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How to make the Ultimate Dr. Pepper BBQ Burger

Updated on May 18, 2016

My best friend and I love to enter cooking contests - from the local state fair to the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger(c) contest. This recipe is one we perfected over an entire summer, using my personal favorite beverage: Dr. Pepper, a local soda legend!

After much research and lots of taste tests and informal focus groups with friends and family, the burger recipe below is what we actually entered in 2008. It didn't win, or even come close, but we still make this burger - and even some of the components, like the slaw - from time to time.

Hope you enjoy!

The Ultimate Dr. Pepper BBQ Burger with Sweet Slaw


10-2-4 Sauce

¼ cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups Ketchup

1 ½ cups Dr Pepper

½ cup vinegar

¼ cup molasses

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ tablespoon chili pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

BBQ Patties

1 pound ground chuck

1 tablespoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)

1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Slaw (for 6 burgers)

3 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups shredded carrot

1/2 cup chopped bread and butter pickles

2 tablespoons sweet relish

2 tablespoons minced pickled jalepenos

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons mayo

1 teaspoon course ground mustard

6 buttermilk hamburger buns

6 ounces of smoked mozzarella cheese

24 bread and butter pickle slices


Prepare a medium-hot fire on charcoal grill with cover, or preheat gas grill to med-high.

To make 10-2-4 Sauce, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in med-large saucepan, then add ketchup, Dr. Pepper, vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, chili pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Bring to boil, stirring frequently with whisk wire. Boil for 5 minutes then remove from grill and set aside.

To make the patties, combine ground chuck, coarse salt, ancho chili powder, sugar, black epper and cumin. Handling meat as little as possible, mix well. Divide mixture into six equal portions and form the portions into patties.

While the sauce is still warm, spoon one tablespoon of sauce over each patty, flip patties and spoon one tablespoon of sauce onto other side, so that both sides are coated in sauce.

To make the slaw, combine cabbage, carrot, bred and butter pickles, relish, jalapenos, cider vinegar, mayo and mustard in a bowl. Set aside.

Making sure grill is still med-hot, add patties to grill rack and cover with grill lid. Cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4-5 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the rack and toast lightly. Remove buns and set aside. During last minute of cooking, place one ounce of cheese on each patty.

To assemble the burgers, on each bun bottom, place a patty, a spoon of 10-2-4 sauce, 4 bread and butter pickle slices, and one-sixth of the slaw mixture. Add the bun tops and serve.

Tips from the Burger Master: Hubert Keller


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    • Brigitte Thompson profile image

      Brigitte Thompson 7 years ago from Austin, TX

      I love Dr. Pepper, and am going to try this recipe out. I am from Texas and was traveling to Buffalo NY. on a business trip. I stopped at a Denny's , and wanted to order a Dr. Pepper, waitress did not know what I was talking about. I soon found out that I could not find a place that carried Dr. Pepper. Talk about with drawls.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 8 years ago from California

      Wow amazing! I'm totally in the mood for BBQ right now!

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 8 years ago from SE US

      I love using soda in meat recipes! Never thought about the molasses though. Sounds like a terrific burger!

    • Meghan Fitz profile image

      Meghan Fitz 8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks lisa and Michael! Let me know what you think when you try it!!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Definitely will try, thanks for the recipe...

    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      My mouth is watering just reading this! I think this is one recipe that I will have to try.