WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — National Cheeseburger Day is September 18th!

We’re celebrating the American favorite on this Recipe Wednesday. Shannon Smith visits The Katharine in Winston-Salem for tips to build the best cheeseburger.

Chef Danny Tippetts’ Burger Tips:

  • I prefer using an 80% lean/20% fat ground chuck or using a blend of ground short rib and 80% lean/20% fat ground chuck. I wouldn’t go less than an 85% lean/15% fat ratio, as you need the fat for a good burger!
  • Burger patties shrink on the grill, so I suggest forming the patty larger than the bun itself. 
  • In terms of seasoning, I like to keep it simple and just add salt and pepper, but if you like using a little granulated garlic or other spices, feel free! 
  • I highly recommend you toast your burger buns. It keeps the juices from making it soggy.
  • I personally like a burger cooked closer to a medium, around 140-145 degrees. 
  • Place your burger patties on a hot grill. It doesn’t matter how many times you flip or turn your patty, the important part is getting that nice char. It seals in the flavor!
  • When at home, if I’m not using charcoal, I always add some kind of wood chip in a smoking box to my grill. I personally have a soft spot for Mesquite. 

Chef Danny Tippetts’ Le Burger Recipe: 


  • 2 ea. Brioche Bun
  • 12 oz.  80/20 Ground Chuck
  • Arugula
  • 2 oz. Smoked Tomato & Bacon Jam (recipe below)
  • 3 oz.  Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese (recipe Below)
  • 1 ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper

Le Burger Instructions: 

  • Prepare Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese & Smoked Tomato & Bacon Jam beforehand. (See separate recipes below.)
  • Form 6 oz. burger patties. Make them slightly larger than the buns as they shrink on the grill. 
  • Season patties with salt and pepper (or other spices if you’d like).
  • Toast the brioche buns.
  • Place your burger patties on a hot grill and cook until it reaches about 140-145 degrees (or until desired doneness). 
  • Top the cooked patty with the smoked gouda pimento cheese and let it melt. (If you’re melting on the grill then add the cheese after you flip your burger before it reaches 140-145 degrees, this way it won’t overcook.)
  • Place the cooked burger with melted smoked gouda pimento cheese on the bottom half of the bun, top with arugula and spread the bacon jam on the top half of the toasted bun.

Smoked Tomato Bacon Jam Recipe:


  • 3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar  
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • ¼ Cup Cooked Chopped Bacon
  • 3 ea. Roma Tomato
  • ½ tsp. Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp.  Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil


  • Cut Roma tomatoes in half and coat with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and toss.
  • Roast in an oven on a roasting rack or parchment-lined pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, they should be slightly browned.
  • Once this is done allow your tomatoes to cool slightly, this will allow you to peel the skin off the tomatoes easily and chop. 
  • In a separate pot, add sugar and water together. Bring to a boil and begin caramelizing until your caramelized sugar reaches 305 degrees, using a candy thermometer. 
  • CAREFULLY add the apple cider vinegar, as this will boil violently at the start. From there reduce by 1/3 or until a syrup is formed. 
  • Add roasted tomatoes and continue to reduce to remove the liquid the tomatoes have produced. 
  • To finish, fold in the chopped bacon and cool.

Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese Recipe: 


  • 2 cups Shredded Smoked Gouda 
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar (Shred from block of cheddar)
  • ¼ cup Diced Roasted Red Pepper or Canned Pimento – drained
  • 1/4 tsp. Espelette Pepper (optional) or substitute for Cayenne
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Hot Sauce  
  • 1 ½ tsp. Chopped Chives 
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ Cup cream cheese
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients, mix well.
  • This can be done in a mixer, food processor or by hand.