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Cooking With Fire: Juicy Lucy

Justin Cary

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.


Bacon and eggs, the grilled cheese sandwich, grilled lobster cover in butter — few ingredients, easy preparation, big flavor.


The cheeseburger falls into the same category: a little beef, a few slices of cheese, buns and whatever toppings you like. But when you want to wow your guests, you need to take things to another level, and that is where the Juicy Lucy comes in.


The Juicy Lucy was invented in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the late 1950s. There are two bars that claim to have invented the burger, the 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar.


Not only do the two bars claim to have invented the burger, but they even spell it differently, with Matt’s Bar removing the "i" from the word juicy so the two words mirror each other.


But what exactly is the Juicy Lucy? It’s simple, really. Take three-quarters of a pound of ground beef and form it into two balls of equal size and then press them down. Then you place cheese in between these halves and press the outside together to form a single patty.


As the burger cooks the cheese stays inside the patty and then oozes out once the burger is cooked and sliced to serve. A simple stuffed cheeseburger that somehow elevates the flavor without changing the basic ingredients.



Juicy Lucy Burger

2 burgers


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Smoked salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 large burger buns
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Dill Pickles
  • Yellow Mustard


  1. Scale the beef into 4 oz portions. Smash the patties thin between two sheets of parchment paper. 
  2. Fold two slices cheese into quarters and place in the center of a patty. Place another patty on top and press to seal the edges. Form the patty to even the shape, so the hump in the middle isn’t drastically larger than the sides. 
  3. Rub a small amount of Worcestershire sauce on the burger patties. Season with smoked salt and black pepper.
  4. Preheat your  grill to 425º, set up with a cast iron griddle (or skillet) over direct heat.
  5. Cook the burgers until a nice crust is formed (about 10 minutes), then flip and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 150ºF-155ºF. 
  6. Brush your burger buns with the room temperature butter. Toast on the griddle until just golden brown. 
  7. To build the burger, place the lettuce on the bottom bun. Top with the burger patty, then pickles and mustard spread on the top bun.

Josh Cary may be the eCommerce Director at All Things Barbecue during the day, but at night he takes on the mantle of an award-winning Pitmaster, who has cooked on the competition barbecue circuit under various team names including ATBBQ, Yoder Smokers and the Que Tang Clan.
All Things Barbecue Staff Chef Tom Jackson is a Kansas native, born and raised in Wichita. In 2008 he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, where he attended Oregon Culinary Institute. Tom studied both general culinary skills as well as baking and pastry while working as a cook in a variety of restaurants. After graduating from Oregon Culinary Institute he began working as a bread baker and pastry chef at the renowned Ken’s Artisan Bakery in northwest Portland. He spent more than four years honing his skills under James Beard Award winning chef and owner Ken Forkish. In that time he and his wife had their first child, and the draw of home and family grew stronger. Longtime friends of the Cary family, owners of All Things Barbecue, they returned to Kansas to help All Things Barbecue continue to excel in their cooking classes. Tom has been further developing and building cooking classes and private events at All Things Barbecue since March 2014.