The Juicy Lucy Burger! I’m finally paying homage to our time in St. Paul, Minnesota and to this iconic burger that is popular in the Twin Cities. I first had a Juicy Lucy at the Groveland Tap, just a block from our house. In fact, this is the only place I’ve had a Juicy Lucy. I’ve been hooked ever since, and all these years later, I finally made them at home.
A Juicy Lucy is an inside-out cheeseburger. The cheese is stuffed into the center of two ground beef patties and “sealed” in, then cooked on a griddle, in a cast iron skillet or thrown on the grill. And the cheese of choice is good old American cheese. Not the shiny individually wrapped slices, at least not for me, I get it sliced to order from the deli. It’s better, trust me on this one.
You know what else is good in a Juicy Lucy? Jalapeño peppers. That’s the bomb for me, but easily left out of those that can’t take a little heat ~ no worries. That is it, just cheese and maybe jalapeños. Start with this classic version and experiment with fillings, if you must.
Here’s what you’ll get with a good burger like this ~ a warning. The center is hot molten cheese, gloriously mixed with beef juices, and when you bite into it, well, be careful! And know there is a good possibility of hot cheesy juices flying across the room, as well. Seriously, it can happen. Miss you, St. Paul.
Famous Juicy Lucy Burger of Twin Cities fame, cheese stuffed ground beef patty, with or without jalapeños, cooked on the stovetop or grill.
- 2 lbs ground beef (preferably chuck)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 slices American cheese
- Pickled jalapeño slices (optional)
- 4 brioche hamburger buns (or regular buns)
- Optional toppings for serving, such as lettuce, tomato and onion
To the ground beef, add Worcestershire, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Divide beef into eight equal portions and form gently into balls. One portion at a time, place ball on piece of plastic wrap, fold over, and flatten into a disk with your hands. It doesn't have to be perfect, but they should all be the same size patties.
Tear each slice of American cheese into 4 pieces/squares. Place 4 torn pieces on the centers of 4 patties. If desired, add 2 to 3 slices of pickled jalapeños on top of cheese. Place another patty on top and then with fingers, pinch and seal all around the edges, completely sealing the cheese in all 4 burgers.
Heat a cast iron skillet or fire up the grill. Cook burgers about 3 minutes a side for medium-rare, a little longer for medium. Remove to a plate and tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly toast/grill buns.
Serve Juicy Lucy's on buns with any additional toppings. Careful on that first bite! Enjoy!
- I don't recommend lean ground beef, for these or any burger. Use ground chuck (or 85% lean)
- This recipe makes 4 half-pound burgers. You can make the portions a little smaller if you like, 10 portions of beef yielding 5 burgers.
- We like brioche bakery-style buns which are readily available in our supermarket. Regular or sesame seed hamburger buns are great also.
You might also like the classic diner-style patty melts.