The weekend before the May long weekend is the perfect time to clean up the backyard and get it ready for spring and summer fun. That also means grabbing your spatula and getting the BBQ ready for backyard cookouts.

When I think of the BBQ, I think of burger recipes. Most people stick to the basic hamburger, done up in a bun with mustard, relish, ketchup and maybe a pickle or two, but this year it might just be time to branch out a bit and explore your burger options. With so many different hamburger recipes to choose from, you could make a new version of the classic every night of the week.

Check out a few of my favourite burger recipes – they’re guaranteed to have you running for your spatula this spring

Bacon Stuffed Cheeseburger

Who doesn’t love bacon? It’s great to put a slice of bacon on top of a homemade BBQ burger, but it’s even better when you actually stuff the burger with bacon. I’ve tried this Canadian Living recipe with Canadian back bacon and turkey bacon, and both times I was told it was the ‘best burger ever.’

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 large onion diced

1/4 pound chopped, crisp cooked bacon

1/2 teaspoon Spike (or seasoned salt)

2 tablespoon beer

 

 Directions

Combine bacon, onion, cheddar cheese and set aside. Combine beef, spike and beer, mix thoroughly, the shape into 6 thin patties. Put bacon/onion/cheese mixture on 3 patties. Top with remaining patties and press edges to seal. Grill, broil or pan fry until well done, about 4 minutes per side.

Turkey Cheddar Burger


Substituting ground turkey for ground beef in a burger can save you in calories and fat. If prepared correctly the way it is in this Epicurious turkey burger recipe, it can actually be even more delicious than your standard beef burger.

Ingredients:

For burgers

1 large shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (not labeled “all breast meat”)

5 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, cut into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices

4 hamburger or kaiser rolls

For sun-dried tomato mayonnaise

1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Accompaniment: lettuce leaves

 

Directions

Make burgers:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook shallot in oil with salt and pepper in an 8-inch skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Add turkey and mix gently but thoroughly.

Turn out turkey mixture onto a sheet of wax paper and divide into 8 equal mounds. Pat 1 mound into a 4-inch patty and top with 1 piece of cheese, then put a second mound on top, patting it onto other patty to enclose cheese. Pinch edges together to seal and shape into a single patty. Make 3 more burgers in same manner.

Heat an oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then grill burgers, turning over once, until just cooked through (no longer pink), 8 to 9 minutes total.

While burgers are cooking, heat rolls on a baking sheet in oven until crusty, about 5 minutes. Transfer rolls to a rack to cool slightly.

Make mayonnaise and assemble burgers:
Purée tomatoes with water, vinegar, and salt in a blender or mini food processor, scraping down sides as necessary, then blend in mayonnaise.

Cut rolls in half horizontally (if necessary) and spread cut sides with tomato mayonnaise. Serve burgers on rolls with lettuce.

Homemade Veggie Burgers


I always buy my veggie burger patties in a store, so when I first started looking at homemade veggie burger recipes I wasn’t sure they’d be as good as my favourite brand. This veggie burger recipe puts my store bought veggie burgers to shame, and it’s quick and easy to put together.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (150 mL) quick cooking rolled oats, (not instant)

3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

1 egg

4 tsp (18 mL) Dijon mustard

1 pkg precooked ground soy protein mixture

1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise

4 hamburger buns

4 leaves leaf lettuce

8 slices tomato

4 slices Swiss cheese, (optional)

 

Directions

In large skillet, toast oats over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to food processor; pulse until coarsely powdered.

In same skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil; cook onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 4 minutes; add to food processor. Add egg and half of the mustard; pulse until combined. Transfer to bowl; stir in ground soy; shape into 4 patties.

In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat; cook patties, turning once, until crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir mayonnaise with remaining mustard; spread over buns. Sandwich lettuce, tomato, patties, and cheese (if using) in buns.


When you have a good burger recipe, the sky is the limit as to what you can add to customize them. Try different kinds of cheese, bacon, switch up your buns, or try adding a fried egg – you really can’t go wrong as long as you start with a good burger recipe and improvise along the way.

You can get cooking this weekend when you have the tools to create the perfect burger:

 
Time to upgrade the BBQ? Find plenty of BBQ accessories
 
The Vacu Vin BBQ Cooler Plate will keep your food cool and protected when preparing outdoors
 
Can’t BBQ outdoors? Create burger recipes inside with the Breville Ikon Indoor Grill