Signature Combo

Bacon Burger Dogs…

Every chef has a specialty – a signature dish he or she is proud to serve to friends and family. Over time, culinary artists experiment with ingredients, perfecting the recipe until it is their own unique gastronomical masterpiece. Julia Child was famous for her Coq Au Vin. Gordon Ramsey and Beef Wellington. Guy Fieri and his Dragon’s Breath Chili.

You don’t have to be a famous TV chef to create your own signature dish. Take, for example, my dad Ron, who had a passion for backyard grilling and the desire to create a recipe his six kids would crave. After some trial and error with the recipe, my dad perfected his pièce de résistance: The Bacon Burger Dog —a hotdog inside of a hamburger that is wrapped with crispy bacon!

No, my dad did not “invent” the Bacon Burger Dog – but Julia, Gordon and Guy didn’t invent their signature dishes, either. The grilled gut bomb gained popularity when a famous/infamous 1980s TV dad also known for his Jell-O commercials showcased the concoction on prime-time television. For the record, my dad had perfected his recipe almost two decades earlier.

But the history of this tasty treat dates back to 1950 by the San Francisco husband and wife team of Bill and Billie Parrish. The Parrishes ran a mobile hamburger trailer

called Hot Dog Bills stationed near the prestigious S.F. Olympic Club’s Lake Course where they created the now-famous BurgerDog.

Almost immediately, caddies began wandering off the course to purchase food for the members. Soon, the well-heeled private golf course invited the Parrishes to bring the hamburger trailer onto the property.

The late Herb Caen, San Francisco’s dean of three-dot journalism, dubbed the delicious hybrid delicacy the “him-burger.” Justin Timberlake called it one of the best burgers he has ever tasted. When golf Hall-of-Famer Fred Couples plays at Harding Park, the public course next to Lake Merced, he sends a gopher to the Olympic Club to grab BurgerDogs. It is now a 70-year tradition.

I’m not saying my dad was the first to add bacon, but whoever did should win a James Beard Award for lifetime achievement. The hot dog/hamburger/bacon combination is the holy trinity of meats. Especially if you are a kid.

The Bacon Burger Dog is a Father’s Day tradition in our household. It’s not just an homage to my late father, I actually enjoy the process of preparing the meal – and I love the flavors. And, like my dad, I’ll be drinking a bottle of beer while manning the barbecue. Happy Father’s Day! •

Bacon Burger Dogs

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 8 slices of bacon (two per serving)
  • 1lb.groundbeef
  • 1egg
  • 4hotdogs(noneedtogetfancy; any basic, pre-cooked hot dog will do)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bambooormetalskewersor toothpicks
  • 4softsandwichorbriocherolls

Step 1:
On medium heat using a skillet or griddle, partially cook the bacon until slightly done. It should not be crisp. Set aside on a paper- towel-covered plate.

Step 2: In a bowl, gently combine ground beef, egg and salt and pepper. Divide into four 1⁄4-pound balls.

Step 3: Flatten the individual ground beef balls and carefully wrap each one around a hot dog.

Step 4: Take two slices of partially cooked bacon and wrap them on top of the ground beef.

Step 5: Secure the bacon on the burger dog with skewers or toothpicks.

Step 6: Using indirect heat, place the bacon burger dogs on the grill (temperature should be 350-400 degrees).

Step 7: Close lid and grill for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the dogs and flip them over.

Step 8: Remove from grill and place on a sandwich or brioche roll.

About Terry Olson

Terry loves culinary arts, adult beverages and hiking in the North State wilderness. You may find him soaking up the sun at one of our area’s many state or national parks or sitting on a barstool sipping on a cold locally brewed craft beer.

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