Bacon… Cheddar… Those two words alone are usually enough to catch my ear when describing food. Well the good folks over at Johnsonville decided to put both of them into their new Bacon and Cheddar Grillers. So when they asked if I’d like to give them a try I answered with a resounding “Yes!” The Bacon and Cheddar Grillers are half of the new burger patty line making their debut for this year’s grilling season. The other half is a mushroom and swiss flavor, but I’ll be covering those in a later post.
Now I’ve been known to cook bacon right at my tailgate site in a cast iron skillet. While few things can beat the sound and smell of bacon frying away, virtually nothing can top the the joy of that first bite of salty pork goodness. However the upside of doing this comes with some negatives. First of all it’s more to pack. Second, you have to figure out what to do with the grease. And lastly, you may have to do some extra cleaning when you get home. Is it worth the hassle? Sure. On occasion it’s not a big deal. Would I do it, or is it practical for every tailgate? No, probably not.
Well what’s neat about this product is that instead of having to put bacon and cheddar on top of your burger, Johnsonville has put them in to the pattie for you. For tailgaters this means that you won’t have to worry about preparing/packing those things separately, and there isn’t any more clean up than you would have with regular burgers.
To test these I decided I would use my Weber Q which is my go to tailgating grill. Because I opted not to thaw the Grillers before use I set the burner to a medium low as not to burn the heck out of the outside while I waited for the inside to come up to temp. As soon as the Grillers hit the grate I could immediately smell that bacon aroma. I also took the opportunity to look at the cheese which was quite visible throughout the meat. After about 18 minutes over the heat, the directions called for well done, I pulled the patties. You can see by the pic, these browned up pretty nice.
For tasting purposes I decided to take a minimalist approach to toppings and such. I just went with a little mayo and some black pepper on the bun. The meat was very juicy and all of the flavors you would expect were there. The texture of the meat was a little different than I expected, but that is most likely due to the fact that these are made of pork rather than beef. Unfortunately all of the samples were eaten before having a chance to really experiment with various toppings. I will say that since you’re getting a head start with the cheese and bacon inside the burger already, you could bring some other flavors to the mix without making the burger too big or unruly.
Since the Bacon and Cheddar Grillers bring real bacon and cheddar flavor to the party without the need for additional packing or prep I am deeming these as “Tailgate Approved.” Bacon and Cheddar Grillers come in boxes of six patties, and should be available at your local supermarket. To learn more about Johnsonville products you can visit their website at www.johnsonville.com. They also have a pretty active social media presence on Twitter @JvilleGrilling and on Facebook.