Dish of the Week: The Jucy Lucy

Photo by Michael Salazar
Beware of this burger's molten core.
This week, we're sharing a recipe for the Jucy Lucy -- just in time for grilling season.

A Jucy Lucy -- or Juicy Lucy, depending who you believe came up with it -- is a burger with the cheese stuffed inside the meat. As the patty cooks on the flattop grill, the cheese inside melts, creating a molten core that oozes with each bite.

So basically, biters beware.

The origin of the cheese-stuffed burger is a heated debate. Two bars in South Minneapolis lay claim to the cheese-stuffed burger. And they're both on the same street. Matt's Bar calls the burger a Jucy Lucy, while the 5-8 Club adds the "i" to make it a Juicy Lucy. Both bars taunt each other further with their mottos; One saying "Remember, if it is spelled correctly, you are eating a shameless rip-off!" and the other, "If it's spelled right, it's done right."

We don't really care who made it, we're just happy that it exists. We're also happy that it has spawned creations all over the nation. You can find a jalapeno-and-fontina-stugged Juicy Lucy at Lowbrow, but we're sticking to the original recipe.

This recipe, adapted from Matt's Grill by Food Network Magazine, uses only straight-up American cheese. If you want any other kind of cheese, you'd need to head over to that "poser" 5-8 Club.

The Jucy Lucy

Ingredients yields 6 Jucy Lucys

2 1/2 lbs 80 percent lean ground beef
6 slices American cheese
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Dill pickle slices, for serving
6 soft hamburger buns, split


Divide the meat into 12 loose balls, then form into patties of 1/4-inch-thickness. Fold 1 slice cheese into a small square and place it into the center of a patty, leaving about 1/2-inch border of meat around the cheese. Top with another patty and crimp the edges together, sealing the cheese inside. Repeat with remaining patties until 6 Jucy Lucys are formed.

Warm the vegetable oil on a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and wipe the excess grease from the pan.

Season the patties with salt and pepper and add them to the heated pan. Cook, about 7-8 minutes, then flip, poking the middle of each patty to release steam. Cook until desired doneness, about another 7 minutes for medium well.

Form sandwiches by layering 2-3 pickle slices on each bottom bun. Top with the burger patties and the top bun to close.

Warning: You may want to let it cool down for a minute before digging in, because that cheese is hot!

Location Info

Lowbrow Bar

1601 W. Main St, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Was interested until I saw "American cheese".. Yuck.


Where not to get a Jucy Lucy in Houston: The Americana Cafe. They use cheddar and jalapenos - I ordered it medium rare and got straight up raw meat in the middle.

Bruce_Are topcommenter

Usually your recipes look great, but this one not so much. First, the pictured hamburger looks more like a meatloaf on a bun. Second, if we were to follow your instructions then the burger would cook for 15 minutes--that's way too long. Third, what about the onions? We cooked them, wiped the pan to remove any trace of oniony goodness (not sure why), and now they're just sitting there like a forgotten ingredient in Chopped.

Louis Puente
Louis Puente

I've eaten the JL from 5-8 in Minneapolis. Good stuff. Don't dig in without giving it a rest/cool down.


There is American cheees thats not kraft singles and isn't too horrible but yeah id probably just swap it out for white or yellow cheddar

Now Trending

From the Vault