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Sous Vide Juicy Lucy Hamburgers Recipe

Sous vide jucy lucy hamburger

This recipe is part of the collaboration between The ISVA and Amazing Food Made Easy. You can check out all the great content both sites have to offer.

So in 2014 TIME Magazine published a list compiled by assorted "burger historians and experts" of what they considered to be the top 17 most influential hamburgers of all time and the Juicy Lucy, a Minneapolis-perfected phenomenon, came in hot at number 10. 

If you're not familiar, the Juicy Lucy (which has recorded origins that can be traced back to the 1920's) is a cheeseburger that has the cheese stuffed inside the meat patty rather than placed on top. Traditionally a slice of Kraft American cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked traditionally on a griddle or grill, resulting in a melted oozy core of the creamy cheese hidden within the patties. 

Not really considered to be a highbrow burger no doubt due to the use of the more industrial American cheese slices product and its imitators, this self proclaimed "Pasteurized Recipe Cheese Product" allows the burger to truly ooze cheesy love. Granted it could be far tastier if one used a more handcrafted and aged cheese but due to their natural origins when melted they generally don't offer the proper ooze factor required for the Juicy Lucy 

Of course using the sous vide method not only makes this version comically easy but we use the same technique to cook the burger. The gentle cooking waters of the VacMaster circulators help keep the cheese from breaking through its meat barrier and only a quick sear for extra flavor and color completes the dish.

From the ISVA Editors

Making Juicy Lucy Hamburgers sous vide allows you to dial in on the perfect doneness, making them even juicier and Lucier than normal!

ISVA NOTE: We strongly recommend cooking all ground beef products long enough to pasteurize. THIS is one of our favorite resources to figure out pasteurization time by thickness.

Want more like this? Our comprehensive book Champions of Sous Vide is a great collection of more than 70 sous vide recipes from two dozen top sous vide cooks.

Sous Vide Juicy Lucy Hamburgers Recipe

  • Published: October 19, 2021
  • By Chef Eric Villegas, VacMaster 
  • Total Time: 1 - 2 hours until pasteurized
  • Cooks: 140°F (60°C) for 1 - 2 hours until pasteurized
  • Serves: 2 cups 

Ingredients for Sous Vide Juicy Lucy Hamburgers

  • For the Burgers

  • 2 pounds ground beef 80/20 blend, grass fed, chilled 
  • 8 ounces American Cheese (Kraft Singles) 
  • For the BurgerBlend Hamburger Sauce 

  • 1 cup Mayonnaise, homemade or store bought 
  • 2 tablespoons SEARED, BurgerBlend spice blend or your favorite burger rub 
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, favorite brand 
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, favorite brand 
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha or to taste 
  • To Finish

  • SEARED, BurgerBlend or your favorite burger rub 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 4 brioche buns 
  • BurgerBlend Hamburger Sauce
  • lettuce 
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin 
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin 
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Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Juicy Lucy Hamburgers

For the Burgers

Set circulator to your desired temperature. 

Rare: 120F/49C  (ISVA Note: we do not recommend eating ground meat products at rare temperatures as they are unable to be pasteurized.

Medium Rare: 131°F (55°C)

Medium: 140°F (60°C)

Medium Well: 150°F (65.6°C) 

Well: 160°F (71.1°C)

Portion the ground meat into eight even pieces. Shape each portion into a thin round patty that's slightly larger than the cheese slice. 

Fold the cheese slices into quarters and place in the center of the 4 the patties, covering the cheese with remaining 4. 

Tightly crimp the edges of the beef together to form a tight seal. 

Using a Vacmaster chamber or suction machine seal appropriate sized resealable VacMaster pouches while "empty," when process is complete open the empty pouches and gently place one or two patties inside. 

Using your thumb and index fingers seal bags, leaving one-inch open at the top corner. Slowly lower bags one at a time into pot of water by holding onto the open corner. 

Press air out of bag as it is submerged and seal bag just before last corner is submerged. 

Gently place the burgers into the SV1 and cook for at least 1 hour, no more than 4 hours. If you make them more than 1 inch thick, make sure to leave them in the bath 1 hour per inch.

Remove the bags from the SV1 open and gently pat the burgers dry with paper towels. 

For the BurgerBlend Hamburer Sauce

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth, taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. 

To Finish

Season generously to taste with the BurgerBlend. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, add oil (or use hot grill). When the oil is shimmering, sear the burgers 45 seconds on each side. 

Place each burger patty on a bun topped with copious dollops or the BurgerBlend hamburger sauce and garnish with the tomatoes, onions and lettuce, serve immediately. 

Want more like this? Our comprehensive book Champions of Sous Vide is a great collection of more than 70 sous vide recipes from two dozen top sous vide cooks.

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