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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!
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…
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