Bacon Is The Key To Flavorful And Juicy Pork Burgers

pork burger with bacon
pork burger with bacon - Miss Boonhome/Shutterstock

When it comes to alternative burgers, we get turkey, bison, or even salmon, so where is the love for pork burgers? Ground pork is plenty affordable, has a nice meaty flavor, and is pretty easy to find at almost any grocery store. It pairs with just as many flavors as beef or bison does, with mustard, pickles, barbecue sauce, etc. all working great.

As a way to mix up a homemade burger, it's an option that's genuinely underrated. You can make a pork burger with straight-up ground pork, just like beef, but there is one thing that you'll need to make the best version possible. And like so many other best versions of different recipes, that thing is bacon.

The one small issue with ground pork is that it can be pretty lean. With ground beef, enough demand is there that grocery stores will usually stock a variety of different fat levels: You can go with super lean 93/7, get the generally preferred and well-balanced 80/20, and sometimes go all the way with a rich 70/30, but ground pork gets fewer options and tends to be limited to leaner mixes. That relative lack of fat means less juicy, less tasty burgers, which nobody likes and which pork doesn't deserve. That's where bacon comes to the rescue. It's not just full of smoky, rich flavor, it's going to help keep your pork burgers from drying out.

Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef

Bacon's Fat And Salty Flavor Is A Big Boost To Pork Burgers

cooking slices of bacon
cooking slices of bacon - Zeljkosantrac/Getty Images

You can incorporate bacon into pork burgers in a few different ways. Finely minced slices of raw bacon can be directly integrated into your pork mixture, which gets the fat nicely integrated directly in the burger. You'll want to make a thicker burger to give the bacon time to render as it cooks, and you need to make sure its chopped small enough that you don't have chewy strands of bacon fat in the middle, but incorporating four or five slices of bacon into a pound of ground pork will take it to the next level.

The other option is cooking your bacon separately and then using the rendered fat for your burger. This is a nice option because you get the added texture and more direct bacon flavor of having the strips on top. Then, you can mix the rendered fat directly into the ground beef mixture, being careful not to overmix your burger. Or you can opt for the easier route and fry your burger directly in the bacon fat. This would be especially nice for a pork smash burger, where the fat will help crisp up those browned edges. Any of these options are going to be great for your pork burger in their own way — with bacon there are no wrong answers.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.