May 26th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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All National Cheeseburger Day coverage

When you're called the best burger in the country, those are some pretty big shoes to fill.

When you're called the best burger in the world by the London Observer, those are gold-laced sneakers of Shaquille O'Neal proportions.

Memorial Day weekend is practically the opening ceremony of the summer grilling Olympics, and this year, it's time to go for gold with your own personal burger trainer.

Joey Campanaro is the chef and owner of the Little Owl in New York City - he's also the man behind the meaty masterpiece that is purportedly the world's best burger.

The Little Owl's Bacon Cheeseburger
Courtesy Joey Campanaro
Serves 4


  • 1 pound ground beef brisket
  • 1 pound ground short rib
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 8 slices precooked bacon
  • 4 homemade buns
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Purple onion, sliced
  • Pickles
  • Ketchup (suggested brand: Sir Kensington's)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons madras curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix curry powder, cayenne, 1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper and 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt until combined; set aside.
  2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix brisket and short rib until blended; season with salt and pepper. Separate into four balls and flatten into 3/4-inch thick patties. Season both sides of each patty with spice mixture.
  4. Place patties on hot grill or grill pan, cooking for approximately three minutes per side for medium-rare, four minutes per side for medium; top burgers with 2 slices bacon and cover with cheese during the last minute of cooking. Grill buns, turning over once with tongs, until toasted. Cover the burger with the top bun.
  5. Layer bottom bun with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and red onion before adding the burger and top bun from the grill. Serve immediately.
  6. Serve ketchup and extra pickles on the side for those who want it.

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Previously - Best. Burgers. EVER and Best. Cheeseburger. EVER

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All National Cheeseburger Day coverage

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soundoff (394 Responses)
  1. Shawn

    I don't understand why they just blend salt/pepper into the meat, and after forming the patties they put the seasoned mixture on the outside of the patties. Why not just blend the seasoning mixture into the meat before forming the patties ?

    June 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
    • randoid1234

      I think it allows more flexibility to season to taste.

      July 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • Walter

      July 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
  2. Hey!

    The secret? Use 80% – 85% ground angus beef (not ground chuck, not regular 'ground hamburger'). Form your patties, salt & pepper, let stand for 20-30 minutes on your counter. Then grill. Very simple and not a project like these guys seem to go through and claim 'The best',

    I also happen to like using my paninni grill and then add the buns at the end to make them a tad crispy on the outside.

    May 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  3. Jeff

    How can this even be considered the 'best' using "pre-cooked" Bacon? What the hell is American Cheese anyway...Kraft slices???

    July 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  4. ricardo1968

    Um.. does anyone know where I can buy 'homemade buns'? That's the hardest part of the recipe, and it's not included.

    July 5, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  5. louisiana maritime attorneys

    You pretentious cheese snobs are making me giggle.

    September 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  6. Dev

    It's impossible to call this the "world's best burger" when he's using processed Kraft American Cheese singles.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Jason

      It just says "American Cheese". You can get that at the Deli, Very good.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Brett

    So has anyone tried the recipe yet? I dont know about all of you putting down american cheese but i do have to say I would never use Kraft Singles however Kraft Deli Deluxe has a great flavor and texture.

    July 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  8. MIKE

    Please lets make it simple. Get really high quality ground beef(make sure it is lean so burghers dont shrink) use adobo seasoning mix together for about 10 minutes. cook untill medium rare screw all you ecoli freaks and for those who are worried but the raw eggs, there is no ecoli inside the egg the yolk and whites are pure but the shell is where the ecoli is.Get some fresh provalone and melt it on. there ya go

    June 29, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Jason

      Actually the secret to a good burger is the "fat" content. Lean beef does not make a good burger. Ask anyone who owns a restaurant.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
      • Josh

        Very true. 80/20 is generally considered the best combination for a hamburger. A very lean ground hamburger will generally be dry

        May 25, 2014 at 10:00 am |
  9. Diane Espinosa

    All I can say is a burger without Sir Kensingtons all natural scooping ketchup is like macaroni and cheese without the cheese!

    June 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  10. humanbean

    What does England know about good burgers?

    June 25, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  11. C to the J

    Have any of you ever tried English food? What makes the word of a UK newspaper law of the world? Did they actually send someone around the world to try burgers or they just guessed based on something else?

    Nice reporting...not.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  12. JR

    Toppings on the BOTTOM? Wilted luttuce and a mealy tomato within 10 seconds. Wheres the Maytag?

    June 21, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  13. JohnRJohnson

    Just reading this article caused the valves of my heart to slam shut.

    June 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  14. Bee

    eww, pink hamburger meat

    June 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  15. ArtimusDuck

    I'm going to put a seared pinapple ring around my bratwurst and you can tell me how that tastes baby.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  16. WVLady63

    Sounds delicious, but I always add a seared pineapple ring to this mix, its amazing.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
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