Make Your Own Jucy Lucy

The Heavy Table’s Katie Cannon along with Jucy Lucy Restaurants’ Ed Kohler make their own Jucy Lucys, a Minnesota-original burger filled with a pocket of melted cheese. Production by Adam Voreis. Video available in HD on MN Stories, on Vimeo and YouTube.

Jucy Lucy

Heavy Table’s “Local Lucy”*

serves 6

2 lbs ground beef (80-85 percent lean)
6 slices American cheese
6 hamburger buns
steak seasoning
Optional toppings: pickle slices, fried onions

Preheat grill to 400°F.

Divide beef into six portions. Roll one portion of meat between hands, working it together to create a tightly formed ball (the beef should not be crumbly). Divide ball in half, forming one half into another ball and then flattening it into a large circle on a cutting board (should be larger than the bun size, as the beef will shrink a bit during cooking).

Fold one slice of American cheese into quarters and arrange the cheese in the center of the beef, overlapping the slices a bit to leave the beef edges exposed. Roll the other half of the beef into a ball and flatten into a circle the same size as the first, then lay it onto top of the cheese. Pinch the edges of beef together, sealing all holes. You will have a lump in the top of the patty where the cheese lies inside. Repeat with the rest of the beef to create six lucy patties into total. (Burger patties can be made in advance and then refrigerated until ready for grilling.)

Place burger patties on grill, pocket of cheese side up. Sprinkle each patty with steak seasoning. Close lid and grill for 8-9 minutes, then flip burgers. Pierce each patty once with a sharp knife to let out the steam from the melting cheese. Close lid and continue cooking 7-8 minutes longer. At this point, you can either move the patties to a low heat on the grill to keep until ready to serve or pull them off onto a clean plate and cover with foil.

To assemble: If serving with optional toppings, lay pickle slices on bottom half of bun, followed by fried onions and then one jucy lucy patty and the top of the bun.

WARNING: The cheese inside a jucy lucy is extremely hot. Let burgers rest for a couple minutes before eating.

*Heavy Table’s Local Lucy Ingredients:
Ground Beef: Hill and Vale Lean (80% lean) ground beef, purchased at Seward Co-op
Hamburger Buns: PJ Murphy’s Bakery – St. Paul, MN

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  1. Nice! I have never made a juicy lucy on my own before, but always understood the fundamentals. This helps telling me I was on the right path with the thinking. Also craving some now. FIrst nice bit of weather is going to demand it.

    Nice kitchen, and the overhead camera looks slick with the overhead camera.

  2. We make these stuffed Turkey Burgers from The Splendid Table. Basically the same thing but we use cubes of cheese and insert it into the middle of just one ball of meat and then close it up.

  3. Iron Balls McGonigle 03/18/2009 Reply

    I’ll grant you I got bigger holes to fill, but I’m really not intuitively appreciating the contributions of this Kohler dude here. I’m understating by a mite my bewilderment at his inability to provide a meaningful contribution to this otherwise informative vignette.

    • Author

      Ed shared a lot of great background on the jucy lucy and stories that will definitely be included in the longer cut of this video. With limited time, this is a “how-to” version.

      You should also check out his website – it is THE guide to jucy lucy information including where to find jucy lucy restaurants in the Twin Cities.

  4. Reminder: You can use a piece of cheese to patch any blowouts which may occur on the grill. This is a technique as venerable as Matt’s Bar itself.

  5. If you are “south of the river” try The Cove, a pub, off Hwy. 13.

  6. wasn’t hungry. now hungry.

  7. john foulocksbourg 06/18/2009 Reply

    wow im going to make’em today

  8. Tim Bartram 07/03/2009 Reply

    I live in Dallas but recently visited the twin cities and went to Matt’s to try the Jucy Lucy. I was very impressed. Now I have developed my own version. I fry up several strips of bacon nice and crisp and then crumble it up and add it to the cheese between the patties. This adds the great bacon flavor and also helps keep the cheese inside if you should happen to lay it down. I’ve also put chopped jalapenos with the cheese and bacon.

  9. Something isn’t right here, there’s no way in hell you should have a hamburger on the grill for 15+ minutes.

  10. Adam,

    Due to the cheese a Jucy Lucy needs to cook longer than your standard hamburger. They do indeed need to be on much longer than you would expect. They also should be cooked through unlike your standard burger. They won’t dry out thanks to the pocket of love on the inside.

  11. I have never had the original in Minnesota, but saw them on Triple D. Thanks for this recipe and all the tips. I added crumbled bacon with the cheese, much easier to eat than putting the bacon on top of an already thick burger and the cheese did not run out like my past attempts. Also, I sauteed sweet onions and chopped jalapeno in the bacon drippings and served on top. Really yummy way to celebrate July 4th!

  12. i saw this on the food network and thought this was the best idea ever, so i tried making one with no instructions. FAIL!!!!! Now that i found these instructions, im not gonna mess up again. thanx

  13. cabbage 05/30/2011 Reply

    I make them at Home, in NC. but we put in Bacon or mush and swiss.

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Trackbacks for this post

  1. […] Make your own jucy lucy at Heavy Table!  (I love this website) March 16, 2009, 1:25 am | Category: Asides | […]

  2. […] Cannon from The Heavy Table along with Jucy Lucy Restaurant’s Ed Kohler break down how to make a Jucy Lucy at home in this […]

  3. […] Making a Jucy Lucy If you’re curious about technique, we’ve got you covered. […]

  4. […] A wonderful resource was the super-comprehensive Twin Cities food blog, Heavy Table, which detailed step-by-step how a true Minneapolitan (or a St. Paulite) constructs a Jucy Lucy. There’s even a six-minute […]

  5. […] Katie Cannon teams up with Ed Kohler and cameraman / editor Adam Voreis to produce a stellar video documentary on the making and eating of Jucy Lucys. […]

  6. […] Gallery; and Williams Sonoma is selling a fancy Jucy Lucy press (via East-Lake – and also see our epic Jucy Lucy recipe/video). » Summit Dumps Twist-Offs and Morning Roundup » Print Version // […]

  7. […] give all of us food poisoning.  This time, thanks to the fine folks over at Heavy Table (, I succeeded in not burning the outside, cooking them on the inside, and best of all keeping all […]

  8. […] Juicy Lucys getting ready to come off of grill. A chilled Smithwicks by my side. I’m ready to watch some Fighting Irish Football Go Irish!! […]

  9. […] of the Minnesota Vikings to make it to the big game, just for chance to wrap my mouth around a Jucy Lucy: A glorious burger with cheese […]

  10. […] But these guys will show you how to make them. […]

  11. […] But these guys will show you how to make them. […]

  12. […] But these guys will show you how to make them. […]

  13. […] in the side you just cooked on the top, to keep the cheese magma from breaking through the bottom. There's a good link. And as I said, everyone's is different, and the more you make them, the […]

  14. […] mentioned, and so were foods that are high in calcium.  We’ve been trying to perfect the Juicy Lucy lately.  How about a cheeseburger of any type with a pickle on the side? I think a fruit salad is […]

  15. […] a video depicting how to make a Jucy Lucy stuffed with blue cheese and bacon (here’s our own Jucy Lucy how-to video), WACSO illustrates Element Pizza in Northeast (here’s our review), and DeRusha writes up […]

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