The Definition of a Pub Burger

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In the taxonomy of burgers, the so-called pub burger is the latest variant to have its moment in the sun. But what the hell is it, anyway? Burger Business decided to parse various definitions and seek out 24 examples of pub burgers—inspired, vaguely, by the English—on menus across the country.

The “A Hamburger Today” offshoot of Serious Eats first took on the task of codifying the pub burger in 2009, when Adam Kuban noted that they are made with “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.”

Then in a August 2011 post, J. Kenji López-Alt expanded the term to “Gastropub Burger” with 10 features, including freshly ground meat, no ketchup or American cheese, and cooked onions. The recipe from Cook’s Illustrated requires a burger patty that is on the thicker side to achieve “a crusty exterior, and a juicy interior,” plus premium toppings.

What do the English think about the term? One industry researcher told Burger Business, “I’ve not heard of a ‘pub burger.’ A burger is a burger over here, but we are seeing a proliferation of premium burgers.” And after all that, Burger Business decides that pub burgers are simply “trendy.”

[via Burger Business]

  • @domsigns

    As an American living in the UK let me be the first to tell you that UK “pub burgers” suck. Dry, overcooked and hard as a rock. I have rarely had one that comes even close to the worst burger I’ve had in restaurant (fast food chains excluded) So the next time you are out and have a fine, juicy American cheeseburger…. take a moment and think of me.

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