4 Ways to Build a Mind-Blowing Burger

Don't let boring burgers bring your cookout down. Use these 4 exciting ways to make mind-blowing burgers—and win at summer!  

1) Make the Perfect Patty

You don't have to change up your favorite burger recipe, just improve on technique. (If you don't have a favorite, try this one.) Be sure to keep patties cold when you are making them to prevent the fat from melting and ruining the texture. The same goes for mixing: you want to handle it as little as possible to maintain a meaty, juicy bite. We like to spread the ground meat on a baking sheet to season it—this allows for maximum coverage with minimal mixing. Finally, create a dent in the center of the raw patty with your thumb; this will keep the burger from shrinking while cooking, and getting that too-thick round dome at the top.

2) Swap in a Better Bun

Think outside the (bread) box for alternatives to a plain burger bun! We used a pretzel bun, but anything from garlicky Texas toast to a Hawaiian roll will be a delicious change of pace. Croissants, bagels and even donuts are also great options! For the tastiest results, always butter and season your bun before toasting!

3) Grill Your Toppings

You are already firing up the grill for the patties—why not get that great charred flavor on your toppings as well? We grilled romaine lettuce, tomatoes and pickles for a classic burger, and then made a Hawaiian-style burger with grilled pineapple and ham.

4) Stuff the Patty

You'll be literally packing extra flavor into your burgers if you give the patties surprise centers. We stuffed ours with a cooked ravioli and topped it with marinara sauce, mozzarella and basil for an Italian-style burger. But why stop there? We love the idea of stuffing them with store-bought jalapeno poppers or frozen cubes of spinach dip—they will melt deliciously into the meat while cooking.