Southern Hospitality Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

I am a southern girl, born and bred. In all of the southern states I have called home (Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama), the foods and flavors of each region have enriched my cooking. My Southern Hospitality Burger celebrates these regions. In my Missouri hometown, a burger is not a burger without slaw, and Alabama white barbecue sauce makes the best slaw around. The barbecue in Tennessee centers around the rub, so my burger had to include a spicy dry rub. To balance out the spice, the sweetness of Louisiana sweet potatoes fits the bill. Putting all of these elements together, my Southern Hospitality Burger will keep y’all coming back for more!


White Barbecue Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1 16 ounce package slaw mix
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup white barbecue sauce

Dry Rub
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 pounds ground chuck
7 teaspoons dry rub, divided

Sweet Potato Fries
1 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch fries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon olive oil for coating iron skillet
2-3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing on grill rack
6 good-quality sesame seed hamburger buns, split


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

To make the white barbecue sauce, combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, pepper, Worcestershire, salt, garlic, and mustard in a medium bowl. Mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Cover remaining sauce with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make slaw, combine slaw mix, red onion, and reserved 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make dry rub, mix together paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, thyme, white pepper, cumin, chili powder, and seasoned salt. Set aside.

To make the patties, combine the chuck and 3 teaspoons dry rub in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Sprinkle both sides of the patties with the remaining 4 teaspoons dry rub. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the grill is ready, coat a 10 inch iron skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place skillet directly on grill rack, close lid, and preheat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, toss sweet potato fries with 2 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Once skillet is heated, place a single layer of fries in skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, turning all sides until fries are browned and tender. Transfer to paper towel lined platter. Repeat process until all fries are cooked.

Once fries have cooked, remove skillet from grill. Close lid on grill and return grill to medium-high heat. When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the white barbecue sauce on the bottoms of the buns. Top with a patty, followed by 1/2 cup slaw per patty. Place 4-6 sweet potato fries on top of slaw. Add top buns and serve.

Makes 6 burgers