Two bars in Minneapolis, Matt’s and the 5-8 Club, have competing claims to being the creator of the infamous Juicy Lucy burger (or Jucy Lucy, depending on whom you’re talking to). However CHOW.com’s Supertaster, James Norton, thinks the Blue Door Pub in St. Paul actually serves the Perfect Jucy Lucy—he explains why in this CHOW video. Whichever version you prefer, these cheese-stuffed burgers ooze cheesy goodness with every bite—and now you can make your own at home. Be sure to aim any cheese drips over your French Fries, and serve with our pickle recipe.
What to buy: Fat equals flavor and moisture, so buy high-quality chuck with a fat content of 15 to 20 percent.
While American cheese is standard in a Juicy Lucy, other cheeses that melt well, such as mild cheddar or pepper jack, can be substituted. You could even try making your own version of American cheese; Mark McClusky shows you how in this episode of CHOW’s My Go-To Dish video series.
Soft hamburger buns (skip brioche or crusty buns) work best with the simple flavors of these burgers.
Game plan: Make sure the burger patties rest after cooking so that the juices redistribute in the meat and the cheese isn’t dangerously hot when you bite into the center.
If you’re grilling outside, toast the buns right on the grill while the cooked patties are resting. If you’re grilling inside using a grill pan, toast your buns in the oven, because the moisture left in the pan from cooking the burgers will make the buns soggy.
This recipe was featured as part of our Burger Bonanza!
- Yield: 4 burgers
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 45 mins
- 4 slices American cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (15 to 20 percent fat content), chilled
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
- 4 (4-inch) hamburger buns, split and toasted
- Sliced pickles, for serving
- Cut each slice of cheese in half, then in half again to form 4 squares. Stack the pieces on top of each other to form 4 stacks; set aside.
- Place the meat in a large bowl and add the salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire, and pepper. Mix with your hands until just evenly combined.
- Divide the meat into 8 equal portions and place on a work surface. Using your fingertips, press 2 portions of the meat into 2 rough 1/4-inch-thick patties that are each about 1 inch wider in diameter than the hamburger buns. Place 1 stack of cheese in the center of 1 of the patties. Top with the second patty and pinch the edges to form a tight seal. Cup each patty with your hands to round out the edges, and press on the top to flatten slightly into a single thick patty. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining portions of meat and cheese to form 4 patties in total. Refrigerate while you prepare the grill.
- Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil.
- Place the reserved patties on the grill, close the grill, and cook undisturbed (do not press down on the patties) until dark grill marks appear on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the patties, close the grill again, and cook until grill marks appear on the second side and the patties are cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove to a clean plate and let rest in a warm place or tent loosely with foil for 5 minutes. Place a patty on each bun bottom, top with pickles, and cover with a bun top. Serve immediately.