Hawaiian Burgers

Yet another recipe from Jennifer CarlsbadCRAVINGS. Jen put a lot of good information on the page, so I copied most of it, did some editing, and plopped it in the accordion below. I even kept the info on her Sriracha mayo, even though mayo and I don't get along at all. 😁

C-badCRAVINGS Hawaiian Burger Notes

How to Make 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!).

What Goes on a Hawaiian Burger?

  • 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
  • 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.

McCormick Hawaiian Woodfire Grill 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!

Here are a few hints, tips, and tricks 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.

How Do I Cook Burgers On The Stove?

To cook on the stove, choose a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet.  You want to heat it 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 that's 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

And here's the recipe:


Hawaiian Burger
Aloha, Hawaiian Burger!

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

Hamburger Fixings

  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices pineapple preferably 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


Hamburger Patties

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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


  1. 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.

Cooking Indoors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Cooking Outdoors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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.


  1. 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!