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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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.

20 Next-Level Cheeseburgers to Master

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a cheeseburger—fresh off the grill, piping hot, and oozing with melted cheese and condiments. In this roundup, we’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes, including creative burgers topped with cheddar, smoked gouda, stilton, and more. More of a cheese sauce fan? We’ve got options for that, too: the nacho burger from Bobby Flay also counts salsa, sliced pickled jalapeños, and blue corn tortilla chips among its toppings. Read on for the recipe, and more cheesy burgers we love.

Hatch Chile Smash Burgers

Is this the best burger on the Internet? We think so. This spicy, crispy, cheesy, swoon-inducing smash burger will have you going back for seconds thanks to the cheese and salsa that melt into a queso-like moment and take this burger to the next level. Our Hatch Chile Salsa replaces the acidity of ketchup with just enough heat to keep things interesting.  Don’t try to use ground beef with less than 15% fat; it’s crucial to delivering a juicy patty that doesn’t dry out when smashed. 

Next-Level Turkey Burgers with Lemon Aioli

A quick brine produces super-moist burgers with chin-dripping juices. The brining also helps the burgers cook faster, so flip them often to help them cook evenly and prevent charring.

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Steak Burgers with au Poivre Special Sauce

Nothing compares to the flavor of meat the day it was ground, and grinding meat at home allows you to choose your own flavors. Located on the cow adjacent to the richly marbled rib eye, chuck steak has a similar tenderness and fat profile at a lower cost, making it a great mix-in for hamburgers. A duo of briny green peppercorns and cornichons combined with a dash of cognac dress up store-bought mayo to create a creamy sauce that’s just sharp enough to cut through the fatty heartiness of these salt-crusted burgers.

A History of the Burger: From Ancient Rome to the Drive-Thru

2,000 years of fast food history from The World is Your Burger, a new book celebrating the American icon.