Our love for the mighty and humble burger runs deep. But what makes the best burger the best? Some would argue that the meat has to be just fatty enough to create that perfect emulsion. Others live and die by a great bun. Does any of that matter if the toppings are subpar? These are questions for the ages.
Here’s a secret: All the above factors hold equal importance when considering what separates a good burger from a great one. Why spend a fortune on home ground cuts of meat if you’re not also using aged cheese, perfect bread, and the right mix of sauce and crunchy vegetables? It’s madness. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve ground it all down and now we’re dishing up what you need to create the world’s most perfect burger.
The right bread is the first step in creating a perfect burger, because it’s literally holding the whole thing together. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once preached that “a proper hamburger bun should retain its structural integrity, playing its role as delivery vehicle for the meat patty until the last bite.” That means that the crumbly brioche bun is out, no matter how fancy it sounds. “God is against the brioche bun,” Bourdain’s announced, and if anyone would know, it’s him.
So which bun should you use? It’s argued by many that the best bread is the Amish Dinner Roll. That’s a super soft roll made with eggs and mashed potatoes to maximize the smoothness of the bread. The extra starch from the potato adds integrity to the bread’s structure, meaning that the grease and sauce aren’t going to break down the bun and create an unholy mess on your hands.
Butter those rolls and add a little garlic salt before grilling (on a flat top or flame), and you’ve got yourself a great start to your burger.