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Mar 10, 2012 05:48 PM

Stacking a Burger

I feel a little sheepish by asking this because, after all, it's just a burger. Then I got really curious. Although I make a variety of burgers, my go-to burger is with lettuce, tomato, onion, bread and butter pickle, on a toasted bun. I never put mayo, sometimes put a very small amount of ketchup, always put mustard.

I stack it in the following manner: 1) bottom bun, 2) mustard, 3) meat, 4) pickles, 5) onions, 6) tomatoes, 7) lettuce, 8) a little ketchup and mustard, 9) top bun.

However, I really don't know why I stack it like that, or if it is the best way given those toppings. I've Googled and there seems to be many ways to stack a burger. How do you do it? Or, how would you do it with my toppings above?

The only thing I did a little differently tonight was carmalize the onions.


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  1. my experience is that one does the reverse order of what you've listed above ie the onions, lettuce, etc go on the bottom but one would have to "google" a jpg photo to see what images show up.

    how did Jughead in the Archie comics like his burger --- that would be considered history at this time 2012

    in any order, except for cheese always on top, it tastes great.
    i struggle with making a decent burger so
    we go out for burgers -- the most basic of north american foods, and we go out, it's true.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Georgia Strait

      Interesting, however the reverse order seems wrong for many reasons. Since you don't cook, I'll understand why you won't be able to explain why that might be, or cook a decent burger. For me, a burger is a comfort meal. It's something I can make FAR better than I can get oustide. Agree, it is a basic North American food.

    2. I do bottom bun, burger, cheese if applicable, mustard, ketchup, pickle, tomato, lettuce and bun. My rationale is thus: the mustard and ketchup act like sauce for the meat and dressing for the salad. And I don't like any of the wet ingredients to touch the bun, so I have the lettuce as sort of a barrier. Oh, and bacon goes under the cheese. That would pretty much be my perfect burger.

      1 Reply
      1. re: charlesbois

        Understood and agree. I toast the bun, so that hopefully mitigates any sogginess on the bun, but I like your way a little better. Still, a juicy burger will still wet the bun a little so that is an issue. I will begin putting the mustard/ketchup on the top, prior to putting the lettuce as you suggest.

        I also like bacon on a burger, its just I never seem to have any on hand when I crave the burger, however, I never add cheese.

      2. I remember reading somewhere an article about the order of assembling a sandwich. It was from a scientific perspective, the idea of when you bite into a sandwich, there's an order in which the stuff hits the tastebuds, and that there's an ideal order for maximizing taste.

        I think it was in terms of assembling a submarine sandwich.

        If I'm remembering correct, the idea was that cheese and other fat containing substances go on the exterior, because fat carries and enhances flavor. So as you bite into the sub, after the bread, the cheese hits the tastebuds first, and that fat then starts to carry the other flavors. With the sub, first cheese, then the meats (which have fat), and then the garnishes. Supposedly, the fat from the cheese starts to enhance flavors, then the meats, and lastly the garnishes, which get the maximum flavor boost from having the fat prime the buds.

        I never thought about it in terms of the hamburger, but if one applied the same principles (assuming they are correct), then we'd want, starting from bottom, bun, cheese, burger, garnishes, condiments, and bun. If bacon is involved, then bacon probably goes immediately on top of bottom bun, then the cheese.

        It would be interesting to run the experiment of different burger fabrications made with the same ingredients.

        1. I worked in a sandwich shop and was very specifically told that meat always goes on bottom, followed by cheese and cold toppings. The reasoning was that when you take a bite, the first flavor to hit your tongue and tastebuds is the salty/savory meat. I have experimented with burger stacking and still agree: bun, burger, cheese,hot toppings, cold toppings.

          1. I like simple griddled burgers so the stacking is a function of how I cook them. The patty gets seared on both sides, then a slice of onion goes into the meat fat to fry and the patty goes on top of the onion. Then both buns go on top of the patty and I cover the pan to let them steam in the onion vapor. Then the whole thing comes ou tof the pan and is reassembled so it ends up; top bun,meat, fried onion, dill pickle, bottom bun

            1 Reply