Layer by Meaty Layer: How to Build the Best Burger, According to Tim Love

Hear from Chef Tim Love as he breaks down the ins and outs of building the best burger. Then get Food Network's best burger recipes.
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Photo by: Julian Rovagnati

Julian Rovagnati

Bun, meat and toppings — there are only a few key elements to a classic burger, but it's crucial to make each a success when building this ultimate summertime favorite. No one knows meat quite like Chef Tim Love, a Texas-based restaurateur who's recently partnered with Hellmann's Mayonnaise as the brand launches its Squeeze bottle, and FN Dish checked in with him to get his takes on constructing the ins and outs of a tried-and-true burger. Read on below for what he had to say, then browse our best-ever burger recipes ideal for outdoor cookouts.

The Bun: What's your favorite kind?
Tim Love: Potato bun. Keep it classic.

The Meat: What's your favorite ratio, and how should it be cooked?

TL: I like a 50/50 blend of prime tenderloin and prime brisket, but grilling meats to the perfect temperature can be tricky. Try using a meat thermometer and look for 130 to 135 degrees if you’re going for medium rare. That’s how I like mine done.

The Cheese: Yes or no to cheese, and if yes, what kind and why? Shredded cheese or sliced?

TL: Definitely cheese. Sliced, white cheddar cheese. Because it’s delicious. Plain and simple!

The Toppings: How many is too many? Any rules for pairing them?

TL: My favorite is my specialty Dirty Love Burger served at my Love Shack restaurant. We layer up the patty with lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon and fried quail egg. Oh, and mayonnaise. You’ve got to squeeze a dollop of Hellmann’s on that patty to consider it complete! You can never have too many toppings on your burger — or on your ice cream!

The Side Dish and Accompaniments: Which are your favorites?

TL: My only rule for pairings is to make sure you have a nice glass of white wine in one hand and the grilling spatula in the other. Savor the moment.

Photo courtesy of iStock
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