The Perfect Homemade Burger

From the meat to the mayonnaise, here are 5 great recipes for a burger made completely from scratch.

08.24.10 7:30 PM ET

Nothing tastes quite as good hot off the grill as a hamburger. Sure, pretty much anything can be thrown on the grill to make it taste extra delicious and super summery—and of course grill marks add a certain pleasure to lots of foods. Obviously burgers can be cooked in a pan or under a broiler, but there really is no comparison to the flavors imparted by grilling when it comes to burgers. Lamb burgers, turkey burgers, tuna burgers, Portobello mushroom burgers… There are lots of options for what a burger can be. This summer, though, the reigning style is old school, and that means 100% beef patties, fluffy buns, real tomato ketchup, rich mayonnaise, and homemade French fries. And for maximum flavor—and old school technique—everything should be homemade.

Here are 5 recipes to help you make a completely homemade burger—French fries and all.

The Great American Burger
by Steven Raichlen

This is a “less is more” style patty: fewer ingredients mixed into the meat, less handling of the meat, less futzing with the meat when it’s on the grill. The payoff? An incredibly flavorful, juicy burger.

Buns for Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
by Lauren Groveman

Few culinary feats are quite as impressive as homemade breads, and that includes hamburger buns. These buns are big, which means lots of room for a thick patty and lots of toppings.

Spicy Ketchup
by Marcus Samuelsson

Heinz may be the standard, but this ketchup for grown-ups—spiced with smoked paprika, garlic, and wasabi—is totally unique and totally addictive.

by James Beard

Considered by many to be the über-condiment, homemade mayonnaise strikes the perfect balance between rich creaminess and all-natural tanginess. Spread it on burgers for an added layer of flavor, or dip your fries in it for a European-style treat.

Oven-Baked Fries
by Sheila Lukins

Everyone loves French fries, but the traditional double deep-frying involved is a pain, to say the least. These fries have the crisp exterior and creamy interior that make a perfect French fry, but with half the effort and half the calories.

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