Skip to main content

These Tabasco Butter Cheeseburgers Will Spice Up Any Labor Day Party

With Labor Day upon us, we realized – sadly — that the number of days we’ll be able to light up the grill and cook an entire meal outdoors is rapidly decreasing. (Unless, of course, you live in one of those places that doesn’t get winter which, in that case, how’re these 100-degree days treating you, eh? Yeah, that’s what we thought.)

To get our final stretch of grilling greatness off on the right foot, we’re sharing this recipe for an Upside Down Tabasco Butter Cheeseburger created by pitmaster Sterling “Big Poppa” Ball. It’s easy to make and it’s got the four major food groups: hot sauce, butter, meat, and cheese. We added extra Tabasco sauce in the meat mix, but we like to live on the spicy side of things.

Why would you not want to cook something by someone who goes by “Big Poppa”? Think of the other Big Poppas out there. The two that come to mind are the Notorious B.I.G. and former pro wrestler “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner, so it’s safe to say we’re in rarefied company.

Check out the recipe below and get ready to grill up some greatness this Labor Day. If you have time, you should also check out Big Poppa Smokers, especially the DIY Drum Smoker Kit.

Upside Down Tabasco Butter Cheeseburger

Upside Down Tabasco Butter Cheeseburger
Big Poppa Smokers

(Makes 4 Servings) 


  • 1 tbsp Tabasco Original Red Sauce
  • 5-2 lbs 80/20 ground beef (enough to make 4 1/3-lb patties)
  • 4-6 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into smaller pieces
  • 4 brioche burger buns (or bun of your choosing)
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 3 sticks butter (around .75 cup)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp Big Poppa’s Double Secret Steak Rub (to season patties)
  • 1-2 tbsp mayo

Burger add-ons:

  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • 4 slices pickles (sandwich style, cut into halves)


  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Form burger meat into 1/3lb patties, into a concave shape.
  3. Season one side of the patties with the Double Secret Steak Rub.
  4. Let the seasoning “melt” into the patties for about 20 minutes; use this time to melt butter and prep your toppings oranything else you’d like to have on your burger.
  5. Melt butter in microwave safe cup, add Tabasco Sauce to melted butter, and stir.
  6. Toast buns (tops and bottoms) on grill; watch carefully as buns can burn quickly.
  7. Baste both sides of buns generously with Tabasco butter.
  8. Set buns aside and cover to keep warm.
  9. Set burger patties on grill. Watch patties to see if any are cooking faster than others and adjust heat accordingly (higher or lower).
  10. After 5 minutes, flip patties and check internal temperature to see how far off you are from 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. About 5 minutes later, flip again and add slices of American cheese to quickly melt onto patty.
  12. Check internal temp and pull off grill at 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside.
  13. Assemble the burger bottom to top: bottom bun, mayo on bottom bun, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, then place patty cheese side down (or, upside down).
  14. Baste burger patty with Tabasco butter. Continue assembly on top of patty with bacon, grilled onions, then top bun.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
Think Outside the Box on Memorial Day and Try This Chili-Lime Grasshopper Recipe
memorial day recipe chili lime grasshoppers chilie ckrickets on hot dog edit

If Memorial Day is the first time this year that you're busting out your grill (or maybe taking a new portable grill out for its maiden voyage), then chances are you're already stocking up on meat or making burgers to put on the barbie. These dishes will surely be great on their own, but they'll only get better with the addition of side dishes and snacks — and do we have a side dish for you to try this year: grasshoppers.

Yes, as in the insect and not the minty cocktail.

Read more
Tap Your Inner Ron Swanson with This Epic Memorial Day Meat Recipe
epic steakhouse memorial day meat recipe 3 edit

This Memorial Day, more than likely you’ll be doing what most Americans do – grilling the heck out of some meat and drinking beer while enjoying the sunshine. While the day is intended as a memorial for our country’s fallen soldiers, it has also become the unofficial start to summer, with most people having off and choosing to spend that time outdoors with friends and family.

What you cook, though, matters. You could do burgers and dogs, which are fine for masses of people, but what if your gathering is smaller, more intimate, and much more meat-driven?

Read more
Whiskey upgrade: How to fat wash your favorite whiskey or bourbon to add new depths of flavor
Add flavor to whiskey or bourbon with fat-washing
Whiskey glass

If you pay attention to the cocktail or whiskey world, you’ve probably heard the term “fat-washed” at some point. You also might not have any idea what that means. You might assume you should, so you don’t want to ask anyone and seem foolish, right? It sounds like you’re washing whiskey with some kind of fat, whatever that means. If you think that, you’re on the right track. It is a technique to change the flavor of whiskey (and other spirits), but it has nothing to do with your kitchen sink, washing machine, dishwasher, or anything like that.

In the simplest terms, fat washing is a cocktail technique in which some form of fat (like bacon fat, butter, or some other fat) is added to room-temperature whiskey (like in a dish or sealable container, not a bottle). It sits on the counter for a few hours so the fat can separate from the spirit before being put into a refrigerator or freezer until the fat forms a solid crust on top. Scrap it off or strain it through cheesecloth and you have a buttery, fatty, flavorful whiskey to pour back into a bottle to use in your favorite cocktails. Sounds simple enough. To do it right requires a little bit more effort than that. There are steps that need to be taken.

Read more