The Ultimate Burger Recipes

The eight patties you need to make before Labor Day.

  • Click through the gallery to get all the recipes.
  • The New Englandah Burgah. We were intrigued not only by the name of this burger, but by the juxtaposition of savory and sweet. The burger themselves have a faint sweetness from the maple syrup, and this is enhanced by the grilled apples; the salty crunch of the bacon and the tang of cheddar provide the perfect counterpoints. This is a burger that requires a ravenous appetite and begs to be eaten in generous mouthfuls, each including all of the different components.
  • Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Ginger Mayo. The clean, fresh flavors of these unexpected burgers will quickly win you over. Chopped sushi-grade tuna is mixed with fresh ginger and scallions, molded into patties, pan fried and then topped with cucumber, sprouts and a zippy pickled ginger and wasabi-infused mayonnaise.
  • Burger with Spicy Slaw. Not for wimps, this burger has layers of flavor—and heat. The recipe recommends a sweet-spicy glaze that caramelizes as the beef patties sizzle on the grill, and the crunchy slaw gets fierier as it sits. We initially thought the goat cheese might be overkill, but when it softened and began to melt, it blended with the slaw to mitigate some of the spice.
  • Lamb Burgers with Cilantro Yogurt. These burgers are simple yet spot on. The recipe calls for ground lamb, which makes for a sumptuous burger requiring nothing more than a bit of salt and pepper. The tang of the cilantro yogurt sauce cuts the richness, keeping the lamb from tasting gamey.
  • Smoky Pork Burgers with Fennel and Red Cabbage Slaw. Pork burgers always sound good in theory, but they don't necessarily turn out that way in practice. Ground pork can be dry and must be cooked just so. We have the perfect solution (and really the solution to so many of life's problems): just add bacon. You fold finely chopped bacon into the ground pork, along with some great aromatics—fennel seed, onion and smoked paprika. The bacon fat helps keep the burgers moist and adds its own layer of flavor. To go with the burger you make a tart little cabbage and fennel salad, just the right counterpoint to the rich burger.
  • Patty Melt. This will take you back to the 1970s, and you'll want to stay there until you've enjoyed every last succulent bite of this patty melt. You season the grass-fed burger meat (that's a 21st century move) with mustard and Worcestershire, slap and nudge it into a patty, and fry it up in a pan. Then you layer the burger on rye bread, toasted in a pan with butter and topped with Gruyere, and sauteed onion and mushrooms.
  • Shrimp Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Orange Aioli. In summer, we say the more burgers, the better. This one provides a spunky break from beef, pork, and turkey, opting instead for fresh shrimp dotted with confetti-like accents of red pepper, fennel fronds and orange zest. In the accompanying aioli, the mellow, floral flavors of roasted garlic and orange shine through. The aioli is cleverly used not once but twice: to bind the shrimp patty, and to layer on just before biting down.
  • Zucchini Quinoa Burgers. For the days when you don’t want meat, quinoa is a protein-packed alternative.These delicious, seasonal burgers may seem time intensive at first, but fear not: once you have your quinoa and chickpeas cooked, they're really a snap, and they showcase the flavor potential of veggie burgers perfectly. If you need to, you can go ahead and used canned beans. They make the process a whole lot faster!

Summer is the season for grilling, and for the umpteenth year in a row, burgers show no sign of losing their spot as top gun of the coals. Does it get much better than cooking a patty over an open flame, setting it in the middle of a soft bun, and smothering it with your favorite condiments? Not a chance. But there are more ways to pimp your burger than American cheese and a Martin’s potato bun (though that always works just fine). From patty melts to spicy tuna burgers, here are some ways keep things interesting this season.

Click through the gallery above to get all of the recipes.

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