Our inspiration for this breakfast burger comes from the master griller himself, Steven Raichlen. Known for the Beer-Can Chicken cookbook, Raichlen utilizes a beer can for a very different purpose in this unique method for creating a “stuffed” burger. We’ve taken his beer-can burger idea and gone a step further, turning this into a pork breakfast burger, wrapped in bacon, stuffed with an egg, slathered in gooey cheese and placed on the only logical bun for a breakfast burger: a glazed donut.
THE MEAT: We buy a ground breakfast sausage and add minced sage and maple syrup. The sage gives it a savory note and the syrup adds a sweet kick. You can use any pork sausage or Italian sausage you like. And buy good quality bacon to wrap around the sides—thick cut if you can find it.
THE METHOD: Cooking spray is an incredibly important tool in this recipe. You’re going to want to spray your work surface heavily with it so the burgers don’t stick, and you’re going to want to cover the beer cans with it to make sure they don’t stick to the inside of the burgers. Cooking the burgers slow and low ensures the eggs don’t overcook, allows you to add some smoke flavor and makes it a pretty simple grilling project.
THE MEAL: This is one of the most decadent meals we’ve ever cooked. We recommend you serve it with a side of fruit salad to trick people into thinking it’s at least somewhat healthy.
Rise and Swine Burger
Makes one burger, so scale up as much as you like to make as many burgers as you want.
6 ounces ground pork sausage
2 teaspoons minced sage
1 tablespoon maple syrup (plus more for glazing)
2 slices bacon
Salt and pepper
Your favorite barbecue rub
2 slices pepper jack cheese
1 glazed donut
Line a baking sheet or large cutting board with foil then spray it generously with cooking spray.
Mix the pork with the sage and the maple syrup. Once everything is incorporated, form the meat into a ball and put it on the prepared foil. Then spray the bottom half of a beer can (an empty one!) with cooking spray and push the can down into the pork ball, trying to center it as much as possible. The ball will flatten a bit, so build the sides back up along the beer can. Wrap the patty with two slices of bacon, using toothpicks to hold it in place. Refrigerate for one hour.
When you’re ready to cook, set up your grill for indirect grilling and add soaked wood chips to the fire, preferably maple. Gently remove the can from the center of the burger patty. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and barbecue rub. Crack the egg into a bowl and swirl it with a fork about four times (just enough to begin to mix the yolk and the white). Pour the egg into the hollowed portion of the burger and sprinkle the top with more salt, pepper, and barbecue rub.
Place the burger, still on the foil, on the grill grates away from the fire. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes, then glaze the top of the sausage patty and the bacon edges with maple syrup. Allow it to cook for 5 more minutes. Top with 2 slices pepper jack cheese and place the lid back on the grill just long enough to let the cheese melt. Remove from the grill.
Slice the donut lengthwise to make a top and bottom “bun.” Remove the toothpicks from the side of the burger patty, put it between the donut “buns” and serve.