Hawaiian Burgers

Amazingly juicy Hawaiian Burgers BURSTING with flavor, smothered in Havarti cheese, loaded with sweet grilled pineapple, crispy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, punchy red onions, creamy sriracha mayo and more sweet and tangy Hawaiian Sauce!  This might be the best burger.  EVER! 

This Hawaiian Burger post is brought to you by McCormick.  All opinions are my own.

How to Make Hawaiian Burgers

up close of a juicy Hawaiian Burger on a plate with pineapple, cheese, lettuce, red onions and tomato

I am SO excited grilling season is finally here!  How did that happen again?  Warm weather, eating outdoors, fresh food, hardly any cleanup, grilling season is the best!  And I’m even more giddy over grilling season because now we can all fire up Asian Burgers, the Best Burgers, Korean Burgers and now these epic Hawaiian Burgers!

This Hawaiian Burger recipe is an explosion of sweet, tangy spicy, cheesy, pineapple-y, creamy deliciousness.  In other words, this burger has it ALL.  Hawaiian Burgers have long been a favorite of mine at any burger joint and this one is every bit as delectable in my humble opinion (and SO easy to make too!).

Amazingly juicy Hawaiian Burgers BURSTING with flavor, smothered in Havarti cheese, more Hawaiian Sauce and topped with caramelized pineapple. This might be the best burger. EVER!

What Goes on a Hawaiian Burger?

These Hawaiian Burgers are loaded with all the fixings!

  • buns:  you can use whatever your heart desires!  Usually the bakery section will have soft buns.  We will also toast the buns for added flavor and texture.
  • lettuce:  I like to use butter lettuce as a single leaf is perfection and just so pretty)
  • meat:  use 8/20 ground chuck for the juiciest burgers.  Our meat is further infused with our juicy meat that is infused with McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Grill Single Use Marinade (can we say FLAVOR?!),
  • cheese:  my favorite cheese for Hawaiian Burgers is buttery, sweet, nutty Havarti cheese but you may also use cheddar, Monterrey or pepper Jack
  • pineapple:  Hawaiian Burgers are ALL about the sweet grilled pineapple!  Make sure  your pineapple is ripe so your pineapple is sweet instead of tart.
  • red onions:  add a punch of tang to balance out the sweetness.
  • Hawaiian sauce: The Hawaiian Burgers are drizzled with more Hawaiian Woodfire Marinade after cooking for the most flavorful burgers!  Does it get any better?
  • sriracha mayo:  mix mayonnaise with sriracha  – SO easy!  You can customize the heat and make them as spicy or mild as you like.
  • guacamole:  is optional but adds a fabulous creamy, tangy salty layer of yum.

Can  I use Canned Pineapple?

I prefer fresh pineapple but yes, you can use canned pineapple rings.  Make sure they are well drained and patted dry.

To grill pineapple, lightly grease grill/skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add pineapple and cook 4-5 minutes per side for FRESH or 2-3 minutes for CANNED.  You will know your pineapple is done when it is softened and grill marks appear.

showing how to make Hawaiian Burgers by adding the meat and seasonings to a glass bowl

These Hawaiian Burgers are a masterful symphony of flavor and texture and one of the best burgers I’ve eaten in my entire life.   You probably have seen and even attempted recipes for Hawaiian Burgers before but none of them can come close without McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Grill Single Use Marinade.

It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tangy made from real ingredients like pineapple, soy, ginger and bell peppers (no high fructose corn syrup!).  This Hawaiian Marinade makes this burger (I use it 3 places in the recipe!) but I also suggest stock piling it because it’s perfect to bring out the bold Island flavor in chicken, shrimp, salmon or pork in just 30 minutes!

Amazingly juicy Hawaiian Burgers BURSTING with flavor, smothered in Havarti cheese, more Hawaiian Sauce and topped with caramelized pineapple. This might be the best burger. EVER!

Now just a here’s a few hints, tips and tricks I gleaned from McCormick.com/grill-mates.

How to Grill the perfect burger:

  • Use 80% Lean or 85% Lean meat.  Anything greater than 80% lean causes too many flare ups and anything  less than 85% lean = dry burgers.
  • Ground Chuck is the best meat to use.  You can simply ask your butcher for 80/20 ground chuck and he will know exactly what you mean.
  • Don’t overwork the meat.  Handling the meat too much or compacting it too much will result in dense, tough burgers.
  • Indent the middle of the patty with your thumb.  This allows the meat to cook evenly, otherwise the center will bulge after cooking.
  • Flip your burgers once and NEVER press down.  Smashing the burger with your spatula releases all the precious juices which are what make a juicy burger juicy.
  • For thick burgers, first sear over direct heat, then finish cooking over indirect heat.
  • For thin burgers (like the ones we are making) cook over direct heat.
  • Burgers are medium when pink juices come out on top (love this tip!).
  • Baste burgers with your favorite sauce/marinade before adding cheese.  We do this with these Hawaiian Burgers.  After we flip the burger, we smother in McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Grill Single Use Marinade and then add our Havarti cheese, sealing in that extra layer of saucy deliciousness.
pouring Hawaiian Sauce all over an easy Hawaiian Burger with the top bun off

HOW DO I COOK BURGERS ON THE STOVE?

You are welcome to grill or cook your Hawaiian Burgers on the Stove.

To cook on the stove, choose a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet.  Youu want to heat over over medium high heat until it is very hot and smokes lightly, this will ensure a beautiful outer char.

Cook the burgers until golden and lightly charred on one side, about 3-5 minutes, flip, reduce heat to medium and cover.  Covering the pan ensures the burger will cook evenly all throughout and reducing the heat is necessary so it doesn’t burn.

Cook an additional 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your burgers and how well done you like them.  I suggest using an instant read thermometer to check for doneness.

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD A BURGER BE COOKED TO?

Burgers should be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees to be considered safe for consumption.  I recommend an instant read thermometer otherwise you won’t know the temperature of your burger without breaking it open.

Here is a temperature guide for YOUR perfect burger:

  • MEDIUM-RARE BURGER: 125 to 130 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes per side
  • MEDIUM BURGER: 135 to 140 degrees, 3 to 4 minutes per side
  • MEDIUM-WELL BURGER: 145 to 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes per side. **160 degrees is recommend for safe beef consumption**
  • WELL-DONE BURGER: 160 degrees and up, 5 minutes and up per side
Amazingly juicy Hawaiian Burgers BURSTING with flavor, smothered in Havarti cheese, more Hawaiian Sauce and topped with caramelized pineapple. This might be the best burger. EVER!

CAN YOU MAKE BURGER PATTIES AHEAD TIME?

Yes!  You can completely assemble the Hawaiian burger patties, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.  Store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

CAN YOU FREEZE BURGERS?

Yes, burgers freeze burgers either before they are cooked or after they are cooked.  To freezer cooked burger patties:

  • Place cooked patties in a freezer size plastic bag
  • Separate patties with parchment paper
  • Alternatively, you can place patties in individual plastic bags.
  • Squeeze out any excess air in order to prevent freezer burn.
  • Alternatively, you can wrap individual patties tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil.
  • When ready to eat, let burgers thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook within three to four days.

CAN YOU FREEZE UNCOOKED BURGER PATTIES?

Yes, but uncooked burger patties should be flash frozen first so they don’t loose their shape.

To freeze uncooked burger patties:

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Line patties on the parchment paper in rows so they aren’t touching.
  3. Place tray in the freezer and freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours.
  4. Using kitchen shears, cut the along the imaginary grid to separate the patties, this way each patty has its own parchment square.
  5. Stack patties separated by parchment paper into a freezer bag.
  6. Squeeze out as much air as possible in order to prevent freezer burn then seal and label.
  7. Freeze for up to four months.

two hands picking up the best Hawaiian Burger

Now go celebrate Grilling Season with these wonderfully easy, crazy juicy, knock-your-socks-off delicious Hawaiian Burgers with Sriracha Mayo!  And while your socks are off, dream about the Aloha sands…

You might also like these Pineapple Recipes:

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Amazingly juicy Hawaiian Burgers BURSTING with flavor, smothered in Havarti cheese, more Hawaiian Sauce and topped with caramelized pineapple. This might be the best burger. EVER!

Hawaiian Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

Amazingly juicy Hawaiian Burgers BURSTING with flavor, smothered in Havarti cheese, loaded with sweet grilled pineapple, crispy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, punchy red onions, creamy sriracha mayo and more sweet and tangy Hawaiian Sauce!  This might be the best burger.  EVER! 
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Hawaiian Burger Patties

  • 1 pound 80/20 lean ground chuck or beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Grill Single Use Marinade (reserve the rest for later)
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Hamburger Fixings

  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices pineapple preferable fresh*
  • 4 slices Havarti cheese (may sub Swiss)
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 4 lettuce leaves (I like butter)
  • bacon optional
  • avocado optional
  • olive oil (for grill)

Sriracha Mayo

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha more or less to taste

Instructions

Hamburger Patties

  • Add egg to a large bowl and gently whisk. Add all remaining Hamburger Patty Ingredients and mix with your hands just until combined, don’t overwork.
  • Form mixture into 4 equal patties roughly the size of your hamburger buns then make a deep impression in the middle of each patty with your thumb (this will help the burgers cook evenly). Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Sriracha Mayo

  • Meanwhile, whisk together the Sriracha Mayo ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate. You can also prep your Hamburger Fixings at this time.

Pineapple

  • Lightly grease grill/skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add pineapple and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until softened and grill marks appear. Remove from heat.

INDOOR GRILL DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in skillet or grease indoor grill. Once hot, add patties and cook until brown and slightly charred on one side, about 4 minutes, flip, reduce heat to medium and cover.
  • Cook an additional 2 minutes and then baste each burger with McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Marinade and top with cheese. Cover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

OUTDOOR GRILL DIRECTIONS:

  • Grease grill and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add patties and cover. Cook until brown and slightly charred on one side, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Flip burgers (but do not press down), and cook an additional 4-6 minutes then then baste each burger with McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Marinade, and top with cheese. Cover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Hamburger Buns

  • Add hamburger buns to grill, open side down and toast for about 1 minute or until golden. Remove from heat and spread with desired amount of Sriracha Mayo.

Assemble

  • Top buns with lettuce, followed by hamburger patties, pineapple, tomatoes and red onion. Drizzle each burger with desired amount of McCormick® Grill Mates® Hawaiian Woodfire Marinade. Dig in!

Video

Notes

*If you use canned pineapple, decrease cooking time.

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12 Comments

  1. Holly says

    This reminds me of the Teriyaki Burger at Islands which I love. Can’t wait to make it at home! Thanks Jen!

    • Jen says

      Those are some of my favorite burgers too! If you love those, you are going to go crazy over these!!!

  2. Natalie says

    Jen, you’ve outdone yourself, These burgers look SO good! and absolutely gorgeous!

    • Jen says

      You are too nice Natalie, thank you so much! I’m excited for you to try them!

  3. Ali says

    Thanks for another great recipe Jen! These are definitely going on my Memorial Day menu, can’t wait!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Ali, so excited you are making them for Memorial Day – I think they will be a big hit!

  4. Ali says

    I love that you use the marinade in the hamburger patties, I bet they are delicious just like your Asian Burgers – one of our favorites! Can’t wait to make this week!

    • Jen says

      So happy to hear you’ve tried and loved the Asian Burgers! I think you will especially love these Hawaiian Burgers too and the marinade in the beef makes them SO flavorful. Let me know what you think after you’ve tried them!

  5. Benjamin Mullett says

    Do they hold together pretty well. With the marinade and the binder? I plan on doing them on a griddle.

    • Jen says

      Yes, they hold together well! If you are forming them and they are not holding together as much as you like then you can add more panko.

  6. Sabrina says

    Super Delicious, we had the grilled pineapple on the side and added a fried egg on top. Yummmmm

    • Jen says

      your addition of a fried egg is perfection! I’m so happy you loved them, thanks Sabrina!