An amazing burger starts long before it hits the grill. To ensure that your patty is extra juicy, ask your butcher for freshly ground meat with a good amount of fat. Then make sure you don't pack the meat too firmly or your burgers will be tough. According to April Bloomfield—the unofficial queen of burgers and co-owner of Salvation Burger—building a great burger requires some reverence for the process: "A lot of chefs say they don't want to make burgers, but we cook burgers the way we cook steaks. We're very precise with them." Once your expertly cooked burger comes off the grill, it's time for the toppings, which can go as far as your creativity takes you. F&W's guide to burgers helps you every step of the way, from mixing the right ratio of meats to piling on the toppings.

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Lamb Burgers with Feta-Yogurt Spread
These showstopping lamb burgers have salty and briny capers studded throughout them, and get some earthy notes from cumin. The accompanying feta-yogurt spread is the perfect match: It's creamy and salty, but also has freshness from mint and a hint of warmth from ground nutmeg. Spreading it on both the top and bottom brioche buns envelopes the burgers from both sides and helps hold the burger, red onion, arugula, and cucumber together. If you'd like, serve the burgers with sweet potato fries to round out the meal.
Salmon Burgers with Herb Aïoli
Rating: Unrated 5
These salmon burgers make a great, quick summer meal, but can also be enjoyed all year-round. The patties get herbal, bright, and briny flavors thanks to several mix-ins: fresh dill, lemon zest, capers, and Dijon mustard. The accompanying aïoli mirrors the burger's flavors with the inclusion of lemon juice and the remaining mustard and dill, plus parsley and basil for an extra herby boost. When making the patties, it's important to cut the salmon into small cubes, mince the shallot, and chop the capers before adding them to the food processor. This will help the patty mixture come together more quickly and help avoid overmixing, which would result in a gummy texture. The finished burgers are served on toasted brioche buns with the aïoli and some fresh arugula to balance the richness of the salmon and the buns.
Grilled Halloumi Burgers with Citrus Tapenade
Rating: Unrated 1
These vegetarian burgers feature halloumi, a tangy, salty cheese from Cyprus that holds its shape when heated, making it ideal for the grill. When grilled or sautéed, halloumi develops a charred crust that yields to soft cheese inside. Here, we cut the halloumi across the equator for the centerpiece of the burger, and season it with cumin, salt, and pepper. It's then topped with a citrusy olive tapenade with just enough crushed red pepper flakes to lend it a touch of heat. A lemony aïoli complements the citrus in the tapenade and natural tang of the halloumi. The roasted red peppers round out this burger; be sure to blot them dry before using so they don't slip out of the bun when you take a bite. Try to seek out brioche buns for these burgers; their slightly sweet flavor works perfectly here.
Tocino Burgers
Rating: Unrated 1
It's no secret why this burger is the signature dish for Paolo Dungca and Tom Cunanan at Pogiboy in Washington, D.C. Who doesn't want a purple burger bun?! Enjoy the balance of richness from the pork and the acidic crunch from the achara, plus a creamy secret sauce that brings it all home. Each layer of this show-stopping burger is delicious on its own, but combined, they come together as one to create a craveable bite with just enough sweet to balance the savory.
Crispy Comté Frico Cheeseburgers
Rating: Unrated 1
Salty, buttery, and slightly sharp, Comté cheese crisps similarly to Parmesan, adding an irresistibly crunchy frico layer to these cheeseburgers. For best results, don't flip the buns straight out of the oven; letting them cool keeps the cheese crispy at the edges and soft in the center. Sommelier and Wine Director Carlos Solorzano-Smith of Matsuhisa in Aspen, Colorado, suggests pairing this burger with a bottle of Bordeaux for a next-level experience: "The rich flavor of cheeseburgers goes great with a medium to full-bodied Bordeaux, thanks to their tannins and aromas of black fruits," he says.
This Is the Secret to the Best Homemade Veggie Burgers
Seven vegetables and grains fill our ultimate veggie burger with texture, color, and flavor.

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Ultimate Veggie Burgers
Rating: Unrated 3
These veggie burgers hit every satisfying, savory note with a hearty mix of pearl barley, chickpeas, mushrooms, and crispy panko. For the sturdiest patties, evenly distribute the panko by stirring the patty mixture until very well-combined.
Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry) Veggie Burgers
Your quest for the perfect veggie burger is over. Agrawal’s version, adapted from a recipe in Lukas Volger’s cookbook, Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, is absolutely delicious. Mashed rajma (curried kidney beans) or canned beans get an umami burst with the addition of grated Parmesan and a melty slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Eggs and toasted breadcrumbs bind the mixture together, ensuring it will hold together in the pan. And don’t skip the piles of toppings. They make this already wonderful burger even more special.
Japanese-Style Chili Burgers with Yuzu Mayo

This burger is a two-hander, topped with Japanese-spiced chili, tomatoes, and shredded iceberg lettuce. Be careful not to overmix the beef before shaping it into patties; a light hand yields tender burgers.