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Willamette Valley Smokey-Chipotle Bacon Ranch Burger

Hello, my name is Billy . I'm 27 years old. I was born and raised here in the Oregon Willamette Valley and currently live in a very small town east of Salem named Sublimity; populations about 2500.I have currently worked for the City of Salem as a firefighter/paramedic for 3 years and love my job dearly. My wife and I have been married for almost 4 years and we have one 10-month-old son. I thoroughly enjoy cooking and BBQ because it is such a stress relief for me as well as way to express some creative energy. I had an excellent time preparing for this contest, as did my family and the people I cook for at the firehouse. Thanks again for the opportunity to Build a Better Burger and express some creative energy along the way.


Chipotle Ranch Spread
½-cup whole milk
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce
2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce seeded and finely chopped ½-cup mayonnaise
12 thick bacon slices
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
1-tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup dry ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce
¼ cup Zinfandel
4 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce seeded and finely chopped
3 egg yolks (well beaten)
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill
6 (5 inch) soft Kaiser Rolls split
6 slices Chipotle cheddar cheese
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 ¼ inch thick sliced large tomatoes slices


•Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. •To make the ranch spread, combine milk, pepper sauce, ranch seasoning, chile, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. •Place the bacon in a large fireproof skillet, cook on the grill 6-8 minutes or until almost done. Sprinkle with chile powder, ranch seasoning, and brown sugar. Remove from grill and transfer to wax paper. Let cool. •To make the patties, combine ground chuck, salt, ranch seasoning, pepper sauce, Zinfandel, chilies, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the rolls. •Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice. •To assemble the burgers, spread the chipotle ranch over the cut sides of the toasted rolls. On each roll bottom, add ½ cup of the shredded lettuce, a patty, an equal portion of bacon, and 1 tomato slice. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


This burger was a favorite at the firehouse. The guys loved the subtle smoke and spice with a hint of ranch seasoning. This burger was also my favorite and the most enjoyable to create. It is named of course after the Oregon Willamette Valley where I was born, raised & live today.