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How to Assemble And Order the Perfect Burger, According to the Internet

Photo credit: iStock/Lauri Patterson

Photo credit: iStock/Lauri Patterson

There is a handful of need-to-know, non-negotiable life skills—like jump-starting a car or building a fire. But we’d like to append that list with another — well, two — essentials: assembling and ordering the perfect burger. Though seemingly straightforward, it’s an underrated, nuanced skill that has the potential to make or break your dinner. And once you master it, it’s smooth sailing from there. 

Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of debate surrounding these skillsets. Some swear by a slather of spicy sauce while others champion the fried egg. Lucky for us, the Internet has delved into this topic before and we’re in the midst of the Battle of the Burger Presented by Budweiser® voting competition (click here for more info!), which provides a trove of awesome examples. With both of these things in mind, we conducted an Internet research deep dive, distilling all of the very best tips and tricks for the perfect burger. Here, a compendium of the most salient advice:

The Patty:

Tom Hirschfeld of Food52 touts the importance of the burger quality. His advice: choose ground beef less than 22% fat, grind your own meat and sleuth out your favorite cut (perfect when ordering out!).

The Order:

In “How to Build a Better Burger,” The Kitchn’s Sarah Rae Smith wrote about the physical order of ingredients necessary to build the most structurally sound and flavorful burger. Her verdict (from bottom): bun, mustard/ketchup, pickles, patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, mayo and bun. Some might disagree about this exact construction (some of the Battle of the Burger™ entries differ!), but as long as your burger remains stacked and delicious, anything goes.

The Toppings:

Any burger enthusiast knows toppings are key. In this infographic, Thrillist provides some stellar recommendations, but you can discover even more remarkable options by perusing the Battle of the Burger™ entries.

The Bun:

Though often an afterthought, the right bun can have transformative powers for a burger. This The Daily Meal slideshow breaks down all of the varieties — from pretzel to potato — and what makes each of them great.

At the end of the day, here’s what most of the pros agree on: high-quality meat, melt-y cheese-to-meat contact, crunchy veggies and a crisp, sturdy bun to discourage sogginess. Now, go commit all of this to memory and test out your newfound burger-ordering-prowess at any of these Battle of the Burger™ participating bars and restaurants.

Berks County
BlackJax American Pub and Grill, Birdsboro
Pike Cafe, Reading
Steam Pub, Southampton 

Bucks County
Baileys Bar & Grille, Levittown
Green Parrot Restaurant Pub & Patio, Newtown
Xlounge at Parx Casino, Bensalem

Chester County
Barnaby’s Restaurant and Pub, West Chester, West Chester
Ram’s Head Bar & Grill, West Chester
Saloon 151, West Chester

Delaware County
Casey’s Saloon and Restaurant, Ridley Park, Ridley Park
Casey’s Saloon – Drexel Hill & Ridley Park, Drexel Hill
Lion’s Head Bar & Grill, Milmont Park

Montgomery County
The Brick House, Pottstown
The Drake Tavern, Jenkintown
Gravel Pike Inn, Graterford
Nippers, Jeffersonville
Union Jacks Pub, Glenside

Philadelphia County
Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia
Maggie’s Waterfront Cafe, Philadelphia
The Union Tap, Philadelphia