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How do you construct your burger?

In reading the flipping burger thread, I saw lots of comments about how "toppings" are arranged and sogginess of the bun. So I wanted to see how everyone arranges a burger. When I order a burger out, it usually comes with the patty resting on the bottom bun and with the toppings obviously on top of the patty. You then put your condiments on top of this. Based on my experience, this will lead to a messy, but delicious burger. However, after countless experiments, I have discovered a better way to build a burger. This is based on the fact that I like lots of "toppings. Start with toasted bottom bun, place whole lettuce leaf then add sliced tomato. Meat patty goes on top of this. If you use cheese, should be melted on patty. Sliced onion and pickles go next. Sometimes use another lettuce leaf next. Condiments are smeared on top toasted bun. I've found this construction leads to less soggy bottom bun as lettuce provides a barrier for the juice and placing tomatoes on bottom results in less slippage. Rest of the toppings on top of the burger provides an even distribution so that the whole things doesn't fall apart. Spreading condiments on the top bun prevents the squish of M, M or K that seems to always drip out. How do you build your burger?

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  1. When it comes to burgers, soggy/messy is a good thing. Nothing goes on mine except onion (grilled preferred), cheese and mayo.

    1. 20% fat, toasted oversize buns. A thin 4-6 oz. burger cooked medium. Mayo on the bottom roll, then thinly sliced onions and tomatoes. Plenty of salt and pepper. Add burger, 4 oz. or greater of cheese, then Heinz 57 on bun and leaf lettuce.

      Ketchup and mustard if lacking the 57. Burger and cheese should be hot enough to wilt the lettuce.

      1. At home - lightly toasted burger bun. A squirt of ketchup on the bottom bun, then the burger (usually cheese). If I'm having bacon, that goes next, and then the top bun. If no bacon, potato chips get layered on top of the cheese for some salty crunch, then the bun.

        No lettuce, no tomato, no pickles.

        1. I'm with the no greenery crowd. I don't want a cold salad on my hot burger. I often eat burgers without bread, in which case the toppings (usually nothing more than caramelized onions and crumbled bacon; possibly sauteed mushrooms or roasted tomatoes) are piled atop the cheese-covered burger (cheese fully melted, of course). Condiments can either be squirted/spooned on top of this (usually green olive mayo or blue cheese salad dressing, sometimes mustard or bacon jam, NEVER EVER ketchup).

          If I do use bread, it's either a potato roll (untoasted preferably, but toasted and buttered is ok) or buttered and toasted rye bread. In that case, I still build the burger the same way - I don't mind a little soggy mess on the bottom. I can always flip it if it becomes impossible to hold.

          1. I hate having my sandwich soak to pieces before I'm halfway done, so unless I can find good ciabatta rolls I'll leave out the tomato. Mustard on the bottom, then the burger with cheese on top. Thin slice of raw white onion pushed onto the cheese, then either thin slices of good dill pickle or some lettuce, preferably Boston, and mayonnaise. With a ciabatta roll it might have lettuce, but the topmost item under the mayo'd bun will be some very good tomato, in season. If I have several good tomatoes, though, I'm more likely to have a good salade de tomates as a side dish: chunked tomato, salt, pepper, good oil, splash of vinegar maybe.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Will Owen

              Will, I'm with you on everything but the mustard. I'm trying to keep myself under control (for CH civility purposes) from doing my natural reaction to the idea of mustard on a burger.