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· by Karl Auerbach · Read in about 2 min · (426 Words)

Cheesburgers are a not hard to make but they do deserve good quality ingredients.

These burgers have a fairly strong pepper quality.

The Pickapeppa sauce - adds both additional pepper and some sweetness.

I learned about Pickapeppa sauce from the old Hippo restaurant on Van Ness in San Francisco. And I picked up the idea for the thyme in the spice blend from the movie “The Best Years of Our Lives”.

The cooking time will, of course, vary depending on your preferences as well as the heat of the BBQ. Take care, however, not to overcook the beef. The cook time below (8 minutes total on the grill) leads to roughly medium (or perhaps a bit more) cooked. If you like it more rare, remove a minute, perhaps two, from the total cooking time.


  • 1/3 lb ground chuck (per burger) (Ground chuck is best; if it is unavailable use ground beef with a high fat content.)
  • A block of good, white sharp cheddar
  • Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic power (or finely chopped fresh garlic)
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • Lettuce and other desired garnish
  • Hamburger buns
  • Wet hickory chips


  1. Mix the ground black pepper, thyme, and garlic powder.

  2. Loosely roll the ground chuck into balls, each about 1/3 pound. Do not tightly squeeze the balls - keep them loose.

  3. Roll the balls in the pepper, thyme, garlic mixture. Cover the entire surface of the balls.

  4. Roll the balls in the chopped onions.

  5. Coat the balls with Pickapeppa sauce

  6. Gently flatten the balls into patties. This can be a good time to add more chopped onions or Pickapeppa sauce. Let the patties stand for at least 30 minutes so that the sauce and spices can be absorbed. (Keep the patties cool but allow them time to approach room temperature before cooking.)

  7. Cut the cheese into slices - one slice per patty.

  8. Heat the bbq - use direct flame.

  9. Put the wet hickory chops onto the bbq and give them a minute or two to begin smoking.

  10. Cook the patties for four (4) minutes on the first side.

  11. Flip the patties and cook for three (3) more minutes on the other side. At this time you can brown the buns on the grille - take care that they do not burn.

  12. Cover the patties with the cheese slices and cook for one (1) more minute.

  13. Assemble the patties onto the buns and add the lettuce, tomatoes, and other garnish.