Wendy’s Baconator is a perfect burger for bacon lovers! Two ground beef patties, cheese, and six pieces of crispy bacon are stacked between toasted buns with mayo and ketchup.
Every burger joint has a bacon burger, but only Wendy’s has the Baconator, and it is glorious. If you love bacon, and frankly, who doesn’t, then you have to get your hands on one of these. Wendy’s Baconator is loaded with enough beef, American cheese, and savory bacon to satisfy even the biggest hungry. But there is no need to take a trip to your local Wendy’s when you can make pretty good imitation at home.
Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!
Yes, there’s plenty of bacon on this burger — three slices, to be exact. You can use your favorite type, but if you want the most on-point recreation, it has to be applewood smoked bacon. Applewood smoked bacon spent a good bit of time over smoldering apple tree wood chips.
Smoking over applewood chips imparts bacon with a distinctly different flavor than that of other hardwoods. Applewood smoked bacon has a sweetness and a mild smokiness that most people love. Of course, you may prefer something with a little less subtlety, and in that case, you may want to choose or mesquite-smoked bacon.
Since this burger is all about the bacon, it’s nice to break out the good stuff. Uncured and particularly thick-cut varieties work well on Wendy’s Baconator. Maple-glazed is particularly amazing on a burger.
Once you choose your bacon, it’s time to cook it. And for this recipe, the best method is in the oven. Place a wire baking rack on a rimmed cooking tray and lay the bacon on top. Place in a cold, yes, cold oven, and set to 425-degrees. Once the oven reaches temperature, cook for about 12 – 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
What Beef Should I Use?
With so much emphasis on bacon, don’t forget this is still a burger, and a great burger starts with the right beef blend. When choosing ground beef for your burger, you need to consider the fat content and the cut of meat.
Using an 80/20 blend, meaning 80 percent lean beef and 20 percent fat, is perfect for this recipe. Please don’t buy anything leaner than that unless you like dry burgers. If you plan on grilling the beef patties, you can even go for 70/30 blends since the higher temperatures of the grill will quickly dry out leaner beef mixtures.
For a robust and beefy taste, use either chuck or round cuts. If you want to get a bit fancy, and your local supermarket has a friendly butcher, try asking for a ground beef mixture of about a third short ribs and two-thirds chuck. Mixing in the short ribs adds an incredible amount of “beefiness” that just isn’t there with typical prepackaged ground beef.
Remember, the patties will shrink once cooked; make them bigger than the buns you are using. Although you don’t have to make square burgers like Wendy’s, if you do, use a rimmed baking pan to help form them by lightly greasing the largest rimmed baking sheet you own. Wet your hands and spread the ground beef in the pan. Use a plastic spatula to cut out the square patties.
Tips for Making Wendy’s Baconator
- Make it a Triple Baconator. Is the regular Baconator just not big enough for you? Make it a triple by adding another layer of cheese, bacon, and beef. Or make it a Son of the Baconator using just one layer of cheese, bacon, and beef.
- Customize the Baconator. Add anything you like to the burger. Change the cheese to asiago, muenster, or even blue cheese crumbles. Spice it up with a few jalapeño slices or cool things down with creamy avocado.
Wendy’s Baconator Recipe Ingredients
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Ground beef chuck
- American cheese slices
- Hamburger buns
How to Make Wendy’s Baconator
- Bake bacon until crispy.
- Drain bacon on paper towels.
- Cut bacon in half to get 24 pieces.
- Divide the ground beef into eight portions.
- Shape each portion into square patties.
- Season patties with salt.
- Cook burgers in a stainless steel skillet until done.
- Spread butter on the inside of the buns and toast them in the skillet or under a broiler.
- Assemble the burgers so when finished it is in this order from top to bottom:
- Top bun
- Bacon (3 pieces)
- Burger Patty
- Bacon (3 pieces)
- Burger Patty
- Bottom Bun
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