You can always slap a strip of cooked bacon on top of a burger and call it a bacon-burger, but cooking the patty in the bacon drippings adds another layer of flavor. Top with cheese as it finishes cooking, add the bacon, and you’ve got a melty, oozy burger made on the stovetop.
- 1Heat the oven to 200°F, arrange a rack in the middle, and place a baking sheet on the rack.
- 2Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into an even 1/2-inch-thick patty that’s about 1 inch wider in diameter than the hamburger buns. Using your thumb, make a shallow 1-1/2-inch-wide indentation in the center of each patty.
- 3Place the bacon in a large frying pan. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in 2 batches.) Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set it aside. Remove about half of the bacon fat from the pan and set it aside.
- 4Season the hamburger patties generously on both sides so that you can see a thin layer of salt and pepper.
- 5Return the pan to medium heat, place 2 of the patties in the pan indentation-side up, and let them cook undisturbed in the bacon fat until browned on the bottom (do not press down on them), about 4 minutes. Flip the patties over, place 2 slices of cheese on each, and continue cooking until the patties are just slightly pink in the center for medium and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with paper towels, add the reserved bacon fat, and cook the remaining 2 patties.
- 6When all of the burgers are ready, place a patty on each bun bottom, top with 4 of the bacon pieces, garnish as desired, and cover with a bun top.