Joe’s Grilled Gourmet Cheese Burgers

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READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Charcoal Bob

Our teenage son Joe developed these delicious open-faced cheese burgers, featuring grilled sweet onion, provolone cheese, grilled rye toast, and his favorite steak sauce, while experimenting a few years ago. They’ve been a family favorite ever since. We like to size and season each burger for the appetite and preferences of each dinner guest, then use the cookout calculator at to create a grilling timeline. This allows all burgers to come off the grill at the same time, grilled to the desired doneness for each guest.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the Onions --
  2. Cut the onions into 3/4" thick slices and put on skewers. Or place enough toothpicks through the sides of each onion slice to hold it together for grilling.
  3. Coat the onions on each side with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. For the Burgers --
  5. Gently form the hamburger into the desired thickness for each dinner guest, while shaping it to match the rectangular shape of the slice of rye bread. (It should look like a miniature meatloaf, but with a uniform thickness.).
  6. Season each burger to the taste of each guest and place on a platter in an order you will easily remember. (The virtual grill at can assist you with this.).
  7. For Grilling --
  8. Prepare your grill for a direct-medium fire (350°F to 375°F).
  9. If using the cookout calculator at, simply follow the Grilling Timeline on your cookout printout, putting on the sweet onions when the time remaining is 10-11 minutes and turning when the time remaining is about 5 minutes.
  10. Otherwise, grill the burgers to the desired doneness (10-15 minutes total, turning halfway through the grilling time), and grill the sweet onions for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through the grilling time.
  11. Note when there is 1-2 minutes of grilling time remaining, then melt the provolone cheese on each burger and place the slices of rye bread on the grill, turning when toasted to avoid burning.
  12. Final Assembly --
  13. Remove all items from the grill, and remove the sweet onions from the skewers (or remove the toothpicks that were used to hold the onions together).
  14. Allow the burgers to rest for a few minutes to keep them nice and juicy.
  15. Drizzle a little of your favorite steak sauce on the slice of toasted rye bread, then place the burger on the rye toast, provolone cheese side down.
  16. Then drizzle a little more steak sauce on top of the burger, separate the grilled onion into individual rings and place on top of the burger as well.
  17. Eating Technique --
  18. With a steak knife and fork, cut through the grilled onion, burger, cheese and rye toast for bite after delicious bite.

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