I love a good burger. Here are a few of my top tips for making better burgers:
I used to prefer freshly ground steak patties, only adding salt & pepper. But recently I’ve found whipping in an egg with Vegeta seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, and BBQ sauce makes for very tasty burgers that also hold together better on the BBQ. The patty thickness depends on your toppings. If you prefer mostly meat, make them thick. If you prefer a fried egg on your burgers like me, you’re going to want to make them a little thinner so the assembled burger has a hope of fitting into your mouth.
Most burger buns are too thick. I find by cutting bun tops & bottoms in half gives the burger room for more toppings. Always toast buns on the inside for extra flavour and to resist getting soggy.
Cheese and/or fatty pork are the foundation of burger toppings. I’m partial to very old cheddar & bacon, but any cheese & pork you like will enhance the burger. Cream cheese, swiss cheese, brie, or blue cheese all work wonders and any good prepared pork like prosciutto, chorizo, or sopressata is amazing.
Something acidic to balance the fat & protein is important. Pickles or relish are a great start here. Barrel-brined pickles are my favourite, especially the ones you need to literally fish out of a wooden barrel at your deli. They’re milder than vinegar-brined pickles but still full of acidic garlic & dill flavour. Instead of boring lettuce, I’ll make creamy cabbage & carrot slaw which adds creaminess, sweetness and acidity. Ketchup & mustard are also good acidic condiments to consider. If you like a more spice banana peppers or jalapeños are great.
I love a fried egg on my burger. Don’t be afraid to experiment with toppings. Avocado is a great cheese & pork alternative. While there are no “rules”, balanced flavours is what makes for a great burger. Matching the right amount sweet and sour textures to the burger patty’s salty, meaty umami flavour is what will make whatever toppings & condiments you choose work.