Just because the leaves have turned colors and we’re all swaddled in jackets doesn’t mean your burger has to suffer on a stove until Memorial Day. If you think grilling is only for the warm months, you’re wrong. We’re not saying light it up during a blizzard, but pick your spots correctly and grilling can be a year-round endeavor.

“Peak grilling season is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to put the grill away entirely. You just have to be smart about it,” says chef Josh Capon, owner of Bowery Meat Company (joshcapon.com). “By using a fire starter [he recommends Pine Mountain ExtremeStart Firestarter], it will light quickly, so you don’t have to stand in the cold just babysitting the fire.”

Whether you’re tailgating at Gillette Stadium or cooking your own game-day smorgasbord, a burger is a year-round meal. But Capon says this time around, don’t make the same mistake you probably made over July 4: grilling your food directly over the flame. “People tend to think that grilling over a high flame will cook the burger faster and make it more flavorful,” he says. “In reality, grilling on too high a setting will overchar your burger and leave you with a raw center. For the best-tasting barbecue, you want to cook over hot, ashy gray charcoal.”


  • 2 red onions, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rings
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 strips applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 8 beef patties (about 3 oz each)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 cup shaved dill pickles


  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. Toss onion rings with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred. Remove; set aside.
  3. Grill bacon until crispy. Remove, then dice and mix with onion rings; set aside.
  4. In a bowl, mix together chipotle mayo and barbecue sauce; set aside.
  5. Season both sides of patties with salt and pepper and brush one side lightly with Dijon.
  6. Grill burgers, mustard-side up, until char forms, about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip. Add cheese slices and cook until burgers reach desired doneness.
  7. Warm buns on grill. Remove and spread mayo-barbecue sauce on both halves of buns.
  8. To assemble burgers, stack 2 patties on top of bottom bun. Add pickles, then onion-bacon mixture.
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