Making your own condiments, pickles, and other burger toppings may take a bit of planning, but the results are in a whole different league than anything you’ll find in a store. Start now and upgrade your Memorial Day burgers with 12 recipes for pickles, mustard, ketchups, hot sauces—even home-cured bacon.
Red onions soak up the flavors of oregano and cumin in this classic pickle relish.
Spicy, tangy, and smooth, tomatillo ketchup can do double-duty: It’s great as a dipping sauce or burger topping, but can also serve as a simmer sauce for meats.
Get the recipe for Tomatillo and Roasted Green Chile Ketchup »
This thick, tangy, fresh-tasting tomato ketchup is easy to make at home.
See the recipe for Homemade Ketchup »
Pickling is a great way to preserve ramps, the wild spring onions that overflow at the market for a few weeks each spring. Their garlicky flavor combined with a vinegar kick adds a bright punch to all sorts of dishes.
Get the recipe for Pickled Ramps »
Ketchup made with roasted beets has a surprising, slightly earthy flavor—we love it in place of tomato ketchup on turkey burgers. It’s easiest to cook it over the course of two days.
See the recipe for Beet Ketchup »
Pickled serranos make a versatile condiment that adds tartness and heat to all sorts of dishes; for the tastiest results, allow the pickled peppers to sit in the refrigerator for at least a week before you use them.
Conserva de Pimenta (Brazilian Pickled Chiles)
These Brazilian pickled chiles are usually served alongside rice and beans, roast pork, or fish, but they’re just as delicious atop burgers. For less intense heat, remove the seeds from the chiles before pickling.
See the recipe for Brazilian Pickled Chiles »
Store-bought hot sauce can’t compare to the homemade version.
Spicy Guinness Mustard
Our favorite mustard recipe uses brown mustard seeds and Guinness beer, which lends a malty character and hints of sweetness.
See the Spicy Guinness Mustard recipe »
Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce
Sodas like the Dr. Pepper in this recipe from chef Elizabeth Karmel, often sweeten barbecue sauces across the country.
See the recipe for Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce »
Libby’s Bread and Butter Pickles
Sweet pickles are a classic burger topping; our recipe includes mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric.
See the Bread and Butter Pickles recipe »
Home Cured Bacon
Home curing is easy and yields a far more flavorful bacon than the store-bought kind. What’s more, you can season the bacon any way you like; this recipe calls for a rub of fennel, caraway, rosemary, and thyme.
See the recipe for Home Cured Bacon »