Beef and Pork | Big Green Egg Recipes | Grilling and Outdoor Cooking

Bacon Cheddar Beer Grilled Sloppy Joes

Bacon Cheddar Beer Grilled Sloppy Joes is the BEST homemade sloppy joe recipe ever. Cook these easy bacon sloppy joes on the Big Green Egg, grill, or stove, and savor this incredible combination of flavors. This is a no fail recipe, perfect for scaling up to serve more people, and so amazing people will beg you for the recipe.

assembled recipe of grilled sloppy joe in a toasted bun with cheddar and bacon; on white plate

Why this recipe works

Cooking on any grill, especially a charcoal grill and especially a Big Green Egg kamado cooker, imparts such flavor that you create a singular flavor experience. This is exactly that kind of recipe.

Sloppy joes are such a humble thing to start with: ground beef in a ketchup- and mustard-based sauce, usually made using a mix from a can.

So, to take such a basic recipe and elevate it to such a level of mind-blowing deliciousness is no small feat.

That is where the grill, and bacon cheddar beer, come in. And toasty buttered buns. Yum.

The ingredients

The ingredient listing in the recipe card might look like a bit of a laundry list, but when we break it down this is all super easy.

  • Bacon. I call for 3 slices per person, but it is bacon so… have at it.
  • Ground beef. I used 85% to have a balance of some fat for flavor but not so much that we get greasy sloppy joes. You can go leaner if you like.
  • Veggies: green bell pepper and tomatoes. Yes, I am aware tomatoes are technically a fruit.
  • Brown sugar for just a touch of sweetness.
  • Saucy ingredients: mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Seasonings: kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Beer. Generally, I like to cook with a nice lager (such as Salt Life) or stout (such as Guinness). On the occasion I made this recipe in the photos, we used Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest.
  • Hamburger buns, and unsalted butter for the buns. I got our buns fresh in the bakery section of the grocery store.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese.
bacon cooking in cast iron skillet on grill

How to make grilled sloppy joes

There are only a couple steps for making this DELICIOUS homemade sloppy joe recipe with bacon and beer.

  • Measure all the ingredients and have everything ready to go prior to cooking. I recommend putting all the sauce ingredients (see my Notes in the recipe card below) in a single bowl to carry to the grill rather than keeping them separate.
  • Cook the bacon.
  • Pour off the grease for the bacon, but leave a little behind to flavor the beef. Be so careful doing this – that grease if freaking hot.
  • Brown the ground beef.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. I add the green bell pepper first to the meat, and cook a bit before adding the rest of the sloppy joe sauce ingredients, but if you forget that step it really is no big deal.
  • Cook the sloppy joe sauce to thicken and get all the flavors happening together.
  • Toast the buttered hamburger buns. Because buns are always better toasty.
  • Put cheese and bacon on a bun, spoon sloppy joe over, and enjoy this spectacular deliciousness.
ground beef in cast iron skillet

What to serve with sloppy joes

Since any homemade sloppy joe recipe is one centered around ground beef in a tangy-semisweet sauce, we want to serve with sides that complement that fact. Also, because my recipe has the added dimension of smoky grill flavor, we want to consider that too.

Therefore, what goes with bacon cheddar beer sloppy joes? I recommend serving these ridiculously good homemade sloppy joes with simple sides. Think, smoky green beans. Think, grilled asparagus. Think, French fries or tator tots.

I would not recommend serving with heavier sides, like macaroni and cheese. Though I love me some cheesy mac, I feel heavy carb-loaded sides are not the way to go here.

cooked ground beef with green bell pepper in pan on grill

side dish suggestions

More Big Green Egg recipes

Tips

I used the Big Green Egg 10-½-inch cast iron skillet to prepare this recipe. Any cast iron or other skillet will work as long as 1) it fits on your Egg or grill and 2) it can withstand direct heat (i.e. the handle won’t melt if it has one).

Be so careful pouring off the bacon grease so you do not burn yourself (this is experience speaking here). Also, be sure to use a heat-proof container so it does not melt (again, more experience speaking). Finally, leave some (~1 tablespoon) bacon grease in the pan as this will flavor the beef as it cooks.

It helps to preheat the cast iron skillet on the grill to get the bacon going.

Be sure to drain the tomatoes well. If you forget and add the whole can with the juice (which I have totally done myself), it will just take longer to simmer off the excess liquid and thicken the mixture. The flavor will be the same, no worries.

If both charcoal and gas grills are available, opt for the charcoal. The smoky charcoal flavor is superior to the result on a gas grill for this recipe.

assembled sloppy joe ingredients in pan on Big Green Egg grill grate

FAQs

Can this recipe be multiplied to feed more people?

Absolutely yes and I recommend doing so because these sloppy joes are so freaking tasty. This recipe is perfect for sports watching, tailgating, and entertaining. Just see the recipe card for 2X and 3X ingredient amounts and you can go from there.

What kind of ground beef should you use?

I used 85% lean-ish ground beef. Since we are cooking outside, I did not want to deal with draining the fat rendered as the meat cooks, but I also did not want to go super lean (like, 93% lean) because I wanted the flavor. So, 85% ground beef works – not so much fat that you end up with greasy meat but enough fat for flavor.

Can this homemade sloppy joes recipe be made in a slow cooker?

Yes. Simply brown the meat and add to the slow cooker with the rest of the sloppy joe sauce ingredients. Heat for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low until thickened.

Can bacon cheddar beer sloppy joes be made in advance?

Yes. Just follow my directions, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Reheat the mixture either gently on the grill or stove, in the slow cooker, oven, or microwave.

Does this recipe freeze well?

Yes. Once cool, put the sloppy joe mixture in a sealable container for up to a month.

side view of finished sloppy joe sandwich on white plave
assembled recipe of grilled sloppy joe in a toasted bun with cheddar and bacon; on white plate

Bacon Cheddar Beer Grilled Sloppy Joes

Erica
Bacon Cheddar Beer Grilled Sloppy Joes is the BEST homemade sloppy joe recipe ever. Cook these easy sloppy joes on the Big Green Egg, grill, or stovetop, and savor the incredible combination of flavors.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 819 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1 ¼ lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 large green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • ½ Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp yellow mustard
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes drained
  • ½ cup full-bodied beer such as a lager
  • 4 hamburger buns split
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

Preparation on the Big Green Egg or grill:

  • Set up the Big Green Egg or grill to cook over direct heat. Place a cast iron pan (or other grill-proof skillet) on the grill grate. Heat to 425°F.
  • While grill and pan are heating, butter the insides of the burger buns. Set aside.
  • Working in batches, cook the bacon in the pan, turning regularly, until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Carefully pour off the bacon grease to a heat-proof container leaving a little (~1 Tbsp) behind, and place pan back on the grill grate.
  • Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  • Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring often, a couple minutes to get the peppers cooking.
  • Add the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, tomatoes, and beer. Simmer, stirring regularly, 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
  • Place the buns, buttered side down, on the grill. Cook quickly just to toast the buns. Remove from the grill.
  • Serve the sloppy joes on the buns with bacon and a slice of cheese.

Preparation on the stove:

  • Heat the oven broiler.
  • Butter the insides of the burger buns and place, buttered side up, on a bake sheet.
  • Heat a skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Cook the bacon, turning regularly, until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Carefully pour off the bacon grease to a heat-proof container leaving a little (~1 Tbsp) behind, and place skillet back on the stove.
  • Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  • Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring often, a couple minutes to get the peppers cooking.
  • Add the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, tomatoes, and beer. Simmer, stirring regularly, until thickened. Remove from the heat.
  • Quickly cook the buns under the oven broiler just to toast the buns. Remove from the oven.
  • Serve the sloppy joes on the toasty buns with bacon and a slice of cheese.

Notes

To make preparation easier: measure the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, tomatoes, and beer, all into a single bowl. Put the diced bell pepper in another bowl. Then just bring the bowls to the grill to easily add to the beef.
If preparing this recipe on the stove and not a grill, I recommend adding a couple drops hickory liquid smoke, to taste. 

Nutrition

Calories: 819kcal (41%) | Carbohydrates: 48g (16%) | Protein: 50g (100%) | Fat: 47g (72%) | Saturated Fat: 22g (138%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg (55%) | Sodium: 1886mg (82%) | Potassium: 833mg (24%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 18g (20%) | Vitamin C: 23mg (28%) | Calcium: 380mg (38%) | Iron: 6mg (33%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword bacon cheddar beer, easy sloppy joes recipe, grilled sloppy joes, homemade sloppy joe recipe
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let me know!

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