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Favorite Burger Toppings?

helmut fig newton Jul 12, 2012 12:31 PM

I think it's important to designate the place the toppings go also..
My current favorite:
(From top down)

Dill pickle
Cheddar cheese (melted)
Grilled Jalapeno

I'm putting together a photo gallery post on burger toppings and would appreciate ideas.

I'd like to do a post of photos of the results, similar to this piece: http://www.chow.com/food-news/110142/...

Chris photographer of Chow

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  1. maabso Jul 12, 2012 12:34 PM

    I love cutting up cabbage nice and thin, then adding mayo, ketchup and sriracha. Mix it all up and you have a delicious burger topping :D

    1. breadwinner Jul 12, 2012 02:04 PM

      I love the following, but not all on the same burger: sliced avocado (I'm a California girl), jack cheese, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, grilled onion. I always have tomato, lettuce, dill pickles, mayo, and ketchup.

      My favorite type of bun, however, is a soft french roll that's slightly crisp from being on the griddle. Weird, but I love it!

      1. Bacardi1 Jul 12, 2012 02:25 PM

        I'm pretty standard, if not really traditional. Ketchup; chunky blue-cheese dressing; thinly-sliced Vidalia, red, or other sweet onion; spicy-hot dill pickle chips; fresh lettuce or baby arugula. Can't remember the last time I variated from that.

        1. rcallner Jul 12, 2012 04:06 PM

          The rest of my family's vegetarian, so I never make burgers at home any more. But when I did - mayonnaise and ketchup, a little thinly sliced sweet onion, and a layer of crisp potato chips was very very pleasing. All the other toppings on this post sound nice, too. Ah, life atop the food chain....

          1. Antilope Jul 12, 2012 04:33 PM

            Homemade thousand island dressing.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Antilope
              helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 10:12 AM

              Hi Antilope, got a recipe for that thousand island??
              By the way you're chorizo recipe is now one of my fav recipes!

              Chris of Chow

              1. re: helmut fig newton
                Antilope Jul 13, 2012 10:27 AM

                Thanks. I use to buy the chorizo from the store and knew it wasn't healthy. Now I can have chorizo without guilt.

                This is just a basic Thousand Island Dressing (I think it originally came from one of Todd Wilbur's Top Secret recipe books).

                Thousand Island Dressing

                1/4 cup mayonnaise
                1 Tbsp ketchup
                1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
                2 tsp Confectioners' sugar (for quicker mixing or granulated sugar)
                1 tsp Sweet Pickle Relish
                1 tsp finely minced white onion
                dash of salt and black pepper to taste

                Stir all ingrediants together. Mix well.
                It's best to store in the fridge for a few hours to
                develop flavors before using, but you can use right away.

                Makes about 1/3 cup of Thousand Island Dressing.

                I just remembered two other burgers I like. The Banzai burger (pineapple slices) and the California burger (guacamole) both from Red Robbin.

                Hickory BBQ sauce is another one I like on a burger. I use homemade. Here's that recipe:

                Homemade Hickory Barbecue Sauce

                1 cup Heinz Ketchup
                6 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
                4 tablespoons butter
                3 tablespoons Distilled White Vinegar
                1 tablespoon French's Yellow Mustard
                3 tablespoons finely minced yellow onion
                4 teaspoons Wrights or Colgin Hickory Flavor Liquid Smoke
                1/4 teaspoon Tabasco or Crystal Red Pepper Hot Sauce
                1/2 cup Brown Sugar
                1 tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
                1 teaspoon table salt

                Makes 2 cups of sauce.

                Combine all ingredients in a 2-qt sauce pan. Mix well.
                Simmer over very low heat for 15-minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

                1. re: Antilope
                  helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 10:32 AM

                  Thank you- it looks delicious -- ohh, I'll have to try that Hickory Barbecue Sauce also! I've had that guac burger from Red Robin many times (nice memories of having lunches there with parents and grandpa!).

                  1. re: Antilope
                    darrentran87 Jul 13, 2012 10:10 PM

                    your thousand island recipe is very similar to mine... i don't put sugar but i think worchershire adds a lot to the spread... have you tried it with worchestshire?

                    1. re: darrentran87
                      Antilope Jul 13, 2012 11:40 PM

                      Haven't tried it with Worcestershire sauce. Next time I make a batch I'll try it. Many traditional thousand island dressing recipes also call for hard boiled eggs. I like hard boiled eggs, but not in thousand island dressing. I don't add them.

              2. ipsedixit Jul 12, 2012 09:04 PM


                1. biondanonima Jul 13, 2012 10:03 AM

                  The most important thing for me with a burger is that the bun not get in the way. 90% of the time I don't use a bun at all, but when I do I prefer either a Martin's potato bun or buttered and toasted rye bread (like a patty melt). Anything thicker than that and all I can taste is bun, which ruins the whole experience.

                  Anyway, as for toppings, I like any of the following in various combinations:

                  Gruyere (or swiss) cheese
                  Blue cheese
                  Caramelized or grilled onions
                  Bacon chipotle jam
                  Green olive mayonnaise
                  Mustard/mayo (any type - I like dijon as well as French's)
                  Sriracha or other hot sauce
                  Roasted tomatoes (never raw ones)
                  Sauteed mushrooms
                  Roasted peppers
                  Onion straws/rings (if I'm at a restaurant - I wouldn't bother at home)
                  Fruit compote/chutney (nothing too sweet, but a fig or mango chutney is nice)

                  As you can see, I'm pretty openminded about burger variations. However, the one ingredient that will NEVER touch a burger of mine is KETCHUP. FOUL brew, that is.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: biondanonima
                    helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 02:38 PM

                    biondanonima, where is the bacon chipotle jam from? sounds good!

                    1. re: helmut fig newton
                      biondanonima Jul 13, 2012 07:20 PM

                      I make it myself, based on a recipe from Homesick Texan (with quite a few changes, including more onion, cocoa instead of chocolate, different spicing and not quite so much chipotle): http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/200...

                      I love it for burgers because I find actual bacon kind of unwieldy on a burger - it's hard to get bacon in every bite. With the bacon jam, the bacon flavor is evenly dispersed and it's not hard to bite into!

                    2. re: biondanonima
                      helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 02:43 PM

                      ok I'm making:

                      rye bread
                      caramelized onions
                      swiss cheese
                      rye bread

                      1. re: helmut fig newton
                        biondanonima Jul 13, 2012 07:22 PM

                        Sounds good! I also really like a little fruit compote with pate - cuts the richness. A drizzle of balsamic or reduced port would also be nice.

                        1. re: helmut fig newton
                          Antilope Jul 13, 2012 09:24 PM

                          I came up with this recipe when I wanted dark rye bread and didn't have rye on hand....

                          Bread Machine Mock Dark Rye Bread

                          I wanted some dark rye bread and didin't have any rye flour so I decided to make it using whole wheat flour.

                          Here is the resulting recipe. It makes a dark loaf that looks like and tastes like dark rye. Most of the flavor comes from the caraway seeds. It is really good for sandwiches and has a crumb like honey wheat bread.


                          1 1/4 cups water
                          2 Tablespoons molasses or dark corn syrup
                          1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
                          1 teaspoon salt
                          2 cups all-purpose flour
                          1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
                          2 Tablespoons yellow corn meal
                          3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
                          1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
                          1 Tablespoon caraway seed (or to taste)
                          2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 packet) bread machine yeast


                          Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.

                          Select the BASIC or WHITE BREAD cycle, 1 1/2 pounds and press START.

                          Monitor the first few minutes of kneading. If necessary to form a smooth, non-stick dough ball, add more flour or water a tablespoon at a time, as needed.

                          Makes one 1 1/2 lb loaf.

                      2. c
                        Clams047 Jul 13, 2012 10:07 AM

                        That's easy - a grilled pepper. Nothing else is needed (except the bun - hard roll preferred, but standard burger bun works fine) - when grilled properly.

                        1. s
                          staughton Jul 13, 2012 10:21 AM

                          This discussion's going to have 300 replies by sundown. Good one!

                          OK, from top down:


                          Yeah, I know... I just don't generally like a lot of "other stuff" on my burger. That doesn't mean I won't eat your bacon blue cheese jalapeno pickle avocado cheddar bbq sauce mushroom grilled onion burgers at your house, though.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: staughton
                            helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 10:42 AM

                            ha, yeah, sometimes burger toppings can be way over the top, but i will go for it every once in a while. went to Southern Pacific Brewery a while back and had their 'Southern Pacific Burger' (off menu).
                            if i remember correctly:
                            thousand island
                            fried egg
                            house made pastrami

                          2. grampart Jul 13, 2012 11:04 AM

                            I usually keep it very simple with ketchup, carmelized onions, and (sometimes) cheese (Boar's Head White American), but recently I "discovered" something new that, for the present, I can't get enough of and that is a product by Wickles called Hoagie and Sub Relish. I'm sure it's great on other things too, but lately my burgers off the grill have been adorned with this stuff as the only condiment and I've never been much of a relish fan. I highly recommend it!.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: grampart
                              thymeoz Jul 13, 2012 11:24 AM

                              Lemon mayo, fresh parsley, dill pickles, jalapeno, raw or caramelized onion, and whatever type of cheese I have around.

                              1. re: thymeoz
                                helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 12:27 PM

                                raw/fresh? jalapeno

                            2. tiffeecanoe Jul 13, 2012 01:21 PM

                              Depends on the burger. If we're talking typical delicious beef burger then definitely aged cheddar and a fried egg. No mayo, no mustard, etc - the yolk is my condiment! OR Stilton cheese and roasted garlic cloves with a nice grainy mustard. If I'm at a fast food type restaurant I always go with the mushroom and swiss.

                              I like the occasional fun burger too - hoisin burgers w/ avocado and sriracha mayo or one with jack cheese, roasted jalapenos and guacamole.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: tiffeecanoe
                                ckr Jul 13, 2012 01:37 PM

                                tiffeecanoe, you're making me hungry.....

                                1. re: ckr
                                  tiffeecanoe Jul 13, 2012 01:43 PM

                                  ha! I made myself hungry too!

                              2. h
                                HillJ Jul 13, 2012 01:39 PM

                                Premade mac and cheese cut into slabs that fit on top of the burger. Once the burger is grilled on one side place the slab on top of the burger while grilling the second. It melts and creates a really interesting alternative to cheese.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ
                                  helmut fig newton Jul 13, 2012 03:06 PM

                                  HillJ--interesting, so just the mac and cheese melted on top--any other topping?

                                  1. re: helmut fig newton
                                    HillJ Jul 13, 2012 03:26 PM

                                    Nope, I don't add anything. But my husband likes to add green peppers sometimes. I make the mac and cheese ahead of time. Chill it. Cut into slabs and as described above top them once one side of the burger is cooked. It's a gooey, rich choice but I enjoy it.

                                2. mamachef Jul 13, 2012 02:14 PM

                                  Great potato bun
                                  Thin spread ketchup
                                  Bread and butter pickles
                                  Super thinly-sliced tomatoes
                                  Pimiento cheese, melted atop:
                                  Sirloin burger, at least 5-6 ozs.
                                  And bun bottom. Really gilding requires bacon.

                                  1. tim irvine Jul 13, 2012 05:48 PM

                                    If the meat is good and not overcooked, butter. OMG.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tim irvine
                                      biondanonima Jul 13, 2012 07:33 PM

                                      I really do love butter on all types of steaks and burgers. Sometimes when I mold my burger patties, I stick a pat of butter inside (if I'm making a thick burger) so that it melts and flavors the meat from the inside out as the burger cooks. A compound herb butter works well.

                                    2. EWSflash Jul 13, 2012 07:36 PM

                                      I change favorites often. My current favorites are
                                      At home
                                      blue cheese, mostly melted
                                      burger patty

                                      At a burger restaurant that has a lot of choices (read- Zinburger, in Tucson)- burger with a fried egg and blue cheese. Add salt and a ton of pepper.

                                      1. j
                                        John Francis Jul 13, 2012 11:52 PM

                                        Barbecue sauce, if anything. Usually nothing - a hamburger is about the meat.

                                        1. 4maxwelz Jul 14, 2012 03:14 PM

                                          Latest favorite~
                                          bun, mayo, pepper jack, bacon, burger, super crunchy peanut butter, bun

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: 4maxwelz
                                            mamachef Jul 14, 2012 03:46 PM

                                            I went to a place where the hamburger topping was mayo mixed with crushed peanuts, and it was unexpected and FANTASTIC.

                                          2. Dave MP Jul 31, 2012 12:52 PM

                                            In case you haven't seen, the ideas from this thread are now part of a new gallery! http://www.chow.com/galleries/321/cho...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Dave MP
                                              tiffeecanoe Jul 31, 2012 04:47 PM

                                              Delicious gallery - glad to see my favorites part of it. Looks like tomorrow has now become burger night!

                                              Think we'll be trying that Jalapeno-Lemon burger! Whoa!

                                            2. j
                                              John Francis Jul 31, 2012 02:07 PM

                                              Bun, preferably toasted.

                                              I'll eat a burger if it comes with lettuce, tomato, and/or sliced onion, but nothing else - no condiments, no pickles, not even cheese. If the meat is good, I want to taste it; if not, then I don't want to eat it.

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