Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Burgers, Beach, Bikinis. Those three words represent summer for me. But with the bounty of barbeques that I am bound to attend, it’s all too easy to get bored of burgers. Even without a bounty of barbeques, burgers can be boring. I always try to get the most out of each burger. If I’m going to eat a burger I want it to count. A plain burger on a white roll is boring and insufficient. My burger has to be decked out. It’s gotta be more than just a hamburger. With the right add-ons it can.

Beef: Grinding your own is preferable, but most people will never do that, so buy your meat from Whole Foods. I trust their meat over that of Genuardi’s or Acme any day. Go for an 80-20 meat to fat ratio for nice, moist burgers.

Cheese: I love bleu cheese on burgers, but it’s not even worth an attempt at trying to convince people of bleu cheese’s greatness. It just wouldn’t work. As an alternative I like gruyere on a burger. It’s a good melting cheese and has a clear flavor—but one that doesn’t overwhelm. Sharp cheddar is another good one.

Bun: I can’t stand just plain white bread rolls. They’re boring and unsubstantial and I don’t like to think about just eating plain white bread. I much prefer potato rolls which have a nice flavor, and an even better cushy texture. As for crusty rolls, I like them on sandwiches but on burgers, pillowy is preferable.

Other Condiments: I love caramelized onions on a burger. They add a complex sweetness that works well with the meat and is also a nice counterpart to the cheese.

Sauce: I’m not a huge fan of ketchup on my burgers. I prefer this really simple tangy sauce that is just a combination of mayonnaise, mustard, honey and Worcestershire. It’s not gross. It’s actually quite good. Seriously, try it.

Extras: Bacon. Maybe it’s excessive, but last time I checked, bacon could do no wrong.

So if you’re going to eat a burger make it count. Break away from boring burgers and go for something more substantial


Christine Wu said...

I love bleu cheese on burger too! But you're right, it's hard to convince people. :)

The Empress said...

When my flatmate and I make burgers, we always toast a generous amount of cumin seeds, and shallow-fry a small red onion, VERY finely chopped, and throw them into the mince for the burgers too. It just adds a certain something to the taste. Especially when the burger has guacamole served with it.

And bleu cheese is awesome, it's routinely one of the offers on choice for cheeseburgers in the UK.

Anita K. said...

Bleu Cheese on a burger is the best, hands down (although Gruyere sounds good, and I like sharp cheddar too). I don't try to convince people, I just give a taste!

Kit said...

Bleu cheese is excellent on burgers, though I never can eat very much due to the strong taste.

Do you have any tips for preparing your own burgers? I love homemade burgers but have never made them myself and am not sure how to go about it.

Jena said...

For a while, my dad had this vidalia relish he used to incorporate into the meat (purchased from the local butcher)--those were the best burgers, moist, tasty... I don't know if he still does, but I'd like to make some relish for our next burger-making adventure.

ChuckEats said...

it might only be boring b/c of the quality of meat. if in NYC anytime, go to Minetta Tavern (it's a restaurant so you should be able to get in ;-) they use dry-aged rib-eye and there's a marked difference. if every in SF, try 4505 - same thing - more fast-food-ish but ever so tasty.