Carolina Pulled Pork Inspired Hamburgers

READY IN: 50mins
Recipe by NcMysteryShopper

I love pulled pork and had my doubts about a burger recipe with claims to compare. I was pleasantly surprised that this burger definitely does resemble the taste of our southern pulled pork and is actually a quite delicious & quick way to serve ground pork. I was impressed with the inventiveness of this recipe and how the bland taste of the ground pork was elevated by simply adding bits of smoky bacon and smearing with a rub. Obviously this will never be a substitute for real pulled pork, but in a pinch, when the mood strikes but lack of time persists, this succulent burger will certainly fit the bill! I have made these twice now, once using my George Forman Grill with excellent results. Steven Raichlen has done it again with this recipe! Other then a few personal changes, this is his recipe from Burgers. Although Pale Ales are the usual choice for BBQ dishes, I tend to lean more towards the Brown Ales with pulled pork (or versions of it); try it with an Abita Turbo Dog or Sam Smith’s Nut Brown. Make Ahead: The honey-mustard sauce can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated, just reheat on low before serving.

Top Review by Queen Dragon Mom

Very, very good! The only change I had to make was leaving the bacon out of the mustard sauce to accomodate the vegetarian. It's frigid outside so I cooked the burgers in the stovetop smoker, then finished them in a frying pan. For the vegetarian, I used a say burger patty, thawed, brushed with oil and seasoned with the rub. That, too went into the smoker, the browned quickly in a pan. We all loved the mustard sauce. I will be making that as a stand-alone. (I did have to leave the cabbage out, wrong time of year to get decent cabbage. Will use it in the summer, though.) Thanks, Cheryl, for posting this. It is surprisingly good.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a small sauce pan, fry half of the bacon pieces and the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter until the onions are golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add honey, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce and Worcestershire and simmer until the sauce thickens and slightly reduces, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. While the sauce is cooking, fry the remaining bacon pieces until crisp then drain on paper towels. In a small mixing bowl, combine both paprikas, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder and celery seeds with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly knead the ground pork with the bacon and liquid smoke (if you are using/ I didn't use) in a bowl. Loosely make 4 patties about 3/4" thick and place on a plate covered with saran wrap. Sprinkle the spice mixture on the top, bottom and sides of burger, patting it into the meat till it sticks. Brush the spice covered burgers and both sides of the bread with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
  4. Light your grill and brush the grate with oil once it is heated. Grill the burgers for 12 minutes, turning once, until just cooked through. Remove the burgers from direct heat and grill the bread on both sides until toasted and the grill marks appear.
  5. Set each burger on a toast slice and top with the shredded cabbage and a generous helping of the honey-mustard sauce. Cover with the remaining toasted bread and serve immediately, passing the extra sauce separately.

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