Barbecue Pork Burgers

Barbecue pork burgers are easy to make with ground pork, your favorite bbq sauce—whether spicy or sweet—and your favorite toppings such as coleslaw. It’s what you make when you crave authentic pulled pork sandwiches but need something quick and easy. On the table in minutes.

These barbecue pork burgers brilliantly riff on sigh-inducingly slow-roasted pulled pork shoulder in an easy, weeknight-friendly, slap-it-on-the-grill, done-in-minutes way. Not only that, it juxtaposes the sweet and succulent tenderness of pork with the slightly spicy tang of doctored-up bbq sauce and the crunch of a quick and classic mayo-based coleslaw. Once you indulge, you’ll understand our incredulousness at how conversation-stoppingly spectacular these are. And with so little effort.–Renee Schettler


Pork is done when it registers 160°F (71°C) on an instant read thermometer. Here we direct you to measure the burgers until they register just a few degrees shy of that and then baste with more barbecue sauce and cook a little longer before letting them rest. The temperature of the pork will continue to increase both on and off the heat. It’s best to test the temperature again a few minutes after you take the burgers off the heat.

Barbecue Pork Burgers

Two barbecue pork burgers with slaw and barbecue sauce stacked on top of each other.

Spicing up store-bought barbecue sauce with cayenne and vinegar is an easy trick that makes a big difference. Here, the sauce is mixed into the meat, slathered onto the cooked burgers for the last minute of grilling, and brushed on the bun.

The Editors of Gourmet

Prep 20 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 30 mins

For the barbecue pork burgers

Make the barbecue pork burgers

  • Prepare your grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal or medium heat for gas.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and vinegar.

  • In a large bowl, gently combine the pork, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce mixture until combined. Do not overmix.

  • Using your hands, gently form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick, being careful not to pack the pork too tightly.

  • Carefully slick the grill rack with oil, plop the burgers on top, and grill, flipping the burgers every few minutes, until no trace of pink remain and the burgers register 155°F (68°C), 6 to 12 minutes total, depending on the thickness.

    If you’re measuring the temperature of the burgers, for the most accurate reading, hold the prong of the thermometer horizontal to the grill rack and insert it in sideways until it reaches the center. In other words, don’t try to insert the prong from the top down toward the grill. You’ll get a more accurate read this way.

  • Brush the top of each burger with 1 tablespoon remaining barbecue sauce mixture, flip, and grill for 30 seconds. Brush each burger with about 1 tablespoon remaining sauce, remove from the heat, and let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

  • While the burgers rest, brush the cut sides of each of the buns with the remaining barbecue sauce mixture.

  • Assemble the barbecue pork burgers, toping each bun with a burger and a heaping spoonful of coleslaw. Serve immediately with A LOT of napkins.

*What you need to know about how to buy the best ground pork

The editors at Gourmet have the following to say about how to buy the best ground pork:
“Although most of the ground pork that you buy in the supermarket doesn’t indicate what part of the pig it hails from, we know that good pork burgers, like good beef burgers, is made from shoulder meat. If you have access to a butcher, ask for pork ground from the shoulder (ask for what’s known as ‘pork butt,’ a confusingly named cut that’s actually from the shoulder). It’s got a desirable ratio of meat to fat that you need for a juicy, flavorful burger. Lean is not the way to go; fat is where the real flavor is. For the best texture, ask the butcher to run it through the grinder only once, on a coarse setting.”

Serving: 1burger, with bunCalories: 743kcal (37%)Carbohydrates: 40g (13%)Protein: 34g (68%)Fat: 49g (75%)Saturated Fat: 15g (94%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 129mg (43%)Sodium: 1217mg (53%)Potassium: 755mg (22%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 2884IU (58%)Vitamin C: 16mg (19%)Calcium: 137mg (14%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Originally published July 2, 2012

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