Southern Pork BBQ Burger

Pairs well with:

Chenin Blanc

This wine is bursting with crisp, refreshing fruit flavors like apple, pear, and melon, making you want to swing your legs off a dock at sunset.

I’m from the South, born and raised, and we know our barbecue in North Carolina! I tried to take some of the traditional elements of different Carolina style barbecue sauces and turn them into a basting sauce/marinade for a great burger. It’s definitely representative of the South, all piled on a big bun.


For the patties:
2 lbs. ground pork
2 tbsps. grill seasoning (recommended Montreal Steak seasoning)
1/2 tbsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tbsp dried sage
6 deli fresh kaiser rolls, toasted

For the sauce:
1 shot (or 1 jigger) of bourbon/whiskey
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
3 tbsps. brown sugar
2 tbsps. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps. yellow mustard
2 tbsps. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

For the apple topping:
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tbsps. white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon


Prepare an outdoor charcoal grill for medium-high heat or prepare a gas grill over medium-high flame.

To make patties, combine ground pork, grill seasoning, rosemary, and sage in a large bowl. Mix to combine all ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Score meat in half, then each half into 3 equal patties.

To prepare the sauce, combine in a medium bowl whiskey, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, mustard, red wine vinegar, and chopped onion. After thoroughly mixing, place the burger patties in the sauce to baste while you are preparing the apple topping.

To prepare the apples, slice each apple in half, then into quarters. Core the apple accordingly and slice each quarter into approximately 1/4 inch slices. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples and set aside.

For a charcoal grill, when coals have turned white, place burger patties in the middle of the grill on the hottest part so they will sear. Place apple slices on outside of the burger patties on the grll, so they are over indirect heat. For a gas grill, place the burgers on the hottest part of the grill and the apples on indirect heat.

Grill each patty for about 5 minutes on each side over the hottest part of the grill to obtain caramelization, turning only once. Once turned, baste with extra sauce.

Once burgers have cooked for 5 minutes on each side, remove them to the outer edge of the charcoal grill and place the apples over the direct heat. Let the burgers cook for about 10 more minutes, as well as the apples, turning the apples once to obtain caramelization. The sugar on the apples will turn dark very quickly, so they may need to be moved to more indirect heat to avoid hot spots. For a gas grlll, place the burgers over indirect heat and the apples on the hottest part of the grill to caramelize. Also, split each kaiser roll in half and toast until desired doneness.

Top each toasted bun with a burger patty and several apple slices. Enjoy!