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Ultimate California Burger


  • 8 hamburger buns( I like ballpark tailgaters!)

  • 2 lbs ground beef, (80/ 20% is our preference.)

  • 4 Anaheim or hatch green chili's. (Note, hatch chili's are hotter, but work just as well.)

  • 8 slices pepperjack cheese

  • Best Guacamole

  • 1-2 lbs thin sliced tri-tip.  

  • Optional: Marinade for tri-tip, juice of 1 lime juice, 2 TBSP Pappy's seasoning, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tsp Worchestshire, and 2 tsp garlic powder. Mix marinade and coat sliced tri-tip in it. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. (You may use pre-seasoned or pre-cooked sliced tri-tip as well. If you can find thin sliced tri-tip in stores that is best. If you have a whole tri-tip you want it sliced thin with a mandolin slicer or freeze to slice as thin as you possibly can. Tri-tip is a tender yet lean cut and ideal for eating easily on a burger. However, I know it can be a difficult cut to find outside of California, so thin sliced Sirloin may be used in a pinch. Pound it as thin as possible, and marinate longer than you would the tri tip to allow the lime juice to tenderize the meat.)

Prepare the guacamole first but immediately before the rest of the preparation. This is the best, classic California guac, and I find the slight heat is the perfect compliment to the flavor of this burger. 

Shape your patties and allow to rest to room temperature.

Next, place the whole peppers on a grill on HIGH heat. Grill the peppers and blister the skin for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally to blacken evenly. Remove and set aside.

Next, place the tri-tip on the hot grill. It is thin so it will cook quickly, under 5 minutes! Watch carefully, and cook 2-3 minutes each side, flipping once. Depending on how done you like it, I enjoy the char of well-done when eaten as a topping. This would be at an internal temperature of 145 degrees, but less time until you get the color you like. Flip it right at the 2 minute mark on each side if you like it with some pink inside.

Set aside, uncovered. Turn the grill down to cook the burgers slower and evenly. 

Meanwhile, slice open the now-cooled blackened peppers lengthwise to form a long "book" style opening. scrape the seeds out and pull any membrane that hangs attached to seeds. Cut off the stems and pat dry, cut into strips or long "squares" to place on your burger. 

Finish cooking burgers to desired doneness, and top with pepperjack cheese to melt. You may toast the buns on the grill, and brush with butter or olive oil if desired.

To plate and serve, place the sliced pepper on the bottom bun. Place the patty with the melted cheese, and spoon guacamole directly onto the cheese, using the back of the spoon to spread.

Grab a few pieces of the sliced tri-tip with tongs and top the guac-coated patty with it. Place your top bun and enjoy!

This burger is inspired by one of our favorite local eateries, until they took it off the menu! We had reccomended the burger to everyone we knew prior to it's removal. We had to recreate it at home and were delighted with the results. 

Let me know any additions or substitutions you tried!


burger 2.jpg

Your finished product may be a little messy, but as Carl's Jr. once put it "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face." This burger is a two-hander for sure, but the candied sweetness of the meat and slight heat from the guacamole, pepperjack cheese, and roasted pepper is a match made in heaven! 

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