If you’ve never tried some ground pork burgers, then this recipe is for you. It’s an easy, fast and delicious way to get acquainted with these delightful beef burger alternatives. We are going to make some impossibly good burgers with incredibly rich flavor. It’s a tall order, but this recipe stands up to it! Let’s check out why these porky patties are so tasty.
This pork burgers recipe is: Gluten Free, Paleo, Low Carb, Juicy and Delicious.
Why Ground Pork Burgers?
Want to know why to make ground pork burgers instead of beef? The answer is simple: they are juicy, delicious and less expensive than beef. At my local market, ground pork is about $2 less than beef per pound, and that is compared against 80/20 beef, not the super lean and expensive 90/10 mixes that people seem to love now. I typically buy about 6 pounds of ground pork at a time, break it down into three bags about 2 pounds each and freeze them off. Whenever I need it, I have just about the right amount of pork for meatballs, burgers or taco filling for the family with some leftovers to spare.
Aside from the economics, pork burgers are incredibly delicious, tender and juicy. My kids actually prefer the pork patties over beef patties. The reason they are so tender and juicy is simple: there is more fat in ground pork than in ground beef. Typically grocery stores that sell “sausage grade” pork usually mix it at about 75/25 to 70/30 lean meat to fat. The most fatty ground beef you will find is 80/20. Yes, the extra fat means more flavor, juice and less risk of drying out the meat while cooking. Yum!
Making Pork Patties
I’m sure that you have heard pork being called the “other white meat.” I suppose that it is comparing pork to chicken, which I never quite understood. What I do understand is that neither chicken nor pork taste particularly wonderful on their own. They need spices, sauces or other flavors to make them taste good. Comparatively speaking, beef will taste beefy when cooked by itself.
All that being said, when we are making pork patties we need to add in a lot of spice and other aromatics to punch up the flavor from boring to badass. So, we’re going to add in some sauteed onion, some garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, mustard powder and more. We’ll add in an egg yolk, which is natures food glue, to make sure that the patties retain their shape and don’t fall apart while cooking. When we form the patties, we are going to grab a tennis ball sized handful of meat and work it gently into pork discs that will be cooked to perfection.
QUICK COOKING TIP: One thing to keep in mind when working with ground pork: do NOT to add in any acids. Please don’t add in balsamic vinegar, cider or red wine vinegar or prepared mustard. It will make the meat granular, crumbly and not wonderful at all. If you want to add in acid, do so as a sauce or add it into a topping. Maybe you would make some balsamic glazed onions or something. The same holds true for making sausage- don’t add in acids otherwise the sausage will have a strange mouthfeel.
Ok. We’ve talked a lot about pork burgers, now let’s get to the recipe.
GROUND PORK BURGERS
- 1 Cup Onion diced (Spanish, about ½ an onion)
- 1 TBSP Rendered Bacon Fat, Duck Fat or Lard
- 1 Pinch Kosher Salt
- 1.5 LBS Ground Pork
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 TBSP Granulated Garlic Powder
- 1 TBSP Granulated Onion Powder
- 1 TSP Ground Mustard
- 1 TSP Ground Cumin
- 1.4 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 TSP Kosher Salt
- 1/2 TSP Ground Pepper
- 2 TBSP Duck Fat, Bacon Fat or Lard
- 6 Slices Jarlsberg Cheese (optional)
- Warm a heavy bottom skillet over high heat. Add in the bacon fat. When the fat shimmers, add in the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for six to eight minutes. I like the onions in this recipe to have a little char on them, so I cook them over high heat the whole time.
- When the onions are done, transfer them to a bowl. Add in the ground pork and all remaining ingredients. Mix well with your hands to incorporate all the spices and egg yolk.
- Break off tennis ball sized portions of the pork mixture. Form them into patties with your hands. Set aside until all the pork patties have been made.
- Reheat the skillet and add in the duck fat, bacon fat or lard. Heat at medium-high. When the fat is hot, add in the pork burgers. Don’t crowd the pan, otherwise they will just steam rather than brown. I typically can only fit five of the six into my pan, so I just cook the extra one after the first batch is done.
- After 3 minutes, carefully flip the burgers in the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 6-8 minutes more. Flip one more time, cover and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until cooked through. If you’re adding on cheese, go ahead and do so about a minute before removing from the pan.
- Remove the burgers from the pan when they are cooked through and serve hot. Happy eating!
Final thoughts on the Juicy Pork Burgers Recipe:
Do I think that pork burgers are as good as a juicy, all beef patty? Yes and no. My thoughts are that pork burgers have a place in the culinary arsenal along with the beef burger. I like that you can pair the pork burger with different, fun toppings like my Super Easy Sauerkraut Recipe. You can also treat the pork burger like a reuben and add on coleslaw (or sauerkraut) with cheese and Thousand Island Dressing, which is really something special.
Sometimes I like to combine both beef and pork to make a beef and pork burger (that is a delicious recipe too). They are delicious and combine the best of both worlds!
The only glaring drawback I find with a pork burger is that amount of fat. I’m not worried about the fat for health reasons (fat does not make us fat!), but if you try to grill these burgers they flare up incredibly fast. I have a hard time getting them cooked through before they are charred to a crisp. I’ve tried cooking them on indirect heat, but they take forever to cook through that way. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong, but I’ve found that the best way to cook pork burgers is right in a frying pan.
However you cook them, I hope that you enjoy this recipe.