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The Ultimate Burger has the best of everything, a gourmet's delight; it has loving care and attention lavished on it and no time nor expense is spared in its production. This is not that burger. This is the Optimal Burger™. You can prepare it from scratch in 15 minutes, eat it without any fuss and it will make you channel Jules Winnfield (just the quiet-enjoyment-of-the-burger part, not the kill-the-person-who-"gave"-you-the-burger part):

The Optimal Burger™ has to be easy to shop for. The Optimal Burger™ should not require visits to multiple vendors or have seasonal requirements because (a) no one has time for that and (b) who knows what time of year the urge for a good burger will strike? It requires no cooking devices beyond a standard gas grill and should not be expensive.

The Optimal Burger™ takes into account multiple factors, in the approximate order of importance:

- taste
- time of preparation
- ease of preparation
- structural integrity
- cost

You may have other factors to take into account. Healthiness. Sustainability. Calories. You will have a different Optimal Burger™ (you perhaps should focus instead on developing the Optimal Salad). I endeavor only to give you ideas while making my own case.

The recipe that follows includes crowd-sourced improvements based on recommendations from 18 burger aficionados at Pier 9.

Step 1: Buns and Sauce

The buns are crucial to a good burger. They form the carapace; they need to be large enough to accommodate all your ingredients and to not disintegrate under a little pressure. The buns define the maximum achievable size your burger can attain, for a good burger is shorter than it is wide. Don't skimp here.

If you prefer, toast the buns before serving. They're easy to blacken on a hot grill though so be careful. Turn down the gas and warm with the lid down. Or just pop in the toaster.

Sliced tomatoes are a time-honored burger component but I think they're overrated. They tend to be heavy and watery and slippery, and you want none of those properties. Ketchup on the other hand is liquefied tomato, sugar, onion and salt, and it makes up layer 1 of my Optimal Burger™. You always have it on hand, it's cheap, it's a good glue, and whatever sort you like is bound to go well with the burger. I like a mix of Heinz and Sriracha. Other good options, depending on taste, are mustard or BBQ sauce.

<p>Your argument that burgers only need a freezer shelf-life is bizarre, since one obviously needs to pick up buns while grocery shopping. Since you didn't account for frozen bun thawing, I must immediately reject this recipe. #makeBurgersGreatAgain #satire</p>
<p>Eric you have better things to do than critique burger recipes</p>
<p>This is important, @makendo ,Unfortunately, Instructables won't let me slam you too hard, since you're a delicate man. The optimal burger can be massively improved with fresh patties. Time willing, I will massively improve on your recipe. However, I have more delicious things to work on.</p>
<p>Geez Eric, that thesis won't write itself. </p>
<p>yeah Eric listen to the bandicoot</p>
<p>The funny thing is, I thought exactly like you until one day I went to the supermarket and they had no ground meat. I turned my nose up at the frozen ones, as hipsters are wont to do, but eventually my desire for a burger outweighed my snobbery. Best patties I'd ever made. Have never bothered to make another one myself. I think the bad reputation comes from &quot;oh, they're frozen, better cook the **** out of them&quot;. Cook them properly and they're great.</p>
<p>Thanks for the lettuce name. I always buy lettuce at the bazar, but the patties are from the walmart. The other stores at the village don&acute;t sell patties.</p>
<p>Oh why did I not see this a few days earlier! Would have sure helped my beaver patty burger adventure where I forgot to add some of the essential flavor the pickles give. They weren't bad though.</p><p>Will try to remember and refer to this for inspirational optimization on my next cheat day. Thanks! :)</p>
<p>There is always a next time. have never seen those patties in my supermarket...</p>
<p>You might have better luck finding those in a dammed river. :) It was just something I thought of in a whim - a bunch of minced beaver was getting defrosted for another meal so I thought - why not!</p>
<p>i kind of stopped reading at &quot;boxed frozen burger patty&quot; section. <br><br>i would argue we have different definitions of &quot;optimum&quot;. it takes no more time dumping salt, pepper, a1 into a bowl of ground beef and mixing it up and making patties than it does cutting an avocado, tomato, and an onion.</p>
<p>stopping reading as soon as you encounter something you disagree with before examining the justification let alone testing the argument? you're in good company</p>
<p>oh, you must have missed the part where i said i would argue your definition of optimum, which was heavily (i guess) explained your reasoning for using a poor choice of the important part of a hamburger.<br><br>frankly, it explains negative votes in your polls.</p>
<p>I don't have an issue with the use of a frozen burger patty. If it's made with good ingredients it really doesn't matter, it just makes time for adding the awesome toppings that we are seeing here. I made some home made patties last week, I'll just use them with this Instructable and I'll have an Optimal Burger&trade; too!</p>
<p>Your Triple Crown Burger I would say definitely falls into the category of Ultimate Burger&trade;. Epic.</p>
<p>Made your Optimal Burger&trade;, it was very yummy! I used a brioche bun and some burger-patties that I home-made and froze last week. Threw on some tomato ketchup, bacon, lettuce, pickled gherkin and some cheese, then served with chunky chips (British style).</p>
<p>Awesome! Liberal with the cheese, too, good plan. I'll get around to trying yours some time, too, when I'm feeling more Ultimate than Optimal.</p>
<p>Interesting...!!</p>
<p>MMMMM THIS MADE ME HANGRY FOR SOME BURGERS!</p>
<p>There is something magical about burgers! I agree with the necessity for ease of creation! When the burger pains get too strong I don't have time for complicated recipes, I either need to make a burger right now or I'm likely to drive down the street and pay for someone else to do it for me. </p>
<p>cheers. and this one is way better than a fast food burger for sure</p>

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Bio: Analog maker dabbling in digital manufacture
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