Fabio's Burgers and Dogs

Fabio takes on hamburgers and hot dogs with spectacular results, and shows easy tips on how to set up your charcoal grill for awesome summer barbecues. Step up your game this grill season and turn up the heat with Fabio's awesome BBQ recipes! Featuring special guest, Dean McDermott.

Fabio's Burgers and Dogs
Culinary tips:

  • Simple foods don't have to be bland just because you're cooking on the grill. Seasoning and sauces add flavor to everything: add grilled, chopped veggies to hot dogs, or dress up burgers with a great barbecue sauce.
  • Fabio's simple charcoal grilling tips will help you cook everything to perfection.
    • Stack your coals into a pyramid before lighting them. This maximizes the heat you'll get out of them. When they are burning white, spread the coals out to create more surface area to cook.
    • Don't overuse lighter fluid. The flames may look pretty, but you want hot, radiant coals, not a fireball, which will burn your food on the outside and leave it raw on the inside.
    • Keep your grill clean. The difference between a well-seasoned grill and a dirty one is bigger than you may think. Dirty pieces of old food can stick to your fresh burgers, and that's not good.

Fabio's Burgers and Dogs


Recipes by Fabio Viviani


1 ½ lbs. 80/20 ground chuck

salt and pepper to taste

1 package of your favorite hot dogs

2 cups Balsamic BBQ sauce (see recipe below)

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 yellow onion, peeled

extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


For the burgers:

Stack charcoal in a pyramid, and light. When the coals turn white, spread them into an even layer.

Oil your grill grate, and preheat.

Meanwhile, form the ground chuck into four 6 oz. inch-thick patties.

Place the patties on the preheated grill grate and season with salt and pepper.

Cook approximately 4 minutes, then flip when the burgers release with little effort.

Season the other side of the patties, and cook another 4 minutes, or until desired temperature.

Toast the buns by placing them facedown on the outer edges of the grill.

Brush the patties with Balsamic BBQ sauce just before removing from the grill.

Serve burgers with the toasted buns, and top with your favorite accompaniments!

For the hot dogs:

Place hot dogs onto preheated grill and cook on all sides.

Brush with Balsamic BBQ sauce, if desired.

Toast the buns by placing them facedown on the outer edges of the grill.

Serve hot dogs in toasted buns and top with grilled vegetables and your favorite accompaniments.

For the vegetables:

Create a cooking tray by layering two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, and folding the edges up, about 1/2 inch.

Pinch the corners to seal the sides into place.

Cut the ends off of the peppers, and remove seeds.

Slice peppers into thin strips.

Julienne the onion, and toss with the peppers.

Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in foil tray.

Place foil tray onto preheated grill.

Cook until the peppers are soft and browned, and the onions are wilted and browned.

Serve alongside Fabio's burgers and dogs, or other grilled favorites!

Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yields: 1 1/2 quarts


3 cups balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. smoked paprika

1 cup ketchup

3 cups of any basic BBQ sauce


In a medium saucepan, reduce vinegar and brown sugar to 1 cup.

Add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.

Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Use on almost any protein!

Leftover sauce can be refrigerated, in a sealed container, for up to 4 weeks.


Like these recipes? Check out these other BBQ RECIPES from Chow Ciao!

Baby Back Ribs with Balsamic BBQ Sauce
Perfect Pasta Salad
Grilled Rack of Lamb