Smoked Pimento Cheeseburger

Menu PartSandwich/Wrap
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Steven Lingenfelter
Illegal Food

Southern ingredients and preparations are trending on menus, and pimento cheese is one of the favorites. At Illegal Food in Atlanta, chef Lingenfelter menus a housemade smoky version that tops one of his burgers. It's a blend of cream cheese, hot sauce, smoked paprika, fire-roasted red peppers and seasonings. Pickled ramps add color and flavor contrast. The burger itself is ground beef brisket.


12 egg yolks
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 cups sunflower oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Smoked pimento cheese
3 lb. cream cheese
¼ cup hot sauce
1½ tbsp. salt
2½ tsp. jalapeno powder
2½ tsp. ground white pepper
2½ tsp. smoked paprika
2½ tsp. granulated garlic
2 cups fire-roasted and smoked red peppers, chopped
1 cup pickled ramps, chopped
6 qt. shredded smoked cheddar cheese

Ground beef brisket
Caramelized red onions
Toasted buns
Sliced bread-and-butter pickles


1. Prepare mayonnaise: In stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine egg yolks and salt to taste. With mixer at high speed, whisk in lemon juice. Drizzle in oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until thick and emulsified. Whisk in vinegar; season to taste. Set aside.
2. Prepare smoked pimento cheese: In clean mixing bowl, with paddle attachment for stand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 5 cups mayonnaise; blend until well mixed. Add hot sauce, salt, jalapeno powder, paprika and garlic; blend until well mixed. Fold in peppers, pickled ramps and smoked cheddar.
3. Per serving, form ground brisket into 6- to 8-ounce patties. Cook burger to desired doneness. Top with caramelized onions and 3 tablespoons smoked pimento cheese. Place under broiler and broil until cheese melts.
4. Place burger on bun; dress with arugula and pickles.

Photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board

Latest Recipes

View More