Barbecue Burgers – Zola Style

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Plan Z Phase: This is a Z3 (ZReboot) recipe. There’s no way to use a commercial sauce for barbecued meats. They ALL have copious amounts of sugar in them. I know. I checked every bottle in the store, so I set about to come up with a rub and a sugarless barbecue sauce for Plan Z.

There are three stages to making burgers this way. The Rub. The Burger. The Sauce. If you are not a major cook don’t worry. This looks harder than it is. Stick with this and you’ll love your burgers.

Servings: 3 burger patties (1/3 pound each) — In ZReboot the portions are a bit bigger than during ZReduction.


For The Rub:

  • ½ tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of Truvia
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of celery salt
  • 1 tsp of dry mustard

For the Barbecue Sauce:


  • 1 small onion minced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced (you can use jar garlic)
  • 1 tsp of liquid smoke
  • 6 oz of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of white wine or low carb beer (or water if you are on Z2)
  • ¼ cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbl cider vinegar (or a bit more of you like your sauce to have a vinegar bite)
  • 3 Tbl of dry mustard
  • 2 pinches of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of Truvia (stevia)
  • hot sauce to taste

For the Burgers:

  • 1 pound of ground sirloin
  • olive oil spray

Instructions for The Rub:

Mix all of these together in a bowl. If you want you can make double and it will keep in your cupboard in a sealed container.

Instructions for the Barbecue Sauce:

Put the onions in a sauce pan. Heat on medium until the onions wilt. Then add the garlic. Stir to heat.  Add the other ingredients and cook on medium for 15 – 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Instructions to prepare the Burgers:

Get your charcoals going so they’re nice and hot. If you use a gas grill, you’ll want to get your grill heated up a bit before cooking up your burger patties. If you’re using a grill pan indoors, spray it with a little bit of olive oil spray and heat the pan on medium high.

Spread the rub on both sides of your patties.  You can let the rub soak into the patties or grill them right away.

Grill your patties for about six to eight minutes per side, depending on how well you like your burger cooked. You want to get a nice crust on each side to seal in the juices (the rub will help form this crust better on a charcoal or gas grill).

Brush a couple of tablespoons of the Barbecue sauce on the burgers just a few (two to three) minutes before you’re ready to pull them off of the grill.

Check the flavor and make personal adjustments as you please. Some people like spicier burgers so you can add a dash of Tabasco sauce to spice it up a bit.