German Pork Burger

GermanBurgerGround Pork

Juicy burger made with ground pork, seasoned with caraway seeds, juniper berries, pepper and sour cream, topped with mustard and sauerkraut.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My father turned to me the other day and remarked, “I like anything made with pork.” No duh dad. With a name like Bauer, what do you expect? The man practically has sauerkraut juice running through his veins.

Here is a burger that does my daddy proud.

We call it German not because they make them this way in Germany (who knows?) but because of the ingredients often found in many German dishes—caraway seeds, ground juniper berries, black pepper, sour cream, and of course, pork.

Oh yes, and you top it with grainy mustard and sauerkraut. Any more German and this burger would be wearing lederhosen.

German Pork Burger

This is one hellava burger, the kind that makes you close your eyes and smile while you eat it. The kind that makes you want to steal a bite from your dad’s plate when he isn’t looking and you ate yours too fast and finished before he did, but you don’t because you know better than to get between your dad and the food he loves.


German Pork Burger Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Juniper berries are available whole in most good supermarkets, you'll need to crush them or grind them for this recipe. If you can't find juniper berries either omit them or substitute with 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds instead. It will be a different flavor, but still good. If you don't eat pork, you can use ground beef instead.


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground juniper berries (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sauerkraut and whole grain mustard to top burgers
  • Burger buns


1 Make the burger mixture: Using your hands, mix in the salt, ground juniper berries, caraway seeds, and pepper in with the ground pork. Mix in the chopped parsley and sour cream.

2 Form into patties, anywhere from 1/4 pound to 1/2 pound each.

3 Cook the burgers: Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the burger patties to the pan, and cook slowly, 4 to 5 minutes each side, until the interior of the burgers reaches a temperature of 155°F.

Alternatively, cook on a grill on medium heat, 4-5 minutes each side, until the burgers are cooked through.

4 Toast the buns: Remove the burgers from the heat and toast the buns on the pan or grill.

5 Assemble the burgers: Place each burger on a toasted bun half and toss with a dollop of whole grain mustard and a sprinkling of sauerkraut.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

28 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Wacko Wabit

    I love Sauerkraut.
    I have tried all the different Brands.

    The absolute Best Tasting is “Boars Head” in the Bag in the refrigerated section of the Deli.

  2. Thorsten

    I`ll try out this burger as a German-
    We do an Americian burger cooking evening and this is number 3 and the list.
    You wont find this in Germany, but like you said: “We call it German not because they make them this way in Germany (who knows?) but because of the ingredients often found in many German dishes”

  3. Nick

    A few comments above, I mentioned the juniper berries making the burgers taste like gin. Do you think it’s b/c I used whole juniper berries that I chopped up finely vs. the ground juniper that you state in your recipe? I thought that substitution would be fine, but perhaps whole ones are a lot stronger in taste than dried ground versions…..

    We used whole juniper berries that we ground up in a mortar and pestle. If it is tasting ginny to you, I would just use fewer. ~Elise

  4. johanna

    Dear all,

    isn’t the internet a wonderful thing? And aren’t this blog, Elise and the readers just precious?
    America and Germany are FAR apart, and though we’ve never met a love for food and cooking and Elise’s recipes unites us. How cool is that?!

    very kind foodie regards,
    johanna German living in Brussels

  5. Anonymous

    I made these for dinner last week, and they were amazing – sooo different. My German husband loved them as well. I’ve never had juniper berries, and was a little worried, but they were great. Will definitely make these again. Thanks, Elise!!

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