Brisket Cheeseburger

The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen, Photography by Matthew Benson

The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen, Photography by Matthew Benson

Take brisket to the next level: ’Cue it, grill it, smoke it, braise it, cure it, boil it—even bake it into chocolate chip cookies. Texas barbecued brisket is just the beginning: There’s also Jamaican Jerk Brisket and Korean Grilled Brisket to savour. Old School Pastrami and Kung Pao Pastrami, a perfect Passover Brisket with Dried Fruits and Sweet Wine, even ground brisket—Jakes Double Brisket Cheeseburgers.

In dozens of unbeatable BBQ recipe tips, Raichlen shows you just how to handle, prep, and store your meat for maximum tenderness and flavour. Plus plenty more recipes that are pure comfort food, perfect for using up leftovers: Brisket Hash, Brisket Baked Beans, Bacon-Grilled Brisket Bites—or for real mind-blowing pleasure, Kettle Corn with Burnt Ends. And side dishes that are the perfect brisket accents, including slaws, salads, and sauces.

The Brisket Chronicles


The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World’s Most Epic Cut of Meat is available at and




Jake’s Double Brisket Cheeseburger

YIELD: Makes 4 burgers
METHOD: Direct grilling
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 6 to 8 minutes
YOU’LL ALSO NEED: A grill spatula (but no pressing) and a digital instant-read thermometer
WHAT ELSE: You’ll likely need to special-order ground brisket from your local butcher shop. Ask them to grind it from a section containing some of the fattier point. Alternatively, grind your own (you must use a meat grinder, not a food processor). You’re looking for a fat content of around 20 percent. And ideally, you’ll grill these over wood or a wood-enhanced fire.

The double brisket bratwurst created by sausage master Jake Klein is one of the world wonders of wurst—succulent, spicy, and smoky, with just the right snap to the casing. Nepotism alert: Jake Klein is my stepson, but if you don’t believe me, here’s how New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells described it: “a phenomenal piece of barbecue, packing more smoke into a sausage than I’d thought possible.”

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the formula is a trade secret, and Jake isn’t talking—even to me. He will provide the next best thing—the recipe for his double brisket burgers—made with a similar filling. In addition to being exceedingly tasty, it’s one of the rare briskets you can direct grill.


For the burgers

1 1/2 pounds ground brisket (cut from the fatty point section—you want about 20 percent fat), well chilled

1/2 pound of your favorite barbecued brisket (see pages 41 to 70), chilled and chopped

Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill grate

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 thin slices sharp provolone cheese (optional)


For serving

4 sesame hamburger buns or pretzel rolls, cut in half

2 tablespoons melted butter


Optional embellishments

Lettuce leaves—for example, Boston or butter lettuce

Tomato slices

Dill or sweet pickle chips

Your favorite condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, and so on), for serving


Place the ground brisket and chopped cooked brisket in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Moisten your hands with cold water and form the mixture into four equal patties, each 3/4 inch thick. Dimple the center slightly with your thumb (burgers rise more in the center as they cook, so this will help them retain a uniform thickness). Line a plate with plastic wrap, set the burgers on it, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

Generously season the burgers on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange on the grate and grill until the bottoms are sizzling and browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Give each a quarter turn after 1 1/2 minutes so they grill evenly. Flip the burgers and lay the provolone slices (if using) on top. Close the grill lid and continue grilling until the cheese is melted and the burgers are cooked to taste, 3 to 4 minutes more. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 160°F (medium to medium-well). Cook as your conscience and common sense dictate. Insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer through the side of the burger to check it.

Meanwhile, brush the cut sides of the buns with butter. Toast the buns, cut sides down, on the grill, about 30 seconds.

To assemble the burgers, line the bottom of each toasted bun with a lettuce leaf, if using (this keeps the burger juices from making the bun soggy). Add the burger and any of the remaining embellishments, including your favorite condiments. Add the top bun and dig in.

Excerpted from The Brisket Chroniclesby Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Matthew Benson. Used with permission from the publisher.

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