RECIPES: Recipe Details

Rate This Burger 
No votes yet

Burnt Ketchup Burgers

This recipe is a result of my general dislike of meatloaf as a kid… Whenever I had the misfortune of having it served to me, I slyly stripped off the topping and ate only the sticky, red part with the tiniest bit of meat that stuck to it like glue. The darker and more done it was, the better I liked it. Later, I discovered you can enjoy the same flavor using a grill to ‘char’ the ketchup sauce right onto a burger by dipping the whole patty in a concoction similar to what my mother used for her unpopular meatloaf. This is a simple, straightforward recipe that anyone can prepare and my brothers and I agree it beats the heck out of meatloaf politicking at mom’s house. I revised the sauce a bit for the Build a Better Burger Contest, and judging from family reviews, it’s better than it ever was.


Burger Ingredients
1. 5 lbs freshly ground chuck
2. 4 T chili powder
3. 1 and ¼ c dark brown sugar (reserve 1 c for sauce)
4. 5 t freshly ground salt
5. 3 t coarsely ground black pepper
Burnt Ketchup Sauce
6. ¼ c melted butter
7. 2 c good quality tomato ketchup
Remaining dark brown sugar (1 c)
8. 2 T Grey Poupon mustard
9. ½ c Cabernet Sauvignon
Bun Assembly
10. ½ c melted butter for brushing buns
11. 6 large, onion Kaiser rolls, split
12. 6 slices of sweet Vidalia onion
13. Bread and Butter pickle slices (4-6 per burger)
14. 12 slices of red, ripe tomatoes
15. 6 Romaine lettuce leaves, ribs removed


Brush lowest grill grate with oil and temperature to med-high. Close lid. In chilled, large glass or ceramic bowl, gently, but thoroughly combine ground chuck, chili power, ¼ c of the brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Shape into six patties and place on heated grill rack. Close lid. Cook for five minutes on each side. While the burgers are cooking, make the burnt ketchup sauce: In a medium glass or ceramic bowl, whisk together melted butter, ketchup, remaining brown sugar (1 c), mustard, and wine. After the burgers have cooked for five minutes on each side, pick up each burger with tongs and dip into the burnt ketchup sauce, then return to the grill. Turn the grill temperature up to high and watch burgers carefully. Within about one minute, the sauce should begin to sizzle and ‘burn’ just a bit. Turn the burgers and allow the other side to ‘burn.’ Insert a meat thermometer into the center of a burger to ensure the temperature is about 160 degrees. Reduce temperature to med and move burgers to top grate. Load a brush with melted butter and slather the spilt side of all roll halves. Grill buttered side down on bottom rack until toasted and grill marks appear (2 minutes). Assemble the Burgers: Place a burger on each roll bottom followed by onion, pickles, and then tomato. Drizzle 2 T of remaining burnt ketchup sauce on top of tomato. Top with lettuce leaves. Put the roll top in place and serve immediately.