RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Chipotle-Mesquite Shitake Pub Burgers with Melted Aged Cheddar & Bacon


Mesquite Smoked Shitake Mushroom Topping

6 cups Kingsford Mesquite wood chips
8 cups of water

9 cups sliced shitake mushrooms, ¼ inch
6 slices bacon sliced, ¼ inch thick
6 tbsp BBQ sauce


1 pound freshly ground chuck
1 pound freshly ground sirloin
1 tbsp Chipotle TABASCO sauce
1 tbsp chipotle powder
6 tbsp onion powder
3 tsp salt

6 slices Tillamook 15 Month Aged Extra Sharp Cheddar, ¼ inch thick
6 good-quality large hamburger buns split
6 pieces iceberg lettuce


Soak 6 cups of Mesquite wood chips in 8 cups of water. After 30 minutes, remove chips and drain in a metal colander for 5 minutes. Take one sheet of 12" x 18" aluminum foil and lay on flat surface. Place wood chips in a flat even layer. Cover with another 12" x 18" aluminum foil sheet. Crimp edges to create a "wood chip package". Poke 15 holes evenly on each side with the tip of a knife.

Remove the rack from the grill top.

Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to low.

Place sliced shitake mushrooms in a 9 "diameter perforated metal pie pan. Place wood chip package directly on gas grill flames. Place grill rack back on top of grill.

Once smoke appears from the package, place perforated pan with shitakes on the elevated rack of the gas grill. Cover for 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms from the grill.

Carefully remove the rack from the grill. Remove the wood chip package with a pair of tongs and discard. Place grill rack back on top of grill.

Turn grill to medium-high.

Place a 10 inch non-stick, fire-proof, sauté pan on grill. Preheat for 3 minutes. Add sliced bacon and cook until golden brown and crispy. Add smoked shitakes. Add 6 tbsp of BBQ sauce and thoroughly combine. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Combine ground chuck, ground sirloin, chipotle TABASCO sauce, chipotle powder, onion powder, and salt in a small bowl. Thoroughly mix. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls.

Place each patty on the hottest part of the grill. Cook each side 3-4 minutes covered. Add cheese slices to each patty and cover the grill. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove patties from the grill.

Toast buns on the grill for 6 seconds. Remove and set aside.

For assembly, place each iceberg lettuce leaf on the bottom bun. Next place each patty with melted cheddar on top of the iceberg lettuce. Add the mesquite smoked mushrooms to the pattie and top with bun. Slice the burger in half. Skewer each half with a toothpick for presentation. Serve guests and pair with a glass of Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon.


I lived in Los Angeles for 7 years. My favorite burger was the Hickory burger at The Apple Pan in Westwood. This recipe is an homage to that burger. I took a classic bacon cheesburger and injected some sophistication into it.

The vehicle for the smokiness is smoked shitake mushrooms cooked with bacon. I use Mesquite chips instead of Hickory chips because it balances the earthiness of the shitake mushrooms and the grilled beef flavor. We add some heat with Chipotle spice and temper this with some delicious aged cheddar.

Ultimately, we end up with a very simple burger recipe that really packs a ton of flavor in each bite. Your guests will be blown away. The best part of this recipe is that it is approachable yet refined--just like a glass of Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon.