10 Best Ways to Top a Burger.

10 June 2013

It’s summer, it’s time to bust out all of the recipes for the grill.  Dave mans the spatula and has the burger timing down pat.  For me, everything comes down to the toppings and I definitely have my favorites.

For each burger recipe, you will start with a basic grilled beef hamburger.  We usually season it with a little black pepper, onion powder, and some seasoned salt.  From there, we’ll show you the way to top it and elevate it to backyard burger perfection.  These are easy recipes.  You can even make sliders and try more than one variety at a time.  {That is what we did while testing all of these with friends!} 

Some notes:  All of these burgers were tested and loved, we had others that didn’t make the cut.  Try them all, even the ones you swear might be weird, they are surprisingly awesome.  Aioli is a fancy word for flavored mayo, I use prepped mayo and just add things to it.  You can make it yourself if you are fancy, but I like things easy, so I don’t.  Anything noted with an asterix is something we feel would work well with a turkey burger or a veggie burger also.  For the communists non-beef eaters in your family.

Breakfast Burger Thai Burger

1.Breakfast Burger.

Ingredients:  Fried Egg, American Cheese, Bacon. {Tabasco optional.}

The breakfast burger was one we were both dubious to try, but it was delicious. 

Fry the bacon, set aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil. 

Grill your burger adding American cheese.

Fry an egg in a pan and assemble the burger, topping with a little hot sauce if you’d like.  Right before eating, poke the egg yolk so it breaks. 

2. Thai Burger. *  {Michelle’s Favorite!}

Ingredients:  Chopped Peanuts, Lime Aioli, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce + Slaw.  Sriracha {optional}

This was my favorite burger, in Dave’s top 3, and a favorite of our friend as well.  It is incredible.

Start with the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.  You can buy this or make it, it’s super easy to make.  I used 1 T. red pepper flakes and 1 t of Sriracha instead of the whole chilies in the recipe that I linked for you, just for ease. 

Then, make the lime aioli.  Take 2 TB of mayo and finely grate the lime rind into the mayo.  Add a tablespoon or two of fresh squeezed lime juice, mix and refrigerate.

Grill the hamburger, topping with the Thai sweet chili sauce while cooking.

Take a handful of bagged coleslaw, top with a few tablespoons of the sweet chili sauce.  Add in a handful of chopped peanuts.

Top the bun with the lime aioli, adding a bit of Sriracha if you like the extra heat.  Add the burger, topping with the peanut sweet chili slaw and some extra sweet chili sauce on top, if you like.

California Burger

3. California Burger. *

Ingredients:   Cheddar Cheese, Spicy Aioli, Sprouts + Avocado.

Make the spicy aioli first.  You will add 3 Tablespoons of mayo, the juice from a quarter lemon, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, and a little olive oil.  {I used a red pepper flavored olive oil here with good results.}  Cover and refrigerate.

Top the burger with cheddar cheese while grilling.  Add the fresh alfalfa sprouts, sliced avocado, and spicy aioli.

This one is my second favorite.

 Philly Cheesesteak Burger Italian Burger

4. Philly Cheesesteak Burger. * 

Ingredients:  A1, Mustard, Mayo, Provolone Cheese + Sautéed Onions and Mushrooms. 

Slice an onion and mushrooms, sauté over medium heat.  Alternatively, you could make a foil packet of onions and a foil packet of mushrooms and throw it on the grill for 20-30 minutes.

Grill a burger, topping with A1 sauce and provolone cheese during cooking.

Add mayo, mustard, and a little more A1 sauce to the bun, top with the burger, sautéed onions and mushrooms.

5. Italian Burger. *

Ingredients:   Fresh Tomato, Pesto Aioli, + Fresh Mozzarella Cheese.

You will start with the pesto aioli.  Two tablespoons of mayo an a teaspoon or a little more of pesto.  You can make your own or buy it already prepared.

We used mozzarella balls that had been marinating, but any kind of fresh mozzarella cheese would work.  Add a slice of juicy red tomato and the pesto aioli!

This one was a happy surprise for me, I LOVED the pesto aioli, it was a really good combo.

French Onion Burger 

6. The French Onion. *  {Dave’s Favorite!}

Ingredients:  Caramelized White Onions, Toasted Bun, Garlic Dijon Aioli + Swiss or Gruyere Cheese.

Caramelize the onion.  Slice an onion thinly and sauté over medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown, sprinkling with 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar when the onions soften.  Add in 1/2 cup of white wine and allow to simmer until the wine is almost fully incorporated.  Remove from heat.

Make the garlic Dijon aioli.  Add 1/2 to one clove of garlic, pressed to 3 TB. mayo.  Add 1/2 a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.  {You can leave out the Dijon, but do not substitute yellow mustard here.}  Mix well and refrigerate.

Add Swiss cheese to the burger while grilling. 

Butter and grill the bun for 1 – 2 minutes.

Top the bun with the garlic Dijon aioli, then place the burger and top with the caramelized onions.

Classic American Burger  Teriyaki Burger

7. Classic American. * 

Ingredients: American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Ketchup, Mustard, + Dill Pickle.

Sometimes you just want a plain old cheeseburger on the grill. 

8. Teriyaki Burger. * 

Ingredients: Teriyaki, Red Onion, + Grilled Pineapple.

We thought adding fresh grilled pineapple to a burger was going to be odd to say the least, but it turns out to be a really great addition.

Sautee the red onion in a pan, or make a foil packet with sliced red onion and add it to the grill.

Grill the burger on one side, flip and generously top with teriyaki sauce.  We just used a bottled teriyaki, but you can make it yourself if you like.  We grilled the pineapple for 2 minutes a side in the last few minutes of cooking the burger.

Top the burger with the grilled pineapple, then with the grilled red onion.

Frito Pie Burger Barbeque Burger 

9. Walking Taco/Frito Pie Burger. 

Ingredients: Chili, American Cheese, Diced Red Onion, Jalapeños + Fritos.

This burger is absolute madness.  We tested and changed and re-tested this one.  The key is either making the chili yourself OR choosing a great prepared one.  We used Tony Packo’s with beans because we’re from Toledo and it’s an awesome chili.  Another we found, Wolf brand, would also work well.  Skip the Hormel for this, it doesn’t work.  Trust us.

Grill the burger and top with American cheese.

Finely dice the red onion, heat the chili, and open a bag of Fritos.

Top the burger with chili, then red onion, then Fritos, and finally the jalapeños.

Grab the napkins for this one, it’s gooey and messy, and Dave claims it is awesome.

10. BBQ Burger.

Ingredients: Barbeque Sauce, Cheddar, Bacon, + French’s Fried Onions.  {Coleslaw, optional.}

Fry the bacon and set on paper towels to absorb the oil.  We preferred the thick cut bacon. 

When grilling the burger, top with barbeque sauce {we used Sweet Baby Rays} and add cheddar cheese.

Top the burger with the bacon and a few of the French’s Fried Onions. 

Add coleslaw to the burger if you like.  I really liked it with the coleslaw on top.

 

What is your favorite way to top a burger?  If you have a great combo that we left out, please leave a comment so we can try it!

5 comments:

SnoopyMeg said...

The French onion looks amazing! My husband hates Swiss so ill have to try with gruyere. All of these look awesome, I may have to host a burger tasting party myself!

SnoopyMeg said...

What kind of buns did you use....different for each one?

seriouslysassymama.com said...

You had me at BBQ.

Katie said...

Seriously. Did you know that I had packed a bowl of lettuce for lunch today? I am D.R.O.O.L.I.N.G. And my stomach is growling. And I'm trying to figure out how to wrangle my kids and make that Thai Burger for dinner tonight. Or all of them, really. Love all the ideas - it sure beats the ones we usually do - plastic wrapped american cheese and mustard! Lol.

Jessica Watson said...

I need to try the italian burger, thanks for the idea!

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