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+ servings
cowboy burger on shees of paper on wooden board surrounded by potato wedges
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5 from 2 votes

Kicked Up Cowboy Burgers

These Cowboy Burgers are officially the most delicious burgers you'll ever make. Plus they're so simple to make!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: BBQ, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 burgers
Calories: 919kcal
Cost: £3 / $4


  • Pot & Slotted Spoon (suitable for deep frying)
  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Large Mixing Bowl & Tongs (for soaking onions)
  • Large Shallow Dish (for dredging onions)
  • Paper Towels (for draining onions)
  • Heavy Based Pan or BBQ & Spatula/Turner (for burgers)
  • Small Pot (for burger sauce)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board


BBQ Burger Sauce (can make ahead)

  • 4 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Onion Powder, Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • pinch of Cayenne Pepper, to spice preference

Crispy Fried Onions (can make ahead)

  • 1 large White Onion, peeled & finely sliced
  • 2 cups / 500ml Buttermilk (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups / 225g Plain/All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 4 cups / 1 litre Vegetable Oil, for deep frying


  • 1lb / 500g Ground Beef, close to room temp (20%+ fat!)
  • 6 Sesame or Brioche Buns, halved & toasted
  • 6 slices of Bacon, cooked to preference
  • 6 slices of Beef Tomatoes
  • 3 square slices of Monterey Jack (or cheese of choice)
  • 3 Lettuce Leaves
  • Salt & Black Pepper, as needed
  • Oil, as needed for frying


  • Burger Sauce: In a small pot combine mayo, bbq sauce, dijon mustard, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Taste test for seasoning/spice and adjust accordingly.
  • Prep Fried Onions: Soak onions in a bowl of buttermilk (enough to cover the onions) for 30-60mins. If you're short on time just leave to soak as you prep the other steps. In a large shallow dish combine flour, paprika, baking powder, salt and white pepper. Use tongs to grab a small batch of the onions, give them a good shake to remove excess buttermilk, then add into the flour. Use a fork (or your hands) to fully coat them, shake off excess flour then place on a tray and repeat.
  • Cook Fried Onions: Heat up oil in a suitably sized pot to 180C/350F. Use a slotted spoon to lower in a batch of onions and use tongs to separate them as they hit the oil. Leave to fry for 2-5mins (depending on thickness) or until deep golden and visibly crispy. Remove and place on kitchen paper, bring oil temp back up to 180C/350F and repeat with the next batch. Sprinkle with salt as they rest to pull out the last bit of moisture.
  • Prep Patties: Very gently mould beef into 3 equal sized burger shapes (don't overwork the meat). Push down the centre of each burger to make a mini dome shape (will help with shrinkage). Heavily season both sides with salt and black pepper.
  • Cook Patties: Heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy base pan over high heat until smoking. Add patties and fry for a couple of minutes until they begin to crust/char on the bottom. Flip (don't press down), add cheese and fry for another couple of minutes until nicely charred on the other side. Remove and place to one side until needed.
  • Make Burgers: Stack in the following order - bottom bun, burger sauce, lettuce, tomato, bacon, patty, fried onions, top bun spread with more burger sauce. Serve up and enjoy!



a) BBQ Burger Sauce - You can make the sauce ahead of time and tightly cover in the fridge for 3-4days. Use straight from the fridge. If you're looking for a more simple sub just use a good quality BBQ sauce.
b) Fried Onions - You could alternatively make Onion Rings! If you want to you can sub store bought crispy onions, but of course I recommend these homemade ones. For the best chance of making them ahead of time I recommend storing them in an air-tight container or zip lock bag for up to a week. Check after a few days to see if they start to soften.
c) Buttermilk - You'll find this in most supermarkets. If you can't find it you can make your own by combining 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp acidity (lemon juice, white vinegar). Leave it 10mins to slightly curdle then use as per recipe.
d) Patties - Very simple recipe but high fat good quality beef and lots of salt & pepper is all you need! Just don't overwork the meat or they'll come out dry/chewy.
e) Calories - Per burger without the onions. 


Calories: 919kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.98g | Protein: 45.48g | Fat: 61.97g | Saturated Fat: 21.721g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11.16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22.501g | Trans Fat: 1.835g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 1446mg | Potassium: 942mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 13.41g | Vitamin A: 1346IU | Vitamin C: 17.1mg | Calcium: 347mg | Iron: 6.1mg