Sweet and Spicy Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Burger Brings The Heat

A little sweet and just the right touch of heat elevate bacon cheeseburgers to new levels of deliciousness.

America’s fast food joints are always touting new burgers piled high with flavorful toppings. Well, with the very latest in our ongoing burger of the month series, they have nothing on AmazingRibs.com! Try this amazing burger at your next tailgate party. 

It all begins with a perfectly grilled burger patty topped with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. From there, we add a sweet and spicy topping of candied jalapeños, a.k.a. Champion’s Cowboy Candy. On top of the jalapeños we pile a big handful of crispy, crunchy French fried onions. And we couldn’t stop there. A few strips of thick cut bacon come next - because everything is better with bacon! Put it all in a pillowy pretzel bun, add a drizzle of tangy homemade balsamic ketchup, and prepare for burger nirvana with our Sweet and Spicy Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Burger! 

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Experience a flavor explosion with this recipe for a Cheddar cheeseburger topped with candied jalapenos, bacon, and French fried onions on a pretzel bun slathered with balsamic ketchup.

Course. Dinner. Entree.

Cuisine. American.

Makes. 2 servings

Takes. 15 minutes prep, 1 hour total cook time.

Serve with. An IPA.


Balsamic Ketchup

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (read more about the science of balsamic vinegar here)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

The Burger

1 pound ground chuck

1 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt (read more about the science of salt here)

2 slices sharp cheddar cheese

Candied jalapenos (Find the recipe here. The jalapenos should ideally brine for at least one week.)

Crispy fried onions such as French’s French Fried Onions

4 slices thick sliced bacon, cooked

2 hamburger buns, preferably pretzel rolls if available


1) Prep. For the balsamic ketchup, combine the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar in a small bowl and blend well. Set aside until ready to use.

2) Divide the meat into two 8-ounce portions. Gently form the meat into patties that are approximately 1/2-inch wider than the bun to allow for shrinkage during the cooking process. Season both sides of the patties with kosher salt.

3) Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F on the indirect side. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.

4) Cook. Place the burgers on the indirect side of the grill, positioning the vent directly above the burgers in order to force the smoke over and around the meat. Cook the patties for about 10 minutes.


5) Push the tip of a rapid-read thermometer such as the Thermapen into the side of both burgers. When the temperature reaches 105°F, flip the burgers and cook for approximately 10 more minutes. Because they are not over direct heat, you do not need to flip them often.

6) When the burgers are about 20°F below the final doneness temp you want (see AmazingRibs.com’s award winning Food Temperature Guide), get ready to move them to the direct-heat zone. If you are on a gas grill, crank it up to high. On a charcoal grill, you may want to add more pre-lit coals. If necessary, take the meat off of the grill and close the lid while the hot side heats up.

7) Put the burgers on the direct heat side to brown them. Leave the lid up so the heat is concentrated on one side of each burger. If the fire flares up, move the burger to another spot. Flip the meat every minute to form a nice crust on both sides.

8) When the interior reaches 5°F below the desired doneness, add a slice of cheese to each burger, and let them cook until the cheese melts, approximately 2 minutes.

9) Serve. To assemble the burgers, place each patty on a bottom bun and top with jalapenos, crispy fried onions, and bacon. Spread the balsamic ketchup on the top buns before placing on the burgers. Serve immediately.

"Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius."Matthew McConaughey

Clint Cantwell

Clint Cantwell is AmazingRibs.com's Senior Vice President, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".



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