What Is A Hawaiian Burger?

What Exactly Is A Hawaiian Burger?

A typical Hawaiian burger is an instant hit with many because of the balance between sweet and meaty flavors. The Hawaiian is mainly based around freshly grilled pineapple and a chutney of your choice. You can either use a tomato-based chutney, onion marmalade, or a classic, sriracha mayo.

Whether you are from the USA or UK, you will find most burger joints or takeaways featuring the popular Hawaiian burger on their menu.

You can read on and I will break down the key ingredients, whether to use fresh or tinned pineapple, assembling the burger, and other key information!

Where did the Hawaiian burger originate from?

Funnily, the name kind of gives it away. Most people, including me, think it’s down to the exotic pineapple and reminding you of the tropical island Hawaii, but – no.

It was created at the Lincoln Grill restaurant in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949 by husband and wife owners, Richard and Nancy Inouye. One day young teenagers asked for something different than a sandwich that was affordable and fast – that’s the story over. What would we have done if it wasn’t for those meddling kids?

Another interesting storyline is the die-hard American fans of Mcdonald’s that claim Ray Kroc invented the original Hawaiian burger called the ‘Hula Burger’ in 1963. It consisted pretty boringly of the bun, pineapple, and cheese. The idea was to try and entice Catholics who did not eat meat on Fridays. Thankfully, one of McDonald’s franchisees Lou Groen came up with a better alternative to the Hula Burger, the now-famous Filet-O-Fish! Thank goodness, because it’s a favorite of mine…

Key Ingredients of Hawaiian Burgers

To really create the juiciest and most tasty Hawaiian burger, these are the key ingredients you need:

  • Buns: any style that your heart desires! Usually, a soft and buttery bun is best. We will also toast the buns in butter for added flavor and texture.
  • Lettuce: I like to use gem lettuce as a single leaf for crunch and it looks pretty good!
  • Meat: use 8/20 ground mince for the juiciest burgers. Alternatively, 4/6oz patties are sufficient.
  • Cheese: my favorite cheese for Hawaiian Burgers is super sweet Havarti cheese but alternatively use cheddar, Monterrey, or plain mozzarella.
  • Pineapple:  Hawaiian burgers are pretty much all about that sweet grilled pineapple!  Make sure your pineapple is ripe, slice pretty chunky so the juices caramelize on the griddle! Dang!
  • Red onions:  add a smack of tang to balance out the super sweetness.
  • Hawaiian sauce: Hawaiian burgers are drizzled with some Hawaiian Woodfire Marinade after cooking for the super juicy and flavorful burgers!
  • Sriracha mayo:  mix mayonnaise and sriracha together, go easy on the sriracha or it’ll just be a spicy pineapple burger… that isn’t the idea here.

Fresh or Tinned Pineapple?

If you are going to the effort of making a badass Hawaiian burger, I would strongly advise using fresh pineapple, but if your local supermarket isn’t blessed with fresh pineapple then canned pineapple rings are sufficient. Make sure they are well-drained and dry.

Preheat your grill, pan, or skillet to medium/high heat, pour a tablespoon of oil onto it, and add the pineapple onto it. Pretty simple? I can’t believe I’m writing this sometimes, but, you’ll know when you know your grilled pineapple is ready!

Image credit: eatatlogans.com

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