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1000 Island Steak – Guaranteed To Win The Tailgate

By CJ Tuttle / November 10, 2019

So this is something that has been in my family for a very long time. It’s a recipe for a mouth-watering burger that can only be described as pure manliness. When I was in high school my buddies would come over every time we had this because they could never get enough. One of my best friends appropriately dubbed it the “Heart Attack Special” and you will see why in a moment. But the name “1000 Island Steak” is actually what we call it.

We are from Upstate New York (in other words we live in the state of New York, not the city) and my grandmother first had this when she was visiting a friend in the 1000 Islands. I’m not really sure if it is really called “1000 Island Steak” or if that is just what my grandmother called it, but it has stuck with the family ever since. In fact, it has become a staple for whenever the boys come over for a big game or some good fights on PPV. They always request the “1000 Island”.

So without further ado, here we go.

No this really isn’t all that complicated to make. It’s only a few ingredients. But it is something that you have to watch as you cook very carefully. When I was in college I used to try to do this on the mini propane grill that we had at our lacrosse house and I would end up completely burning the entire thing. So you have to be careful!

The ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lbs hamburger meat. I go with the 80/20 because this sandwich is not where you want to start thinking about your waist.
  • 2 packages of bacon. Regular slice is fine here.
  • 1/2 brick of cheese. This depends on your taste. I like pepper jack. But I have used cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone.
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder

And that’s it.

Now the other key ingredient that is absolutely essential to making this is the grilling basket. You really can’t do it without it. You can buy them at Home Depot or anywhere that sells grilling supplies or equipment. Or you can get a high-quality one below.


Broil King 65070 Grill Basket

First thing you do is spray the basket with grilling Pam. This will help in the end! Then what you do is lay down a layer of bacon. You want all of the pieces to be connected and overlapping. You want to cover the bottom of the basket with bacon.

Once you have done that, take out half of the ground beef and make a giant patty as thin as you can. It is important that you connect the beef together and it is on big patty. You can’t have any holes!  You lay that on top of the bacon, leaving about an inch or two of bacon on all sides.

You then grate the cheese and lay it on top of the ground beef, again, leaving about an inch of ground beef on the sides. Sprinkle a little onion powder on top of that.

Then you take the rest of the beef and make another patty. Again, you have to make sure there are no holes. You lay this patty on top of the cheese and connect the been on the sides. This makes one giant “Juice Lucy” hamburger.

Once you have it all connected and no holes, you fold the excess bacon from the bottom layer over the top. Then you take the rest of your bacon and you layer the top just like you did before. Each piece is connected and overlapping. You cover the entire burger.

Once there is no more burger showing you put the top of the grilling basket on, making sure it is tight. Sprinkle the outside with pepper.

Now go to the grill and cook it on low for about 10-15 minutes per side. Your grill will flame up from the fat so you have to be extremely careful. Keep an eye on the grill at all times. This is very easy to go up in flames and become a big piece of charcoal.

Once you’re done, take it off and slice it into individual burgers.

You will be the king of the tailgate with this one!

About the author

CJ Tuttle


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