May 26th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
Share this on:

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.

Recipe formatting optimized by the nice folks at

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

See all our best grilling advice at Grilling 101

All National Cheeseburger Day coverage

Posted by:
Filed under: Best in Life • Bite • Burgers • Dishes • Favorites • Grilling • Grilling • Make • Recipes • Sandwiches • Step-by-Step • Tailgating • Techniques & Tips

soundoff (394 Responses)
  1. I want da gold!

    Bobcat Bite outside of Santa Fe, NM. (Even Bon Apetite magazine named it Best in America.) Followed closely by Kuma's Corner in Chicago, IL.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Dave

    Best Burgr? How in the world did anyone ever come up with this one being the bst burgr when you use processed cheese and not real cheese? Thin cut bacon instaed of a thick cut applewood smoked bacon? what kind of lame A??ed burger is tgis that you have chosen to the vbest? What kind of chef goes to all the trouble of triple grinding the meat, baking rolls from scratch and mixing together a wonderful creation of spices and then says let's just microwave some bacon and throw on a piece a fake cheese? Did your chef just get to tired to finsh this one off the right way? You guys need a new chef and a new eatocracy food writer if ths is their idea of the best burger in America...good god..America Cheese...what an insult!

    May 31, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • KittyTom

      Burger was ruined for me when I saw catsup! That's a yankee burger – come to the south for a great burger!

      June 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  3. Ike

    American (i.e. processed) cheese tastes absolutely HORRIBLE. This is the first time I have checked out the eatocracy page of CNN and it will be my last.

    May 30, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • The Witty One

      Peace out.

      May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  4. Heart Attack Grill

    HMMM pure fattening lard encased burger! Now thats a candidate for best burger!

    May 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  5. bubbaho

    sounds like nasty burger to me . some just do not get it . gotta try and get all fancy smancy and then ruin it even more with nasty "fake" american cheese ! i imagine a stray dog might like it though ....

    May 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  6. Croco3

    Beef, Bacon AND cheese, world's best burger my tush! That's a vicious heart attack in one serving! Then again, we all gonna go one way or another!

    May 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  7. Dorian

    lol....i like how everyone thinks they know how to make the best burger in the world....amazingly (as most of you haven't already realized)'s a matter of .....get off your high horse....shove your 'best' burger in your mouth...chew...swallow...and shut up....btw real cheddar on a burger is seriously overrated if not borderline gross

    May 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  8. yourmother

    World's best burger, huh? Maybe Chef Campanara should've used this recipe using venison when he got his rear end handed to him by Cat Cora on Iron Chef back in '05. I loved it... A big shot New York ego getting destroyed by a little Mississippi girl. This recipe is garbage. Canned curry powder? Seriously? You are a Chef! Make your own curry!

    May 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  9. JoeT

    Any burger with ketchup on it is not the best burger anywhere. Ketchup is for fries, not burgers.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • KittyTom

      You got that right! Yankee burger with catsup. Sissys.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  10. Goat Bottoms

    I make my burgers out of ground up souls and midgets with other bits and pieces. 75% midget, 20% souls, 1% moon dust, and 60% toilet paper. As you can imagine, it is a very big burger.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  11. ryan

    This guy is some yankee (as in New Yorker) who has no idea how to make a burger. Ketchup (properly catsup) does NOT belong on a burger. MUSTARD MUSTARD MUSTARD.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  12. pinkpony

    sounds like the worlds most average burger

    May 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  13. hrfhh

    Yeah, yeah. You all know how to make the tastiest burger in the world. Kudos to those people who actually cook, but again, if I want a burger with ketchup AND caramelized onions, nobody should be bothered with it. Heck, if my idea of a perfect burger is Nutella, sardines and a shoe, that's my business. In reality, a burger with just about anything on it will taste good. Jalapenos, onions, pickles, chopped garlic, ketchup, mustard, and whatever special sauce you feel like coming up with that day... blue cheese, green cheese, white cheese... they'll all taste good. And of course I always need a huge chunk of lettuce in it (though you do risk e. coli contamination unless you grow it yourself). Just don't make the bread soggy.

    May 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  14. Darcie

    Burger might have been good had you not put processed American cheese on it... My two year old won't even eat that nasty cheese...

    May 30, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  15. RIck Springfield

    Why in God's green Earth would anyone in a right mind ever put cheese on a burger, and American cheese at that? My idea of the perfect burger is one with very juicy grain fed ground round grilled over charcoal with wet hickory chips mixed in. The Charcoal Oven here in OKC has it right. Then serve it with fresh cut fries. There is the onion burger argument with a hand full of absolutely fresh ground beef splatted on a flat grill and then pressed with a mess of cut onions. I like that with some dill pickles and mustard, noting else.
    As for Mcdonalds the only way I eat burgers is the Home Style burger made with all the veggies on the side and I add my own deli mustard I carry in the car. I made the Latino cook remake one 4 times because she kept slopping it with mayonnaise. I told her if she did it one more time I would jump over the counter rip out her head and you-know-what down he neck. I then actually did the scene out of "Whole 9 yards". She finally made my burger right then went to the back to cry. Hey, if you can't take the Mcdonalds heat then go back to Juarez.

    May 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      So apparently people "in their right minds" are simply mean SOBs? If you don't understand what cheese can add to a good burger, than no one can explain it to you.. but you are missing out on one of the great pleasures in life.

      May 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  16. Fan of burger

    The winner for the best burger goes to Big Mac! :-)

    May 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  17. kotchi

    Here's a real burger from Dangerous Dan's in Toronto.........
    Quadruple C
    "Collosal Colon Clogger Combo"
    24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs. Also comes with a large shake and a small poutine.
    Only $ 24.45

    May 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • yourmother

      only in america....

      May 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
      • VegetariansTasteGood

        Toronto is in Canada. Moron.

        May 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
      • ColdinMN


        September 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  18. liz

    Where, pray tell, does one libving outside of NYC get ground broisket and griund short rib, becasue my local Publix sure doesn't have either?

    May 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  19. Michael

    Quick poll : which fast food chain is your favourite ? VOTE 1 McDonalds, 2 Burger King, 3 SubWay, 4 KFC, 5 Pizza Hut

    May 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  20. Maty

    A burger made from quality meat doesn't need either bacon or cheese. And jeez, ketchup? Philistine!

    May 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  21. Silly Girl

    A hamburger that is lauded as the best in the world by the London Observer doesn't carry much weight. Britain is not exactly known for their cuisine. They would think a hockey puck is "lovely"! Come to Texas if you want a kick-ass burger!

    May 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  22. Viva Puerto Rico.

    American cheese? That completely invalidated this award. Meunster, Smoked Gouda, Smoked Cheddar, Jalepeno Mont. Jack, Smoked Havarti......ANY cheese is better than American. I can't believe my mother ever fed that stuff to me.

    May 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  23. max

    wheres the mustard?!

    May 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  24. Heywood Jablowme


    May 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Jim

      Yep. Tasty, tasty murder.

      July 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  25. thumbscrews

    That looks more like a suicide attempt than a meal.

    May 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  26. Michael

    Gosh..... I'm hungry just from looking ! Too bad i'm on diet :(

    May 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  27. len

    Best burger? Not even close, the author did come to house yesterday!

    May 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  28. have you ever wondered

    That the guy paid cnn to do this article

    May 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  29. MIKE

    Best hamburguer in the country at HODAD'S, San Diego, CA. Traveling around the country I concluded that HODAD'S is by far the best hamburguer in the country.

    May 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  30. BestBurgeraround

    The best burgers I've ever had are from the Royal Tavern and Village Whiskey in Philly. Phenominal.

    May 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  31. Shawn

    Kuma's Corner in Chicago, that is all.

    May 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  32. Gordon

    How about running that spell checker and spelling "meet" correctly! "Meat" is something you eat. "Meet" is something you do when you say hello.

    May 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Silly Girl

      It is called a "play on words" attempt at humor (FAIL)

      May 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  33. Well Dunn-Chef Extraordinaire

    Good Afternoon class,
    Today we will be grilling Vegan. As you can see,I have cut up this small, scrawny and very white female Vegan,in the same way you would cut up a chicken. First we must put the brestesses on as they take longer to cook. As you notice I have already positioned the thermometer probe in to the anal cavity. We must not over cook the Vegan. Keep an eye on that until it finally starts to get some color,and then we will turn it over and cover. Continue grilling until internal temperature is 165 degrees. Let it rest covered while you start the legs and arms.
    Any questions so far class?

    May 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  34. Jimmy Hat

    One of the best burgers I've ever had was from a chain restaurant in Indy called Max and Erma's.
    They still served them rare!

    May 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  35. lako

    best burgers i've had were from seattle, texas and Queensland AUS.

    May 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  36. Jimmy Hat

    Once you put the bacon on there, it's technically not a burger any more

    May 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  37. Michael in KY

    Hear me now and believe me later. Gruyere cheese for the win!

    May 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  38. Bill in BK

    This isn't even the best burger in NYC let alone the world. Also, why the hell is some London rag doing the rating? The English aren't exactly the best purveyors of food last time I checked. Lastly, Malcolm Gladwell did a great piece on ketchup, Heinz is the only way to go for its effect on your pallet. I poo poo on this article, I expect better CNN!

    I refer you all to the Burger of the Month Club for a proper introduction to NYC burger tasting selections.

    May 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • BestBurgeraround

      Heinz? I don't think so. I'll take my ketchup without high fructose corn syrup thank you. Putting ketchup on a great burger is a sin anyway; it doesn't need it.

      May 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  39. Anonymous...

    My friend went to France and says that they make better burgers than americans. I'm not a cheeseburger person myself,can't stand ground beef. I know I'm missing out but I can't eat the stuff without gagging. :( I used to love em though...

    May 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  40. hustlenflo

    Haggis or Sheperds pie certainly, but why would people in London know anything about cooking hamburgers?? They had a Wimpy's hamburger chain in England and I ate there. What they called a "hamburger" was actually sliced sausage on a bun. The Ollieburger – made in Miami Beach, Florida – was the best burger ever. Unfortunately, Ollie took the recipe with him to his grave. Umami Burger in LA is also excellent for a high end burger - and IN N OUT is the best fast food burger in So-Cal.

    May 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  41. Dannyways

    burned on the outside and rare in the inside!! thats just bad cooking! cooking on direct fire will only burn your meat and give what it gave on his worlds best burgers!! hahahahah even MCDEES makes better then that! and why you didnt chose angus!! love the angus! more fat but hey for ones you wont die! ahahahhaha

    May 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  42. Happy Underpants

    The price of bananas is directly linked to the size of the bogger that will fall out of your nose. Keep that in mind when you are preparing your burgers.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Anonymous...

      this is relevent how?

      May 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  43. lolsauce

    Sorry but gas grills don't taste like gas, its a tasteless gas.
    Chemicals I do taste are on charcoal grills when using chemically enhanced coals or lighter fluid both of which are not tasteless neither is the coal you would be cooking with, not to mention the health issues of soot from the coals on your food. I like tasting the meat and seasoning so I will always use gas
    I would like to know who called these burgers "the best in the world" because from what I see it is not, it is just a basic burger anyone makes in their backyard, nothing special.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  44. Gary

    he had me on board until the nastyass processed cheese singles..

    May 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  45. CalgarySandy

    Sounds like good eats except for the fact that everyone knows you should never eat ground beef unless it is well done. E-Coli lurks. This upsets me as I grew up in beef country, when it was all free range, and I preferred rare. Still, it is one of those nasty facts and if any one tries this and gets E-coli I suggest you sue CNN for publishing this potentially deadly food.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • BestBurgeraround

      Shut up. you suck.

      May 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  46. Parkity

    All you naive people realize this is just a bought and paid for advertisement from Sir Kensington's ketchup, right (check made payable to Time Warner)? Grow a brain already.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  47. duder

    You guys are ret@rded. The whole point of American cheese is its melting characteristics, e.g. melted on a burger.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      It is sure not the taste. It has all the texture of Velveeta and taste of plastic.

      May 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • closetiguana

      Don't most cheeses melt?

      May 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
1 2 3 4
| Part of