Cheeseburgers with Secret Sauce

We've all been there: the pounding headache of a hangover, the groggy nausea of an upset tummy, the throbbing rage of a stressful day at work. There are some challenges in life whose only resolution comes from a drive-thru window. Thus, in homage to the holistic powers of fast food condiments, I've recreated the miracle elixir known only as "secret sauce." It's remarkably easy to bring the quintessential flavor of a fast food burger to your own barbecue. This sauce is obviously a rock star on cheeseburgers, but it could also be used to elevate otherwise drive-thru-aspirational meals such as grilled chicken, steaks or even fish.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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For the secret sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons sweet relish

Few dashes hot sauce

Pinch garlic powder

Pinch onion powder

For the burgers:

1 1/3 pounds ground beef (80-percent lean)

Salt and ground black pepper

8 slices American or Cheddar cheese

4 sesame seed buns, split

Assorted toppings, such as finely chopped red onion, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes and sliced dill pickles


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Divide the meat into four equal portions and shape them into burgers about 3/4-inch thick. Liberally season the outside of each burger with salt and pepper, then cook them to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium, placing two slices of cheese on each burger once they've been flipped.
  3. Serve the burgers on the buns with whatever garnishes you desire and a hearty dollop of secret sauce.

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