Burgers are one of the most crave worthy food categories. That is why we are so lucky that they are so easy to make at home and we can easily make them better than anywhere you go out to eat. I am all about the 100% grass fed chuck/brisket mix for flavor/health combo but will try anything.

I am very against the fake meat burgers. I feel that if you really want a burger and can’t have meat for whatever reason, there are actually good veggie burger options. Veggie burgers are (generally) healthier than the fake meat burgers and are not trying to be something that they are not. When going vegetarian or vegan, I always go with MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean burgers. They are so tasty and the kids love them also.

General rules:
Bring your meat closer to room temp and season before cooking!
Your meat patty will cook more evenly if you make it thinner in the center.
If you want a juicy patty, only smash it immediately after placing it on the pan, otherwise if you wait until later in the cooking process the meat will lose its moisture if you press it down and no one likes a dry burger!

Cooking Surfaces:
Grill
Cast Iron Pan
Grill Pan (my personal favorite)
George Foreman-Type grill
Sauté Pan

Preheat grill or pan, nice and hot. Sear the first side (only pressing down at first if you need/want) and watch for the burger to be cooked about half way up the side before flipping. Do not move the burger around, you want a nice crust on the burger for ultimate flavor. If you are using cheese put it on as soon as you flip it. Depending on how you like your meat cooked you could either leave it until the burger is cooked how you like it or if you want it rare-medium you can throw a lid on to make the cheese melt quickly so you don’t over cook your meat.

When it is done to your preference… let it rest like a steak! You want to keep the moisture on the inside and let it evenly redistribute before biting into it.

Let’s talk toppings…
Cold Toppings:
Lettuces
Tomatoes
Raw Onions
Jalapeños
Avocado
Pickled Veggies (think beyond “the pickle”)
Cheese- oh the possibilities! You want your cheese to compliment all the flavors so think about that before choosing.

Cooked Toppings:
Bacon
Fried Shallots
Caramelized Onions
Fried Egg
Sauteéd Mushrooms

The sauce…
Ketchup is classic and perfect. We almost always use mayo in addition. People love “burger sauce” which is a combo of the two plus relish and some seasoning if you want to try to make your own!

The bread…
I almost always go for toasted English Muffins whether they are homemade or store bought. I find the texture and flavor are the most universally complimentary to burger combinations and they are the perfect size. If I was to veer from the English Muffin I would go with a toasted sesame seed bun.

Some great combos:
Habañero cheese with lettuce and tomato on English Muffin. Simple, meaty, spicy-fresh satisfaction.
Classic bacon with American cheese.
Blue cheese and caramelized onions.
What is your favorite burger combo?

What is your ultimate, perfect burger combination?