The Secrets to the Best Burgers

Food people Heather Ramsdell, Ian Knauer and Sarah Copeland set out to make 10 great burgers for Cooking Channel. In the process, they stumbled on a few tenets of burger deliciousness over and over. Here's what they kept talking about.

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Burgers need to be juicy. If the patty itself is not juicy, it needs juicy friends such as pickles, slaw, or a nice amount of sauce.

Get the Recipe: Killer Mushroom Cheese Burgers


A good burger should stay together when you bite into it. Drips are good, but severe condiment slides are bad. Ignore the structure and you risk impinging on enjoyment.

Get the Recipe: Classic Burgers


Have something juicy, something crisp, something moist, something soft, and maybe something gooey. The choice of bun provides a special opportunity to offset the peculiar tendencies of your specific burger. For example hearty Texas toast is a good counterpoint to a soft crab cake, and a hefty brisket burger and soft brioche bun make a nice team.

Get the Recipe: Crab Burgers with Frisee Salad


Sometimes too much richness gets in the way. Flavors should be balanced –richness with sharp, meaty with sweet, salty with mildness, and so on.

Get the Recipe: South-of-the-Border Burgers

A Little Something

Every burger needs an accessory, something as simple as an onion ring, as show-stopping as a center filled with molten cheese, or as flashy as a fried egg.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Aussie Chicken Burgers


Burgers should be ample not stingy, bold not bland, and should never get lost in the bun. Being a burger means never having to say you're sorry. Each one should be proud to be what it is.

Get the Recipe: Double-Stacked Juicy Lucy Burgers

Craving More?

Browse through our collection of the best burger recipes to find great new ideas, including sensational toppings, different meats and mix-ins and veggie burgers done right.

See More Photos: 64 Top Burger Recipes