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.
For the burgers:
1 1/2 poundsground chuck (15 to 20 percent fat content)
8bacon slices, cut in half crosswise
Freshly ground black pepper
8 slices cheddar, Swiss, or American cheese (about 6 ounces)
4hamburger buns, split and toasted
Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard
Heat the oven to 200°F, arrange a rack in the middle, and place a baking sheet on the rack.
Divide 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.
Place 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.
Season the hamburger patties generously on both sides so that you can see a thin layer of salt and pepper.
Return 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.
When 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.