What’s Cooking with Jan D’Atri

What’s Cooking with Jan D’Atri

Big Daddy Burger

It’s backyard and burger season. So, this year for Father’s Day, how about making pop a big daddy burger?

I have some tips and tricks that make the burger better than ever and a special four-ingredient sauce that could rival any of your favorite fast-food burger stops.

We always like to think dad wants to grill something on his birthday. So, beat him to it, fire up the grill—or an indoor grill pan—and let him dive into deliciousness!

The first tip is to buy ground beef that has a little fat, because fat equals flavor. An 80/20 blend is great; that’s 80% lean beef to 20% fat.

Also, you can cook nice, crispy bacon and chop it up into bacon bits.

Then, dice a sweet yellow onion; sauté it in a little of the bacon fat; and when the bacon and onion are cooled, add it to the ground beef. It adds flavor and moisture.

The only other ingredients you need for a tasty burger are salt, pepper and maybe some garlic powder.

Now, you may have heard of the ice method of cooking a burger to keep it moist. It actually works! Form your beef patty, make a shallow indentation with your fingers in the middle of the burger, and place an ice cube in the divot. (The ice cube should only be about an inch in diameter.) Place the patty on the grill, and as the burger heats up, the ice cube will melt into the ground beef. The divot helps keep the burger flat and the ice adds moisture. Don’t keep flipping the burger. Once on each side should do it.

Then there’s the sauce. It’s a simple, four-ingredient sauce that’ll make this big daddy burger a Father’s Day favorite!


– 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (makes four 6-ounce patties)

– 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped fine, reserve fat

– 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped fine and sautéed in 2-3 tablespoons bacon fat

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon pepper

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– Ice cubes

– Fixings: sliced cheese, sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes, lettuce


In a bowl, combine ground beef, bacon bits, cooled sautéed onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Gently mix to combine. Form four 6-ounce patties. Press the center of each burger down with your fingers. Add one (1-inch) cube of ice to each patty.

Grease a grill pan or grill. Cook burgers on medium high for 3-4 minutes on each side. Only turn once. For cheeseburger, add cheese after you’ve flipped the burgers.

Toast the bun on the grill or in the hot grill pan. Slather the special sauce over bun.

Add fixings and burger. Enjoy!

For the special sauce:
(for 4 burgers)


– 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

– 4 tablespoons softened butter

– 1/4 cup hot sauce (like Frank’s)

– 1/3 cup brown sugar


Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy.