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I love a good cheeseburger, especially when cooked over the fire after a day spent outdoors. This Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger is a fun twist on a classic camping meal, but it’s still straightforward and quick to make while camping. Let’s dive in!
To keep this Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger quick and simple to make at camp, we start with a little prep at home.
I love to take time at home to plan out my camping meals and make components ahead of time if I can. This helps me relax more at camp and enjoy cooking around the fire without feeling like I need to do too much.
For these cheeseburgers, I make the ranch dressing and I cook the bacon at home. Technically you can do both these things at camp, but I prefer to do this at home and pack them in the cooler.
The ranch dressing will stay good in the fridge or cooler for at least a few days and possibly longer depending on the freshness of your ingredients.
One of the other reasons I love these cheeseburgers is that they don’t require much camp cooking gear, and the cleanup is so easy. I usually only have to wash a couple of plates.
Tips for Grilling Burgers Over a Campfire
Grilling over a campfire is a little different than grilling on a propane grill at home. In addition to monitoring the food, you also need to keep an eye on the fire and try to maintain your heat.
Here are some of my top tips:
- Get organized before you start cooking. Make sure you have all your ingredients and supplies prepared and that you’ve read the recipe. You don’t want to be rushing around trying to find things while you’re cooking.
- If you can, designate someone in your group to handle different parts of the meal. For example, when I’m camping with Nick, he likes to build the fire and maintain it. I can then focus on the other parts of the meal. We have a lot of fun cooking together!
- Make use of direct heat and indirect heat. Direct heat is right above the flame. Indirect heat is off to the side a bit. If something is getting too much heat, you can move it off to the side and vice versa. I like to cook my burgers over more of a direct flame, while the onions typically do well off to the side a little bit.
- Cook times are going to vary based on your fire, how big you shape the burgers, and how close or far your grill grate is to the fire. I like to pack a simple meat thermometer so I can test for doneness.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! All the fresh herbs in the ranch and the campfire grilled burger really make this one of my favorites.
Even more camping dinner ideas:
Bacon Ranch Cheeseburgers
These cheeseburgers are an easy camping dinner that’s cooked over the campfire!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large sweet onion
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- homemade ranch dressing (see below)
- 8 oz bacon (cooked)
- 4 brioche hamburger buns
- olive oil (for coating the onions)
Ranch Burger Dressing
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley*
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh or dried chives
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt (or to taste )
- fresh black pepper (to taste )
Make the ranch dressing: Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and store the dressing in an airtight container in the cooler.
Cook the bacon: Cook the bacon strips and store in an airtight container in the cooler.
Form the ground beef into 4 patties. Lightly salt the burger patties.
Slice the onion and lightly coat with olive oil and salt.
Place the burgers and onions on the grill. You can have the onions off to the side with more of an indirect heat and the burgers over the hotter part of the fire. Cook the onions on each side until they become soft (about 10 minutes depending on your heat source).
Cook the burgers for about 6-8 minutes on each side.** The exact time will depend on your fire and how you shaped the burgers. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the cheddar cheese to the burgers, and warm the cooked bacon strips on the grill grate.
Assembly: Add a dollop of ranch dressing to each side of the hamburger bun. Top with the cheeseburger, grilled onions, and bacon. Serve and enjoy!
*Measure the herbs after chopping.
**According to the USDA, burgers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.