Spicy Bourbon BBQ Burgers

Yes, you guessed right, my Bulleit Bourbon has taken residence at the front of my condiment shelf.  I know Bourbon doesn’t really count as a condiment but I think it will pass, in a round-about way for this one – Bourbon BBQ Sauce!

So I know I’ve shared before that my dad own’s a BBQ restaurant.  For that reason and because I spent a lot of my life in Kansas City, I consider myself a little bit of a snob when it comes to BBQ. I rarely make it at home because I don’t have a smoker and I have never perfected a good enough sauce. I know which restaurants I like and which are far from par.

grilled pineapple, red onion and jalapeno salsa

So hear me when I post a BBQ burger on my site – this one is legit.  And it all starts with the sauce.  It’s sweet and spicy, and just slightly tangy and it’s good for much more than just a burger.  (Paul ate it on leftover mac & cheese!) I’ll make a Bourbon-believer out of you with this one, I promise.

This burger actually started out as a Hawaiian Pork BBQ Burger.  I laugh at myself when I think about my train of thought in brainstorming recipes.  I was thinking jalapenos, pineapple, pork, and BBQ sauce.   But I couldn’t really figure out how to bring it all together.  So then I decided on this salsa with grilled red onions, grilled jalapenos and (are you ready for this?) grilled pineapple.  I had no trouble eating it directly from the bowl, no burger even needed.

Spicy Bourbon BBQ Burgers

And then, out of nowhere, the Bourbon magically appeared and it became apparent that Bourbon BBQ sauce was the crowning jewel to this burger/salsa combo.  And it for sure was.  I’ll admit – there is some prep work for these burgers.  They aren’t the quickest of meals to put together but they will not disappoint, I promise!

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

PrintPrint Recipe

Spicy Bourbon BBQ Burgers Grilled Pineapple, Red Onion & Jalapeno Salsa

Yield: 4 burgers

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 40 min

Super fun and spicy BBQ burgers with homemade Bourbon BBQ sauce and a grilled pineapple, red onion and jalapeno salsa.


bourbon BBQ sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
3 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

grilled pineapple, red onion & jalapeno salsa:
4 pineapple slices (fresh or canned)
2 1/2-inch thick red onion slices
3 jalapenos, tops removed, cut in half, seeds & ribs removed as desired
1-2 Tbs. grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

for the burgers:
1 pound ground sirloin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbs. BBQ sauce
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

to assemble the burgers:
4 hamburger buns
Additional Bourbon BBQ sauce
Charred Pineapple, Red Onion & Jalapeno Salsa


for the bourbon BBQ Sauce:
Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes to thicken more. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

for the salsa:
While the sauce simmers, heat a grill pan and brush with a light coating of grapeseed oil. Add the pineapple slices and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the opposite side. Set aside. Brush the onions and jalapenos with a light coating of oil. Cook using the same process as the pineapple. Roughly dice the pineapple, red onion and jalapenos and combine in a small bowl, add the salt and pepper, and set aside.

for the burgers:
Combine the ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder, 2 tablespoons of the Bourbon BBQ sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together until well-combined. Divide the mixture evenly and form into four burger patties.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large skillet. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the beef reaches your desired doneness.

Serve the cooked burgers on toasted hamburger buns with the salsa and additional Bourbon BBQ sauce.

Spicy Bourbon BBQ Burgers