Hint: It involves paying attention to an ingredient you probably always ignore.
If you’re still struggling to perfect your burger game, then listen up. This trick might be the missing piece you’ve been looking for in your quest to become a grill master, and it’s all about an ingredient you probably overlook every time you’re making burgers: Not the lettuce and tomato, not the ketchup or the mustard, but the bun.
In a recent interview on a podcast called The Moment, the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri, reveals the piece of advice he most often gives to cooks on the show: They need to pay attention to what happens to the bun before it tops the burger.
“I’ll say, “Listen, here’s the deal. You’ve got to treat the bun. You can’t take a bun out of the package [and] put it down. You’ve done all this work. You’ve got this fresh, local beef. You’ve grown the vegetables yourself. You make this fantastic aioli,” he said.
Fieri—who has spent much of his career driving around to different casual restaurants trying burgers, so I think we can trust him—has a couple super simple suggestions that will elevate the burger experience.
“You slap it on a bun out of a plastic bag and you didn’t toast it? You didn’t butter it? You’ve got to give it treatment,” he continued.
There you have it from the expert himself: Don’t skip toasting and buttering the bun before you put it on top of your burger. A toasted, buttery bun gives the burger an extra crunch and keeps it from getting soggy or mushy. In the search for burger perfection, the bun might seem secondary—and of course, fresh, local beef and crisp vegetables are necessary ingredients for any delicious burger. But skipping this crucial last step can completely derail the texture of your burger.
Even if Guy Fieri isn’t always your go-to source for cooking advice, he’s been sharpening his burger critiquing skills since 2007 (when the first season of the show premiered). If you were ever going to listen to him, now is the time. Need more advice? This is how to perfectly toast your burger bun on the grill.