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Are condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, aioli, etc.) necessary for burgers?

Y'know, burgers ... the good kind. Freshly ground, good quality cuts of beef. Not fast-food burgers in other words.

No ... is what I say.

I don't like condiments when I have a really juicy burger that's just freshly ground, hand formed, loosely packed, and cooked to just this side of medium rare.

I don't need fancy housemade ketchups (even though I love me some ketchup on just about everything else), nor do I need salsas, mustards, mayo, etc.

They just get in the way.

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  1. Consider me silly, but will dip an expensive burger in ketchup sometimes, other bites plain.

    1. Even the best burger, for me, needs a bit of mayo on the buns and a squeeze of ketchup. Though the ketchup isn't necessary if there is a tomato slice.

      Of course, I also never eat a burger without cheese. But that's perhaps a different thread.

      1 Reply
      1. re: linguafood

        That is funny, the good ones l do skip the cheese.

      2. Try putting it on a potato bun.

        5 Replies
        1. re: arktos

          What does the bun have anything to do with it?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I had a friend in high school whose mother made us the most delicious cheeseburgers! Not gourmet, but here's what she did:

            Fried burgers in a skillet, then placed a slice of cheese, the top half of a buttered onion roll from the grocery store, then the bottom half on top of that, face up. She put the lid on and the cheese melted, the bun steamed. I'm telling you, those burgers were delicious. No ketchup or anything else added. The bun was a big part of it, I always thought. Haven't had one like that in many years. :)

            1. re: ipsedixit

              The bun is easily 25-30% of the taste of the burger. Try buurgers with a regular bun, onion roll or potato roll, maybe even a seasme seed bun. Each changes the taste of the burger greatly.

              1. re: Just Plain Craig

                I don't dispute that the bun changes the flavor and texture of the burger, but what I do dispute is that the bun either changes or necessitates the addition of condiments.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Agreed, a nice juicy burger with a tasty roll can be enough.

          2. A little mayo...a little mustard..Yes!! ~~ Ketchup? ....Never!

            2 Replies
            1. I guess it depends. If the burger is appropriately seasoned, made from good beef, and is properly cooked, maybe not. If there are issues with the patty, condiments make it go down easier.

              In Japan the hanbaagu comes with demi-glace sauce. Slightly different condiment I guess.