1. Use a fresh grind
Get a very coarse grind of dry-aged, grass-fed chuck. Mix it with short-rib fat for extra-juicy patties. Handle the meat as little as possible to keep it tender and season with just salt and pepper.
2. Form thin patties
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then mold your beef into three balls and set them evenly on the pan. Cover that with more parchment and flatten with another baking sheet until patties are 1/4-inch thick. Chill for an hour before cooking. How much meat you use depends on the size of your bun, but don’t exceed 3oz per patty; they need to stay thin. Cook on a flat-top griddle or cast-iron skillet to maximize caramelization and get that flavorful crust. Two to three minutes each side over medium-high heat should do it.
3. Melt the cheese
American is a classic for a reason. The milky, salty cheese has a high melt-factor and just the right amount of gooeyness to help keep burger layers together. We find Kraft Singles are best for the job. Top two of the patties with cheese during the last minute of cooking, and watch the magic go down.
4. Weave the bacon
A bacon weave -- instead of just scattered strips -- ensures your bacon layer is level and gets into every bite. No stray slices will slip out either, especially with it wedged in between two cheesy patties.