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What makes a burger, 'The Perfect Burger'?

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

If you've been loyal through all my social media experiments then you know it all started with a burger Instagram page I named "Burger and Buns" during college. It then transformed to rating burgers on my personal Instagram account @Theizzyarcher. Surprisingly, each story post would get 4-9 responses which was decent for my 800 followers. I then created @Izzieats where I discussed all the delicious food I consumed with friends and family. This was difficult for me as a lot of times I was wayyyy too hungry to snap a picture and then remember to post it that night. SO now we are here, Izzieats is now my blog and I discuss more than just ~burgers~. However, I wanted to bring it home by describing what MY perfect burger is made up of. After all, I have tasted & rated them for the past 4 years. I feel qualified.

Pictured: Restoration Hardware Restaurant in Dallas, TX / Rating 8.0/10

#4: The Bun

Bread is a crucial element of a good sandwich, so why should it be any different from a burger? The bun is the first item you experience - from presentation to taste. You will often see that the bun is part of the burger description. Descriptions like toasted, buttered, pretzel, golden, sesame, and soft, start to prepare the taste buds.

So what do I look for? One word: Brioche

There is no argument that can sway me to believe that a Brioche bun can be inferior. It has the perfect texture, buttery flavor, soft, and can be toasted or warmed for added delight. Therefore, is a Brioche bun is apart of the burger... an automatic minimum of 4.0/10.

#3: The Meat

When you think of a burger you probably think of hamburger meat, correct? It literally has its own name. Yes, you could argue "ground beef" is the technical name, however, hamburger meat is often used and described when you ask what time of meat belongs on a burger. Weirdly enough I don't believe the meat is the biggest factor when it comes to a perfect burger. I do want the meat seasoned, and flavorful. Maybe even a little juicy. Yet, I have had impossible meat that was hardly differentiated from cow beef. I've had salmon burgers better than some beef burgers. The meat needs to be there, there needs to be plenty of it, and it needs to be savory. The rest of the requirements, well they aren't requirements.

#2: The Toppings

Toppings... Toppings... Toppings... This section is so arguable and debatable that I wasn't even sure if I should include it. But then I had a breakthrough discovery in all my hamburger tastings that must be talked about. The discovery: Add cheese to your dang burger. Growing up, we never, NEVER included cheese on our homemade burgers. Not sure if this was to eliminate extra calories, or to eliminate an extra step. But all it really does is eliminate the extra greatness. So this is the only thing I KNOW cannot be arguable when it comes to the toppings of a hamburger.. wait, no, sorry... CHEESEburger.

The rest is well, who cares: Has anyone really complained about lettuce not being on their burgers? Pickles? Onions? Tomatoes? In fact, a lot of people REMOVE one of these toppings. Do you need to have bacon on your burger? Great, add it! Do I think any of these will give the burger an additional rating? No. If the burger is missing one of these toppings it will be inferior to others? Eh.

As long as there are toppings, some type of toppings, the burger should be in good shape.

#1: The Sauce

I really did save the best for last. And it was for a reason. The most under-hyped aspect of a great burger is the sauce. This is the game-changing element. We already know you need a brioche bun, a good amount of savory meat of choice, cheese, and some type of toppings (your classic L,T,P,O is good). What many little people fail to realize is, the sauce is the determination step. What does every major fast food burger differ on? The sauce. McDonald's has big mac sauce, Burger King has mayonnaise, and Whataburger has mustard. Other than that, they are all the same burgers. So what sauce do I think is best? Mayonnaise or some type of creamy sauce. Whether this is mayo, aioli, or ranch. The creamy sauce is the key. It complements the savoriness of the meat by adding a neutral sauce that adds moisture to the bite. Personally, mustard is a huge contrast, and that is why Whataburger is one of my lowest-ranked burgers. Rather than complementing the tastes it overpowers and distracts from the rest of the ingredients. Being a science nerd, I'm sure this has something to do with acids & bases that a chef could comment on. This I'll leave to them.

If you have a burger you are dying for me to try... leave it in the comments below.

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