers.
  • When the burgers are almost done, slather a bit of the bourbon sauce over each burger. Top each with 2 slices of the havarti cheese. Butter your buns and place those on the grill grates as well. Close the lid on your grill and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the buns are toasted.
  • To assemble your burgers, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom bun (this prevents the bun from getting soggy) then the cheesy burger, then tomato slices (if desired), a handful of the onion straws, another hearty spoonful of the bourbon sauce, and the buttery toasted top bun. Secure the burger with a large toothpick or skewer. Serve immediately and enjoy!