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Smokehouse Burgers with Bacon Onion Jam

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Thick and juicy smokehouse burgers with bacon onion jam, served with smoky gouda cheese on a Kaiser roll is the perfect burger recipe for your next cookout.

These 8-ounce beef burger patties are topped with homemade bacon onion jam, smoky gouda cheese, and your favorite BBQ sauce. We especially love that you can cook these on a grill over indirect heat or a smoker. You’ll also need chunks of cherry or pecan wood for smoke! Serve it with an ice-cold glass of beer or hard cider and enjoy.

Bacon Onion Jam

Ditch the ketchup and mustard! Bacon onion jam is my new favorite condiment. Made from onions, bacon, garlic, brown sugar, maple syrup, BBQ sauce, coffee, and spices, these ingredients are simmered low and slow until they turn into a sticky and thick jam-like consistency. It adds delicious flavor and texture to these smokehouse burgers.


Bacon: You can use any type of bacon, but I chose a thick cut for a more meaty texture and because it cooks better.

Onion: A large yellow onion was used in this recipe, but you can substitute it with sweet or white onion. Simply dice the onion (or purchase pre-diced) and then caramelize in 2 tablespoons of bacon grease with garlic and red pepper flakes (it takes about 4.5 to 5 minutes).

Garlic: Minced garlic adds delicious flavor. Substitute with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder if preferred.

Red pepper flakes: I love the heat red pepper flakes add to the bacon jam. Feel free to omit this ingredient if you don’t want the added spice.

BBQ Seasoning: Use your favorite BBQ seasoning rub! I produce my own seasoning rub; contact to purchase.

Brown sugar: Dark or light brown sugar can be used here. I used dark brown sugar which adds a deeper, richer color to the jam.

Maple syrup: Dark, robust pure maple syrup (no additives) has notes of caramel and brown sugar and is the perfect complement to the bacon jam.

Apple cider vinegar: An ultimate pantry staple, ACV adds the right amount of tanginess that balances out the other sweet ingredients.

Coffee: I love this secret ingredient; it adds a bold flavor and helps to balance out the sweetness.

BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite BBQ sauce! Some I recommend are Sticky Fingers Smokehouse Memphis Style and also Heinz BBQ Sauce Carolina Vinegar Style.

How to make smokehouse burgers

You will need 2 pounds of 80/20 ground beef chuck, salt, pepper, your favorite BBQ spice blend and BBQ sauce, smoky gouda cheese, and 4 Kaiser rolls. We opted out of adding lettuce, tomato, and other toppings, but you absolutely have to make the bacon onion jam to go with it!

First, shape the meat into 8-ounce patties. Place the patties on a sheet pan, cover them, and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

While the patties are in the freezer, heat your smoker or grill for indirect cooking to 275 F degrees. Indirect cooking is when there is no heat source under the food, and the burners are lit on either side of the smoker or grill.

Don’t forget to add your chunks of pecan and cherrywood to the coals for smoke!

Once your smoker or grill is ready, remove the patties from the freezer and season them on both sides with salt, pepper, and your favorite BBQ spice blend. Arrange the patties on your prepared smoker or grill over indirect heat. Your food will likely be in the middle of the grill while the heat is lit on the side.

After 30 minutes, flip the burgers and continue cooking until the internal temperature is 145 F for medium doneness. Note: Continuously monitor the internal temperature as you are cooking, especially if making alterations to the size of the patties.

Just before you remove the patties from the grill, brush each burger with BBQ sauce and let it set for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Top each burger with cheese, then remove the burgers from your smoker or grill.

Top with the bacon onion jam, serve on Kaiser rolls, and enjoy!


Tag @cookswithsoul on Instagram or Facebook so we can see what you came up with. We’d also love for you to leave a review and share this recipe with your friends and family!

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Thick and juicy smokehouse burgers with bacon onion jam, served with smoky gouda cheese on a Kaiser roll is the perfect burger recipe for your next cookout. 



Smokehouse Burgers

  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck (beef)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 slices smoked gouda
  • 4 Kaiser rolls

Bacon Onion Jam

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup brewed dark roast coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite BBQ seasoning


Bacon Onion Jam

  • Cook bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium heat; about 10 minutes.
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease; save the rest for later use or discard. 
  • Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the cast iron skillet and sauté in the reserved 2 tablespoons of bacon grease for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, until the onions are caramelized. 
  • Stir in maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dark brown sugar, brewed coffee, and BBQ sauce.
  • Continue cooking for 20 minutes; the bacon jam will be a dark amber color and have a thick consistency. Set aside until ready to use.

Smokehouse Burgers

  1. Shape ground chuck into four 8-ounce patties. 
  2. Place patties in the freezer for 15 minutes 
  3. Heat the smoker or grill for indirect cooking to 275 F.
  4. Add chunks of cherry wood or pecan wood to the coals for smoke.
  5. Remove burgers from the freezer and season on both sides with salt and pepper. 
  6. Arrange burgers on the smoker or grill over indirect heat and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Flip burgers and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 F (medium), or until the desired doneness.
  8. Brush each patty with BBQ sauce and let sit for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Top each burger with smoked gouda cheese and remove the burgers from the smoker or grill.
  10. Add bacon jam and assemble on Kaiser rolls to serve.

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