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Does a burger need a topping?

OK we have discussed best burgers but what about toppings? I had a burger with Stilton on top last week and it was really great ,but did I miss what a burger is? I went to another burger place the next day lettuce ,tomato and onions and char grilled I though what is better......Now I ask you CH what is best

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  1. A lonely burger with just ketchup just doesn't seem right. Same for just a plain cheeseburger with no adornments.

    Yes, I think at least one topping, sometimes more, are needed.

    Onions in some form are a personal "must" - crisp raw slice, warm caramelized or crunchy fried onion rings -- no matter, but there *must* be onion.
    Pickle slices make a big taste and crunch improvement.
    If we're going on from basics, then cheese is next, followed closely by bacon. The cheese must be melted on the burger, NOT the bun, and the bacon MUST be crisp, but not shatteringly so.
    Lettuce is optional, but must not be limp shreds à la McWhoozits, nor frou-frou romaine leaves; this is the natural province of iceberg lettuce.
    Purely from my own personal taste, I feel tomato slices totally unnecessary when either ketchup or other tomato-based condiment is planned. :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      re: Tomato - I feel that ketchup or other tomato-based condiments are just poor replacements for a very lightly salted and peppered slice of a big Beefsteak style tomato (no Romas or other shrimps need apply.)

      Do agree with you on the lettuce, though - big, crisp cold slices of iceberg are the best, especially if you put them between shallow bowls in the fridge so they take on the bowl shape - this makes them perfect to hold in the "wetter" ingredients like mustard and relish without them squishing out of the bun.

      Also with you on the onions - my grandmom made an onion relish that was wonderful, but slices, chopped, caramelized - love 'em all.

      Cheese, not so important to me - I like it, but don't need it. Same with bacon. Sometimes I just want to taste the burger.

      Two things I never put on a burger at home are mayo or ketchup, which seem to be on all FF burgers. I will occasionally add a dab of HP Sauce (think A-1 but thicker) if I'm eating frozen burgers. Some BBQ sauces aren't bad either, if I'm desperate.

      1. re: FrankD

        Just an FYI- Notley Que BBQ catering recently started bottling their own sauce-it's by far superior to anything I've ever had.

    2. I personally believe a burger needs cheese. It can be cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, bleu, boursin, or even on certain days american cheese food product. I just don't enjoy a burger as much if there is no cheese.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        I agree with this. Even if the meat is not seasoned or well prepared, cheese can make it better or at least manageable. My favorite toppings are caramelized onions and thai chilis/jalapenos, melted cheddar, ketchup and mustard. Yum.

        1. re: mojoeater

          I don't ever put cheese on a burger (ala cheeseburger), BUT I make a BleuBurger for my wife on the grill at least once a week.

          I mix the ground beef (85% lean) with a little Allegro marinade and mix in crumbled Bleu Cheese, form the patties and grill until the chees is melted throughout the burger (unfortunately, this means a medium rare to medium burger, not rare as we prefer)

          1. re: bagelman01

            Then it's not a topping... it's $20/lb hamburger helper :) I do bleu on top, shortly after the flip, because bleu takes twice the time to melt as havarti, swiss, etc, and I get a nice rare burger.

        2. My burgers usually have a bottom..............
          I don;t like most condiments. I hate ketchup and am allergic to mustard.

          Last night I made burgers on the grill for the family.
          I grind my own beef. I mixed in some soy based marinade and formed the patties and let them all marinate in the fridge for 4 hours. Cooked the burgers rare for myself and wife, medium for the daughters.

          I sauteed (until well done and carmelized to a dark brown color) some mushrooms and onions (chopped quite small). Then I grilled the bottom
          half of a good hard roll.
          I made a bed of the onions and mushrooms on the roll half, and the burger was placed on top.
          I ate with a knife and fork.

          1 Reply
          1. a really perfect grilled medium rare burger ~ maybe just some worchestershire

            1 Reply
            1. re: laliz

              Yes I mix worchestershire in with my ground beef. Top with carmelized onions and I am set to go. I also like the new thick worchestershire sauce to put on top. mmmmm

            2. I just don't love burgers. I say they more you put on it the better it gets!

              1 Reply