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Horizontal closeup image of a burger on a sesame seed bun with lettuce, melted gouda cheese, grilled onions, and barbecue sauce.

Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas Barbecue Sauce

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x


Bust out the picnic tables. These coffee- and brown-sugar-rubbed cheeseburgers coated in tangy barbecue sauce are a summer day’s best friend.


  • 1 tablespoon fresh coffee grounds
  • 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices smoked gouda cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Texas Barbecue Sauce, or your favorite kind
  • 4 large lettuce leaves


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the coffee grounds, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and oregano.
  2. Preheat a grill or grill pan to high.
  3. Place the ground beef in a large bowl and season it with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine. Shape into 4 equally-sized patties about 1/3-inch thick. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Sprinkle each patty with about 1 teaspoon of the rub, pressing it in with your fingers. Repeat with the other side. Using your thumb, make an indent the center of each patty to keep the burgers from puffing up while they cook.
  5. On both sides, evenly drizzle the onion slices with the olive oil and season them with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the onion slices on the grill and cook, flipping halfway through, until charred, about 20 minutes.
  6. Place the burgers on the grill and cook to your desired doneness, about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side for medium-rare. Place a slice of gouda onto each of the burgers and allow the cheese to melt, about 30 seconds.
  7. Toast the burger buns on the grill until very lightly golden, about 30 seconds.
  8. To assemble the burgers, spread each toasted bottom bun with some Texas Barbeque Sauce and then top with a lettuce leaf, burger patty, grilled onions, one more spoonful of sauce, and the top bun. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Burgers
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Barbecue and Grilling

Keywords: summer, barbecue sauce, cheeseburger, coffee-rubbed