Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add beef to a bowl and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix gently and form into four patties. Place patties in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to high.
Cut bacon strips in two and place on a cooling rack. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place cooling rack with bacon on top of baking sheet. The cooling rack will allow the fat drippings to pool on the aluminum foil, and not cling to the bacon. Bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crispy.
Remove beef patties from refrigerator and grill for 2 minutes per side for medium rare, 3 minutes per side for medium and 4 to 5 minutes per side for well done. Place cheese slices on top of each burger for the last few seconds of cooking, and allow to melt slightly. Place buns on an upper grill rack for about 30 seconds or until lightly toasted.
Spread barbecue sauce on the top half of each bun. Place patty on bottom half of bun and top with two half-slices of bacon. Makes four 4-ounce burgers.
Make a Leaner Burger Tips
- Use center-cut bacon because it still gives you that smoky, salty pork flavor and crispy texture when cooked (that turkey or soy bacon lacks) but it's cut close to the bone so it's less fatty than standard strips of bacon. Turkey bacon and center-cut bacon contain similar calorie and fat content—30 to 35 calories and 2.5 to 3 grams of fat per slice, so you can use either in this recipe.
- To cut the calories and carbs even more in this recipe, wrap your burger in lettuce, or just eat the burger and toppings sans bread. You could also eat it open-face style with only half of the bun.
- A one-ounce serving of cheese is about the size of a one-inch cube. This isn't a lot of cheese, but if you use a high-quality reduced fat cheese (like Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar), you'll get a taste of the gooey, melty goodness without overdoing it. Make sure to buy sharp Cheddar, as it packs more of a flavor punch than mild Cheddar.
- Four ounces of 96-percent lean ground beef contains 140 to 150 calories and 4 to 5 grams of fat. This mix of ground beef can be leaner than some ground turkey mixes, which can use a combination of dark meat and skin. Make sure you read labels closely to analyze fat and calorie content before you buy.
Add any fresh, grilled or saut?ed vegetables you'd like to this burger: onions, mushrooms, grilled or roasted bell peppers, and fresh tomatoes, spinach, lettuce and sprouts all work beautifully with this recipe, and they boost nutrition and flavor.
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