Where's the beef?


Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers

Whenever I hear or see the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” slogan, I’m reminded of Wendy’s old campaign, “Where’s the beef?” Those commercials were really funny (anyone remembers those commercials?). Anyway, I hosted a small party recently. We were actually planning to go out for our daughter’s seventh birthday, but then the inlaws showed up unexpectedly and they didn’t want to go out. So I quickly found a pineapple burger recipe on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com (recipes, tips and information about beef) and fired up the grill. Even though everything was last minute, we all had a good time.

my kids enjoying their Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers

Everyone loved the Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers (recipe posted below). The burgers were delicious and we loved the pineapple flavor of the burgers. The recipe serves four, but there were nine people at the BBQ party. So I tripled the amount indicated in the Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers recipe below. We also love cheese, so I served some of the burgers with melted cheddar cheese and some with melted Swiss cheese (the cheddar tasted better than the Swiss with this recipe). In addition, we used full size buns for some of the burgers because my daughter made some of the patties too big for the Hawaiian dinner rolls.

Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers Recipe

Total recipe time: 35 to 40 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Burger Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 canned pineapple slices, drained
  • 12 Hawaiian sweet or small whole wheat dinner rolls, split
  • Lettuce (we also used tomatoes and pickles)

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple preserves
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar


  • Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties. Set aside.
  • Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  • Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 9 to 11 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally.
  • Meanwhile brush pineapple slices with sauce and place on grid around patties. Grill pineapple 4 minutes, turning once and brushing with additional sauce. Remove pineapple, keep warm. Brush burgers with remaining sauce after turning.
  • Cut each pineapple slice into thirds. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce, top with burger, then with pineapple piece. Close sandwiches.

Here’s something else that might be of interest. It’s a beef infographic (pdf) that describes beef cooking methods.

grilling beef info

beef cooking time

*Remove from grill when internal temperature(s) reaches 140°F for medium rare; 155°F for medium doneness. Let stand 5 minutes.

All cook times are based on beef removed directly from refrigerator.

For charcoal grilling, when coals are medium, ash-covered (approximately 30 minutes), spread in single layer and check cooking temperature. Position cooking grid. To check temperature, cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; approximately 4 seconds for medium heat.

For gas grilling, gas grill brands vary greatly and grilling times may need to be adjusted. Consult owner’s manual for specific grilling information.

Note: Chart guidelines were developed using Weber Genesis gas grills. Trim visible fat before grilling to help prevent flare-ups. If food is grilled over too high heat, the exterior can become overcooked or charred before the interior reaches the desired doneness. Charring is not recommended.

[Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a In Home Party campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.]


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