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$40 For Two Burgers, a Milkshake, and Fries Is Now a Reality at McDonald’s


It’s easy to rack up the price with the new McDonald’s customizable burger menu, as menu testers can vouch for

Would you expect to pay $16.55 for a burger at McDonald’s?

It used to be that taking your date out to McDonald’s for dinner was a cheap date, but maybe not so much anymore.McDonald’s began offering their new “Create Your Taste” customizable burger programs in franchises across the country earlier this year.People are definitely getting imaginative with their McCreations, but here’s something to consider: it’s really easy to spend way too much money on a customized McDonald’s burger.

YouTube star Casey Neistat tweeted a photo of his McDonald’s burger receipt: he spent nearly $40 on two burgers, a milkshake and a large order of fries. One burger alone cost $16.55. To be fair, Neistat did add a whole slew of toppings to his burger including Sriracha mayo, bacon, shaved parmesan, three scoops of guacamole, and several types of cheese, but a bill that large from a fast food joint is still an impressive feat.

Build your own Burger at McDonalds?!? tomorrow's vlog is going to be amazing pic.twitter.com/DDSQYmxmM4

— Casey Neistat (@CaseyNeistat) September 10, 2015

"McDonald's management does not know what we want to be," one franchisee told Business Insider. "Expensive and slow custom burgers in the same restaurant where we sell the Dollar Menu?"


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


The AHT Guide to Hamburger and Cheeseburger Styles

Adam Kuban is the proprietor of the pop-up Margot's Pizza. He was the founder of the websites Slice and A Hamburger Today. He served as Serious Eats' founding editor after having sold his sites to SE.

We toss around references to different burger styles on this site all the time, but it occurred to me that we've never really set them out all in one place for easy reference. I'm doing that now. Here's a list of all the burger styles we could think of. If there's something here we're missing, chime in with a comment. Here goes, in no particular order our guide to hamburger and cheeseburger styles.

Pub burgers

Large patties usually no smaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more. Typically ovoid in shape rather than flat. Most often seen in pubs (hence the name), where they're often broiled. Until the 2000s, most of New York City's most-loved burgers were pub burgers--Donovan's, McHale's (RIP), Molly's, and, yes, the Corner Bistro. [More,--much, much more--after the jump.]

Fast food burgers

Do I really need to define this one for you? I didn't think so. I include it only to offer a comparison to .

Fast food-style

We've always used this term on AHT to denote burgers that seem to take their inspiration from fast food burgers but that are somehow better--either in terms of ingredients or preparation or both. Fast food–style burgers will be made with fresh-not-frozen beef use the freshest, crispest produce and generally come from a sole location or, at most, a small, local chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shack in NYC Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Saint Helena, California, and San Francisco All-American Drive-In in Massapequa, New York--these are all fast food–style burgers if not necessarily true fast food burgers.

I'd almost even include In-N-Out under this rubric, even though it is technically a fast-food joint. Its philosophy and awesomeness are so far above what I normally think of as fast food that it transcends the category.

Sliders

Many people think a slider is just a name for a mini burger. Many people are wrong. I've already written at length on this in my post "A Mini Hamburger Is Not a Slider," so I will just quote myself here:

People, a slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It's a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.

A slider is at once a hamburger and, yet, something more. (Maybe because you eat a bunch of them at one sitting.)

Mini hamburgers

Any diminutive burger that does not meet the definition of slider (see above), often because it has been grilled or broiled rather than steam-griddled and almost always because it lacks the bed of pungent onions.

There was an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 to the middle of 2008, whereby every damn chef was putting mini burgers (often misidentifying them as "sliders") on his or her bar menu. It seems to have ebbed as of late.

Steakhouse Burgers

The steakhouse burger is defined more by where it's served than by any other unifying characteristics. Though there are some general observations you can make, however. Steakhouse burgers are usually made from the beef trimmings of the various steaks on hand and as such are ground from prime, aged beef. They're almost always massive, hearty burgers on par with pub-style burgers. And they're often broiled. You'd think this all would make for some fine burgers, but you'd likely be wrong.

Almost none of us at AHT have ever had a good steakhouse burger experience (except for AHT LA reviewer Damon Gambuto, who had a fine one at Nick & Stef's). Steakhouses seem to always miss on the cooking the burgers properly to temperature, and burgers there are mostly an afterthought rather than the main show. You go to a steakhouse for steak, not a burger. Even worse is when steakhouses try to put some thought into the burgers and end up with some sort of overpriced, mushy ill-conceived Kobe/Wagyu burger. A Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. Which brings me to .

Kobe/Wagyu Beef Burgers

And here I will repeat, a Kobe burger is always, always a bad idea. When cooked rare to medium-rare, as most chefs who put these on their menus usually recommend, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It's like moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger. Why turn a glorious piece of beef into minced meat?

Kobe burgers are most often seen in mini-hamburger form, usually as an "appetizer" plate of three burgers, because A) this expensive beef is more affordable in smaller, sharable portions and B) the Kobe/Wagyu and the min-burger/"slider" trends seem to have peaked at the same time. Thankfully, both manias seem to have abated and you don't hear as much about these ill-conceived lil' ditties anymore.

Fancy-pants burgers

Price is a pretty good indication you're eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city to city, it's difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollar border. Let's just say that if it costs double what a McD's QPC Value Meal does, you're probably in fancy-pants land.

If that's not enough of an indication, you know you're heading into rarefied air when any one or more of the following is involved:

  • A big-name chef or restaurateur, or a celebrity chef
  • Brioche buns
  • "House-made" ketchup
  • "House-made" anything
  • Artisanal or farmstead cheeses
  • "Artisanal" anything
  • Aioli, remoulade, frisée, microgreens, arugula, etc.
  • Designer bacon
  • Foie gras
  • Dry-aging
  • Kobe/Wagyu beef
  • Daniel Boulud*

Megaburgers

Any burger whose sole purpose is to break a record--most often weight, but sometimes price. Typically the result of tired publicity stunts, megaburgers have rapidly increased in number in the last few years thanks largely to social media--it's almost guaranteed the blogging-Twittering-Facebooking masses will blab about you and your three-ton burger that you need a forklift to flip. (See: We took the bait yesterday.)

Extreme burgers

Similar to megaburgers (see above), but here the point is less about sheer size than it is caloric overkill, stuffing as much gut-fattening, artery-clogging shit on and about the hamburger sandwich as possible. Examples include our own Hamburger Fatty Melt any variation on the doughnut burger, including Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger or almost anything served at the Heart Attack Grill.

Stacked burgers

Anything with two or more patties. Popular examples include In-N-Out's Double Double, Wendy's Double, or Burger King's Stackers. Props to any stacked burger that uses an interstitial bun, like the Big Mac.

Deep-fried burgers

Just what it sounds like, folks. Forget the griddle, throw water on the grill. The patties of these burgers take a dunk in hot, hot oil. Dyer's Burgers in Memphis is perhaps the most famous deep-fried burger emporium, thanks largely to George Motz's Hamburger America spot on them (above).

Variations exist that include entire burgers--bun and all--being dipped in batter and deep-fried, but they're rare. Tasty, but rare. Jump on that shizz if you ever find one. This variant could also be filed under "extreme burgers."


Watch the video: Graveyard Burger Challenge at Wagon Train BBQ in New York!! (October 2021).