Building the Perfect Burger | SAVEUR

Building the Perfect Burger

Whether eaten in the backyard, at a linen-draped table, or behind the wheel of a car, our passion for the hamburger — perhaps the greatest of American culinary inventions — never dims. With endless variations of crunchy, gooey, and tangy-sweet toppings, numerous methods of preparation, and seemingly infinite choices for meat and buns, the perfect burger is absolutely anything you want it to be.

Biggest Burger 2

Michael Kraus

Types of Hamburger Meat

Sometimes we crave lean burgers; other times, we want the handheld equivalent of a dry-aged steak. See our guide to hamburger meat in the gallery »


You can make a very tasty burger using nothing but salt and pepper, but adding other seasonings to ground beef opens up worlds of possibilities. See our favorite seasonings in the gallery »

Making the Patty

There's an art to preparing a hamburger patty. Fortunately, it's one that can be reduced to a few straightforward guidelines. See how to make the perfect patty in the gallery »

Cooking Techniques

From the smoky kiss of a backyard grill to the satisfying char imparted by a cast-iron skillet, here are the whys and hows behind our favorite techniques. See 4 foolproof burger cooking techniques »


Given the choice between a burger with cheese and one without, we go for the cheeseburger every time. Mild-tasting American cheese remains the most popular choice, but many other cheeses introduce interesting flavors and textures. See 9 great cheese options in the gallery »


There's almost no limit to what works well on top of a burger; countless foods, from buttery avocado to crunchy coleslaw, provide a pleasing contrast in taste or texture to the meat and the bun. See 18 tasty burger toppings in the gallery »

Buns and Bread

A delicious bun is central to the burger's appeal. From sesame seed buns to Kaiser rolls, the options are innumerable. See 9 bun and bread choices in the gallery »


The consistent flavors of store-bought condiments are often so familiar that deviating from a favorite brand can feel like a betrayal. However, these homemade condiment recipes reward disloyalty with tons of flavor and complexity, from spicy north African harissa to classic aioli. See 25 homemade condiment recipes in the gallery »


Need more inspiration? These 25 burger recipes span a range of delightful textures and flavors, from feta-topped lamb patties to Aussie burgers with the works. See 25 heavenly hamburger recipes in the gallery »