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Top 10 Things to Consider When Eating Burgers

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Consume Burgers

As a cherished staple of the American diet, the hamburger or “burger” is a classic and universal favorite. Burgers bring back childhood memories of backyard barbeques with the family, and they are a staple of fast food restaurants everywhere. From the iconic American cheeseburger to more gourmet, specialty counterparts, there are all kinds of burgers to enjoy. But no matter what type you choose, there are some key factors to consider before taking your first bite. Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 things to consider when eating burgers.

1. Preparing the Burger

When it comes to cooking up the perfect burger, there are some essential factors to consider. For starters, you’ll want to be sure to get the patty thick enough, so that you don’t end up with a dry, overcooked burger. If you’re in a pinch, you can always use store-bought or frozen patties, but making your own patties from scratch is guaranteed to yield the best results. You’ll also want to mix different kinds of proteins into the patty–such as beef, pork, or turkey–to add even more flavor and texture to your burger. If your burger patty is homemade, you may want to consider adding in some seasonings, such as freshly chopped herbs or garlic, for an added kick of flavor.

2. Choosing a Bun

These days, there’s no shortage of bun options to select from. From classic sesame seed buns to egg buns, whole wheat buns, pretzel buns, and more, the choices are seemingly endless. It really depends on your personal preference and the type of burger you’ll be making. If you’re serving a classic American cheeseburger, for instance, you’ll want to go with a classic bun to keep with tradition. But if you’re serving a specialty burger, try to pick a bun that will best complement that type of burger.

3. Toppings to Consider

Beyond the standard fixings such as lettuce and tomato, there’s a never-ending list of tasty toppings to add to your burger. Everything from grilled pineapple and mushrooms, to bacon and chili can work its way onto the top of a burger. You’ll want to think about flavor combinations before you start piling it all on. If you’re going the classic route, you really can’t go wrong with the basics–American cheese, tomato, and lettuce–but if you’re feeling a bit more creative, you can really experiment and get creative with your choices.

4. Think About Internal Temperature

No one likes an undercooked burger, and no one likes a dry, overcooked one either. This is why you’ll want to pay close attention to the internal temperature of your burger while it’s cooking. For a medium-cooked burger, the internal temperature should be at least 160°F. To check the temperature, you can use a meat thermometer or simply press the top of the patty with your thumb–a medium patty should “give” slightly when you press down on it.

5. Season the Top and Bottom

Sure, you’ll likely be adding some herbs and flavors into the patty itself, but don’t forget to season the top and bottom of the patty as well. Before adding the patty to the pan or grill, add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper to the top and bottom, and be sure to lightly and evenly press the seasoning onto the patty. This will give your patty an added layer of flavor that will really make your burger stand out.

6. Cook Your Burger the Right Way

Again: if you’re using store-bought patties, you may be eyeing your oven or the microwave to cook your burger. But to get that classic, golden-brown crisp exterior that all burgers crave, you’ll want to opt for the stovetop or the grill instead.

7. Take Your Time

Legendary restauranteur Richard Reddington once said, “Burgers are laid-back food, they shouldn’t be rushed.” And he’s entirely right. Taking your time is key when it comes to making the perfect burger. Give each side an adequate amount of time to get golden-brown and crispy, and don’t press down on the patty with a spatula while it’s cooking. Doing so will only cause the patty to steam and lose its crunch.

8. Don’t Forget the Cheese

You can’t go wrong with a classic American cheese–there’s a reason why it’s been a staple of the classic cheeseburger for so long. But you also don’t have to restrict yourself to just one kind of cheese. Swiss, cheddar, blue cheese, and even some creamier options such as Brie and goat cheese, can all work their way into a burger.

9. Type of Condiments

Every good burger needs something to bring everything together. Whether you go the way of ketchup, mayo, or mustard, or you opt for something a bit more out-of-the-box such as a chipotle mayo, the condiment of your choosing can really take your burger to the next level.

10. Pair it Right

While fries tend to be the traditional burger side, why not think of something a bit different to go with your burger? Macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, or even a fresh fruit salad can all make for a perfect pairing.