The Perfect Cheeseburger

Given the choice between a burger with cheese and one without, we go for the cheeseburger every time. Mild-tasting and quick-melting American cheese remains the most popular choice, but many other cheeses—bold blue, buttery brie, sharp cheddar, and more—introduce interesting flavors and textures. Here are nine of the best burger companions. See our Guide to the Ultimate Burger »

Blue

Its bold, salty tartness is balanced by a creamy texture. Our choice is Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue, from Oregon.

Brie

Ripe French brie, with the bloomy rind left intact, takes on a silky texture and a rich aroma when melted atop a burger.

Cheddar

When melted over a burger, sharp aged cheeses like Cabot’s Clothbound cheddar, from Vermont, can add a pleasant hint of caramel.

Emmentaler

Swiss cheese–a k a emmentaler–stays firm around the edges after it melts over a burger. We’re fans of Edelweiss emmentaler from Wisconsin.

Fresh Goat Cheese

Goat cheese adds tangy notes to burgers. One of our favorites is a ricotta-like goats’ milk and cows’ milk blend from California called Delice de la Vallee.

Parmigiano-Reggiano

This salty, nutty-tasting cheese can be grated and baked on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for about ten minutes to produce crisp frico wafers, which can be a fabulous burger topping.

Pepper Jack

Monterey jack cheese flecked with jalape¿o peppers gives burgers a spicy edge. Maple Leaf in Monroe, Wisconsin, makes an excellent version with red and green jalapenos.

Limburger

This strong washed-rind cheese tastes great on a beefy, juicy burger. Only one company makes limburger in this country today: the Chalet Cheese Cooperative of Monroe, Wisconsin.