Place the rice, beans, onion, potato, cornmeal, BBQ sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, liquid smoke, salt and syrup into a food processor. Pulse a few times until chunky. Add the corn and pulse a few more times. Don’t overpulse or the mixture will get too soft and diplike.
Place the mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes; an hour is best. Making this the day before and letting it sit overnight is optimal. This helps all the flavors marinate and leads to a sturdier burger.
To cook, shape the mixture into patties. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, then you may want to prepare the pan by brushing it with a tad of oil to avoid sticking. Place the patties in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Pans and stovetops vary, so begin to check the patties at 10 minutes. If you try to slide your spatula under a patty and it won’t give, then it isn’t ready and needs to cook longer.
You can also bake the patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 375F (191C) for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side. Allow the patties to cool and set for 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve on buns with the toppings of your choice.
Save some rings of onion to use as an optional topping. Cook the onion after you sauté the burger ingredients. Any type of starchy potato works—I use red. Sweet potato is not recommended as it is not starchy enough. Cook the potato in the microwave or oven. I don’t recommend boiling it because it makes the potato too wet. Measure the potato by mashing it into the measuring cup.
Kids: Make patties into a smaller slider size or into nuggets. Serve sauce on the side as a dipper.