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Burger Toppings and Fixin's: The Topic


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Perfect Burger?

I would say it is not just one, but many possible combinations and variety in toppings. I mean, some days you feel like a chili-burger, some days you don't. I will go basic of my regular old perfect fav though:

Patty: Half and half regular ground beef and ground sirloin, at least 1/2 lb, preferably 3/4 lb, cooked nice and rare over coals. Meat should have salt, and tons of cracked black pepper mixed into it.

Bun: Soft here, nothing too crusty or tough, you basically don't want to bun to get away wit the stuff in the middle, which is what is important. Sesame seeds are nice though.

Condiments: Nice thick layer of mayo (on both halves of bun), Mustard (spicey brown or yellow), acceptable other intruders: blue cheese dressing, onion relish (only if it isn't sweet), hot hoagie spread, barbecue sauce (only if the burger also has bacon, but does not always have to come if bacon comes)).

Toppings: Must haves - Lettuce (romaine, shredded iceburg will also do in a pinch), thick slices of tomato, dill pickle chips, thick slices of raw onion, bacon, sharp cheddar or provolone cheese. Optional but fun - Onion rings, avacado, chili, sauteed onions and mushrooms.

On the side: Fries tossed with spicey salt and old bay seasoning, and drenched in mayo and vinegar such that they need a fork to be eaten. Crispy onions rings also work. There has to be at least one dill pickle spear.

To Drink: Newcastle Brown, Yeungling (the poor man's Newcastle Brown), or just a big glass of ice water work well.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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My favorite would be lean ground beef (from your favorite butcher or ground yourself) seasoned with S&P, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce and worsterchestershire. Grilled to medium with melted old cheddar and two slices of bacon on top. Served on a fresh kaizer (sp?) bun with sliced kosher pickles, tomato and hickory BBQ sauce. :wub:

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so many to choose from:

lamb burger served in a whole wheat pita with greek yoghurt and chopped cucumber and thinly sliced red onion

1/4 pound buffalo burger on toasted onion roll with fresh jersey tomatoes and bibb lettuce

80/20 ground round medium on a toasted roll, crisp bacon, maytag blue cheese and some sundried tomato ketchup.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.


Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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When I'm not near the burger I love, I love the one I'm near.

That said, I like mine Pittsburgh rare: warmed over but red in the very center, nicely charred on the exterior. You've got to use high quality meat, 15% fat; chuck will do, but a mix with some sirloin, short ribs, etc. is even better, a la David Rosengarten. If not cooked over an outdoor grill, then done in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. A few grinds of black pepper doesn't hurt, nor a quick sprinkling of kosher salt immediately before putting to the fire.

Cooking technique: shape the meat very loosely, never press hard. And never press down while cooking. Mark's suggestion of the center indentation is advice worth taking.

For condiments: good old American ketchup, raw or sauteed onions if I'm in the mood. Cheese not necessary with a burger this good (though I might make an exception for some good blue cheese, in which case I'll skip the ketchup and onions.

And beer. Or hard cider.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Sauteed finely-diced shallots and fleur de sel mixed in 80/20 chuck. Bun toasted in butter. Dijon mustard. The jury is still out for me on what the best bun is. To me, a burger is all about the beef. If I had to use a McDonald's "hamburger patty" I would throw on a lot of condiments but much wiser to avoid that altogether.

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OK, I'll share mine - 20% fat ground chuck, toasted bun (standard hamburger type), dressed with mayo and mustard, and tomato, but only if said tomato is worth the trouble.

Side of properly twice fried fries, Fritos if not available. Ice cold, and I mean as cold as possible cola (Coke, Pepsi, RC, whatever)

I like wax paper wrapping. Foil will do in a pinch, but it scratches my glasses.... :rolleyes:

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I'll be the lone voice for a no-condiment burger.

Meat (beef, 2 patties, thin enough to become slightly crispy at the edges). Cheese (american, gooey, 2 slices). Bun (lightly toasted).

A good burger needs nothing else. Let the beef shine through in all its glory.

ETA: In & Out and Culver's Butterburgers are the finest examples I have found available in a chain

Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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For me...

A sirloin burger layered with truffles stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras and yet more black truffles.


Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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Really, really thin beef patties with cayenne, pepper and salt. Charred a bit.

Toasted, kinda crunchy sourdough or whole grain bun rubbed with garlic.

Super crispy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, red onion. Pickles are optional. But never sweet pickles.

Ketchup (does anyone say catsup?), Frenchs mustard, maybe mayo and, of course,

tabasco, tabasco, tabasco. Burn baby, burn!

If I gotta have cheese it should be blue cheese. Something really stinky and jaw-grabbing.

God, I haven't had a hamburger in months and months. I will soon, though!

Sides- BBQ potato chips or spicy tater tots. Nothing else really comes to mind.

Beverages- Iced tea, water, lager or maybe grape kool-aid made with less sugar than is called for.

edited to add sides and beverages.

Edited by petite tête de chou (log)

Shelley: Would you like some pie?


Twin Peaks

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Hi All

I know this is the antithisis of this post but had to relate about the worst hamburger that I have had. In the early 70's I went to England and craved a burger and spotted Whimpy*s also know as Popeyes burger eating companion. I was underwhelmed. After returning to Montreal about six months later there was a filler in the local paper. They had just passed a law in UK that in order to call it a hamburger it had to contain at least 6% meat! I had my answer!



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Any burger made of ground chuck, served on a substantial toasted bun (squishy cheap supermarket buns need not apply) eaten at The Cabin. It, in my book, should have onion (grilled or raw) and a slice of a great tomato, and a smattering of mustard, but to me, it is really about where it is eaten and with whom it is eaten. If a really great tomato isn't available, forget it. No cheese (cheese has it's place, but not on a burger). No bacon (I love nothing more than bacon, but don't confuse things). Mid-may, I will have one, and photo same, and you will all know why that is the best spot for a burger.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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On a warmed hamburger bun (toasting isn't a big deal; sesame seeds I can take or leave)..

With either scotch or fillet steak (What is this ground chuck you speak of :raz: )..

A couple of slices of camembert..

A slice of proscuitto or parma ham, depending on what's in the fridge..

a few lettuce leaves..

And tomato chutney to round it out.

[And as an interesting co-incidence, I'm having burgers with scotch steak tonight. Mmm.]

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I don't know anything about beef quality and fat content, but the meat should be semi cheap. Other than that, about a quarter-pound patty, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, toasted bun, lettuce, and mayo (and mushrooms if they're around), and some sriacha sauce. Preferably with fries made in oil that hasn't been changed in a while, and some kind of pale ale.

"yes i'm all lit up again"

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Waz sup with sesame seed buns??? Anybody got hemorrhoids? Those sesame seeds are straight from hell.

Fresh ground 1/2 chuck, 1/2 sirloin, charred and well done. Can't stand red meat hamburgers. For the true taste of a hamburger to come out, it must be well done, or at least medium well done.

Thin sliced Ma Brown dill pickles (can't get them anymore).

Homemade catsup.

OK, here goes: Happy Hollow Hamburgers:

Coarse ground mustard and big thick slice of Bermuda onion on the bottom bun.

Well done hamburger patty in the middle.

Sweet relish, Ma Brown thin sliced dill pickles, and catsup on top.

Bun is buttered on both parts, griddled.

Hamburger is seared at relatively high heat on one side, then flipped and the griddle is turned down low, while the hamburger cooks gently until done.

You salt the side of the hamburger that was griddled after you flipped it, and pepper it too.

When the other side is finally done, you s&p it too.

Happy Hollow Bar on the corner of Washington Ave and 14th street in Davenport Iowa.

However, Red the bartender is retired, and with him went the most wonderful hamburger ever made on this earth.

It only lives in memory now.


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A nice thick patty made from 85% lean burger, grilled so that it is nice and rare inside. A NON-TOASTED Kaiser roll. Hot pepper relish, several bread and butter pickle slices, and a lot of Dijon mustard.

I also like burgers topped with Swiss cheese and mushrooms.

The burger should be accompanied by a Brooklyn Brewery IPA.

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Home grown beef, home grown tomatoes, home grown onions, home grown/canned dill slices.

Season the beef with a little salt and fresh ground pepper on both sides.

Grill the beef over charcoal with mullberry chips for smoke

Top with a dollop of brown mustard, dollop of horseradish put up the previous winter.

Bread? Pretty much any kind will do, but the best is a potato-dough roll.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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The beef:

Enough fat in the patty to be greasy and juicy. 20% works nicely.

Sirloin ground from choice grade beef. I seem to prefer certifed Black Angus even though some feel it's a marketing scam.

Hand formed, loosely packed patty.

No larger than 1/3 of a pound. 5 oz or so. Half pound burgers are rarely cooked properly and usually don't hold together during eating.

Thick enough to cook a true medium rare - erring, if need be, on the rare side.

eColi free

Grilled til there is a bit of a crust and brown freckles are present. Or charcoal broiled or char-broiled.

The Bread/Bun:

The proper meat to bun ration. More meat than bun.

Nothing fancy. I've had bad luck with "brioche rolls" They always seem to crumble. I'm happiest with a basic burger bun, Metropolitan Bakery multi-grain bread, Wonder Bread or a Thomas's English muffin.

Toasted AND Buttered.

The Toppings

California Style with sliced tomato (only if vine ripened and in season - though Ugly Tomatoes are acceptable), iceburg lettuce, a thin slice of Bermuda onion, and mayonnaise. (Anyone know why iceburg lettuce is called iceburg lettuce?)

Aged cheddar and bacon

A good patty melt is also a great variation - toasted rye bread, fried onions, cheddar cheese.

Or, maybe my favorite, a slice of Bermuda onion and red relish.

On the Side

Fresh cut 1/4" (NOT SHOESTRING), twice fried french fries or real onion rings.

To Drink

A thick vanilla milk shake made from a decent quality ice cream and milk. Topped with whipped cream, and with the blender container still half full along side.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."



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The best hamburgers I've ever had in my life are the ones served in Australia and are called Hamburger with the Lot. ('The lot' is the same thing as 'the works.) Starting from the bottom:

toasted bun




sliced beets (beetroot)


egg (cooked over easy so the yolk runs)

pineapple ring

tomato slice

pickle slices


onion slice


toasted bun with same butter, ketchup, mustard spread

This is absolutely heavenly and about the richest thing I've eaten.


I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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perfect is very subjective...the first meat i ate in 4 years was a whopper at 2am after the wedding of a dear friend. that was perfection.

but the perfect one....let's see. good meat - enough fat to be juicy and flavorful, but not enough to be greasy. grilled over wood or coal. toasted buttered bun.

toppings - there must be something pickled and mayo. everything else is negotiable. in summer - it's got fresh tomato, but not too thick. cheese please. any kind is fine. avocado, chipotle mayo and paper thin raw onion. leaf lettuce.

on the side - lots of good french fries. many varieties can fit that bill, and as long as they're very hot and crisp, i'm not that picky.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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The best hamburgers I've ever had in my life are the ones served in Australia and are called Hamburger with the Lot. ('The lot' is the same thing as 'the works.) Starting from the bottom:


sliced beets (beetroot)


I never made it to Australia but I had a number of burgers in New Zealand with a slice of beet. It must be a thing Down Under. It wasn't bad at all.

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