5 Tips for Achieving Burger Greatness

Food & Wine: 5 Tips for Achieving Burger Greatness
Laurent Tourondel's Cheddar BLT Burgers with Tarragon Russian Dressing. © Quentin Bacon
By F&W Editors Posted May 23, 2014

Before you start slapping patties on the grill this weekend, take a second to brush up on some burger wisdom from chefs who know what they’re talking about. Here are five tips from burger pros.

Get the Right Bun: Seattle chef Josh Henderson is obsessed with buns and one day hopes to create his own perfect dive-bar bun with quality ingredients. One of his perfect bun criteria: “When you squeeze a burger bun, it shouldn’t bounce back, it should adhere to the burger,” he says.

Give Your Patty a Quick Dip: “Some chefs will say this is crazy,” says chef Laurent Tourondel. “But you can make a burger juicier by dunking the patty in cold water for about 30 seconds before grilling.” The technique prevents the fat from melting before the meat hits the grill, which can make for a tough burger.

Be Hands-Off: Burger purists like Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger handle the ground meat as little as possible. Over-working the patty can create a meatloaf-esque texture.

Baste Your Burger: Chef Tourondel also recommends brushing burgers with butter while they’re on the grill. The natural sugars caramelize, making the meat extra-delicious.

Keep It Simple: Though he is the creator of the over-the-top nacho burger, Bobby Flay likes to keep his toppings to a minimum. “When people pile seven things onto one burger, it drives me nuts,” he says.

Related: 32 Delicious Burger Recipes
13 Incredible Veggie Burgers
Best Bacon Burgers in the US

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