Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

No Burgers Without Cheese Please! – Episode #59


I am DOGMATIC about my approach to making the best cheeseburger possible. I am something of a burger snob. In today’s podcast, I share my personal philosophy about the art and science of making a better cheeseburger. My burger technique has been a decade in the making as I’ve tried just about any and every way to make a burger. If you follow my philosophy, you’ll never want to eat a burger out anywhere else. I will ruin you when it comes to eating burgers at a restaurant. You will not get a better burger anywhere else once you learn to master the techniques below.

Listen to my podcast above for a full discussion of the rules below.

Rules For Making A Better Cheeseburger:

  1. ALWAYS grind your own meat. This makes for a burger with superior mouth feel and beats the pink slime you get pre-packaged in a tube at the grocery store.
  2. Keep it fatty: I recommend 75% chuck and 25% short rib for roughly 70/30 lean-to-fat ratio. Feed your 93/7 lean-to-fat ratio to your dog. If you want a health burger, eat a turkey burger.
  3. Liberally season your burgers and mix the seasoning into your burger mix. Salt & pepper at a minimum. I recommend “Chicago Steak Seasoning” as well.
  4. Never stuff your burgers – you aren’t making meatloaf!
  5. Mind your burger-to-bun ratio. Make sure your bun isn’t too big, you don’t want a mouthful of bun, and your burger before you cook it should be slightly larger than the diameter of your bun.
  6. After forming your burger patty, let it rest in the fridge at least 30 minutes. This lets the patty solidify.
  7. ALWAYS cook your burger in a cast iron skillet, NEVER on a grill. ONLY cook it on a grill if you are cooking for a large party and don’t have any other choice. This allows for optimal caramelization, the forming of a perfect crust, and to allow the burger the chance to cook in it’s own juices.
  8. ALWAYS use cheese. Unless you have some sort of dietary/religious restrictions, your burger should always have cheese. And you should always use something with a strong flavor, such as extra sharp cheddar, pepper-jack cheese, pimento cheese, or even blue cheese. And use two slices for extra creamy goodness. We want something with strong flavor. AVOID American cheese.
  9. Always toast your buns lightly on the flat side. Pick something that has flavor, like brioche buns, potato buns, or kaiser rolls.
  10. Don’t go crazy with your toppings. Use bacon whenever possible. If you use onion, make sure the onion is not raw, either saute it or fry it, otherwise the onion will overwhelm the flavor of the burger.


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