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Jun 29, 2009 02:33 PM

Burgers: Toppings on the Bottom or the Top?

I tried to do a search on this and came up with nothing (although, I'm sure something exists). What's the deal with putting burger toppings (onion, cheese, etc) on the BOTTOM of the burger. It drives me nuts, but it seems to happen pretty much everywhere (at least here in California). Does anyone know where this originated? Is it a California thing? Do most of you really prefer your toppings on the bottom of the burger?

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  1. Oakland,CA. here. Emphatically NOT on the bottom except for a shmear of mayo. All other toppings go on, well, top. Where were you served this upside down burger? adam

    1. It probably just speeds up the process. If the line cook can put all the stuff on the bun while the burger is cooking than slap it all together it'll get to you a few minutes sooner than if he has to carefully place your tomatoes on top of the cooked patty.

      2 Replies
      1. re: babette feasts

        Right. Isn't that the way McD's does it?

        Generally, I find that it's better to put slippery items on the bottom -- they stay in place better. Cheese has to go on top, since it's melted by putting it on top of the patty as its cooking.

        I actually don't eat burgers that often, and I prepare a full burger (patty on a bun) even less often. However, I made some earlier this week and found myself thinking about this very issue when I went to assemble them. In the end, the thin-sliced onion and pickle went on the bottom with a splash of ketchup, and another splash of ketchup went on top (cheese was inside this particular burger).

        1. re: babette feasts

          That sounds logical until you consider that you can just build the burger on the top half of the bun rather than the bottom, especially a McD puck bun.

        2. I make my soy burgers this way, because the burger weighs everything down, ensuring that the top bun doesn't fall off. Bottom bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, burger, top bun.

          1. I put mayo and lettuce on the bottom to "waterproof" the bun, but everything else goes on top.

            1 Reply
            1. re: theferlyone

              Mayo definitely on the bottom but not the lettuce. Allowing the burger juices mingle with the mayo make the most delicious and perfect sauce for hamburgers on the planet. A good, hearty bun will absorb and deliver those juices to the eater, no need to waterproof.

              Mmm... I'm making myself hungry.

            2. I actually put toppings both on the bottom and the top -- sliced onion and lettuce usually goes on the bottom, sometimes the tomato as well.

              If the tomato goes on top of the cheeseburger, it can slip off too easily. Just a matter of convenience.

              1 Reply
              1. re: linguafood

                Same here. Some on bottom, some on top. If they are all on top, the bun slides off. I like to carefully pick which condiments go on top and bottom to mix the flavours in the right way. I like my pickles with my mustard and cheese and tomatoes with the onions, etc.