Wayne's Weekend: Giant Family-Sized Burger

Create a burger big enough to serve four with a homemade bun and a ton of toppings.

It’s a big holiday weekend and I thought a fun way to celebrate would be with a big family sized burger large enough to serve four.  The homemade poppy seed bun is also oversized and big enough to hold the 1 1/2 pound patty and a anything else you want to pile on top.  I built my big burger with a number of tasty toppings , but feel free to customize yours any way you like.  Because of the burger’s size, a vegetable grilling basket is an efficient way to get the patty to the grill and flip it without worrying about it falling apart.

serves 4-6


1 1/2 lb Ground Sirloin, about 90% lean
1 cu Finely Minced Onion
3 tbl Finely Minced Jalapeño Pepper
1 1/2 tbl Wayne’s Beef Grilling Spice Mix (recipe below)
1 Large Burger Bun (recipe below)
Optional Equipment: 8” Cake Pan, Wax Paper, Flat Rectangular Vegetable Grilling Basket, Instant Read Thermometer

Condiments and Toppings (all optional)

Green Leaf Lettuce
1 lg Tomato, sliced
Dill Pickle Slices
5 slices Mild Cheddar Cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed


Prepare your grill and spray the grilling basked with cooking spray.  Combine ground sirloin, onion, jalapeño and grilling spice mix in a large bowl and mix well.  Place a sheet of wax paper into the cake pan.  Transfer ground sirloin into pan.  Spread mixture out to a uniform size but create a “donut hole” in the center, about 1 1/2” in diameter (to help patty cook more evenly and quickly).   Lay one side of the grilling basket over the pan and carefully flip both over.  Remove pan and wax paper.  Close vegetable basket and place on the grill.  Grill on one side for about 5-7 minutes and then flip the basket.  Grill the second side for an additional 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (as recommended by the USDA).  An instant read thermometer is very useful in determining internal temperature of grilled food.

Remove patty from grill and add cheese.  Let patty rest for about 5 minutes.  To assemble burger, slice large bun in half and place the bottom on a serving platter.  Spread mustard on bottom.  Arrange lettuce on the bun and top with ketchup.  Add meat patty, followed basil, tomato slices and avocado.  Cover with the top of the bun.  Serve by slicing the burger into wedges.

makes 1 bun about 8” in diameter

Yeast Starter

2 1/4 tsp Yeast
1 tbl Brown Sugar
2 tbl All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cu Warm Water - about 105-110 degrees F
1 tbl Olive Oil

Bread Mix

2 cu All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cu Wheat Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 lg Egg, room temperature, whisked
2/3 cup Warm Water - about 105 degrees F
2 tsp Olive Oil


1 tbl Butter, melted
1/2 tsp Poppy seeds


Mix yeast with the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour in small bowl.  Add 1/3 cup of the warm water and stir to combine.  Let the mixture activate for 10 minutes and then stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Separately, mix remaining all-purpose flour, wheat flour and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in egg, water and yeast mixture.  Mix thoroughly and transfer to a lightly floured board.  Knead for 10 minutes, working a little more flour into the dough, if necessary, until it is elastic and no longer sticky. Pour the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat all surfaces. Cover to rise for 1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk.  Punch down and roll into a ball.  Place dough in a lightly floured 8” cake pan.  Let it rise for an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush the exposed surface of the dough with the butter and sprinkle poppy seeds on top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it.  Cool completely before slicing and using for your big burger.


Beef Grilling Spice Mix


2 tsp Paprika

2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

1 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar

2 tsp Sage

1 tsp Celery Seed

1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Rosemary

1 1/2  tsp Tarragon
2 tsp Parsley


Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container.

If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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