For these extremely flavorful, deluxe burgers, Noah von Blöm, chef at Arc restaurant in Costa Mesa, California, mixes ground rib-eye with boneless short ribs and bacon. Then he sizzles the patties in a cast-iron skillet set in the coals of a wood fire. At the restaurant, each one weighs a full pound. “People get up from their tables to take pictures,” he says. (Our version is a still-mighty half-pound.) Although you can build a wood fire as von Blöm does, for this grill-friendly version, he suggests charcoal briquets and fruit wood chunks.
Recipe: Arc Burgers
These are only quarter-pounders, but they look heftier because the meat is mixed with ground dried cherries and a little bulgur. The seasonings and cheese take the cherries in a savory direction, keeping the burgers from being too sweet.
For a taste of the tropics, top this burger with a combination of sweet and salty spam and pineapple. Finish it with some grilled Maui onion. You can use a grilled Hawaiin sandwich roll for the bun or thick slices from a Hawaiin sweet bread loaf.
Recipe: Hawaiian Pig-Out Burgers
These patties get extra flavor from a meaty mix of onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and egg. Make the patties ahead of time and pack them in a cooler with your favorite accompaniments.
Recipe: The Classic Burger
Top grass-fed burger with a sauce of smoked chiles, brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, orange juice concentrate, and garlic. The sauce is also excellent on grilled chicken and ribs.
Arabic spices meet the Persian touch of pistachios in the kefta (skewered ground meat) at Mamnoon in Seattle, where the food combines the owners’ Syrian, Lebanese, and Persian heritage with chef Garrett Melkonian’s Armenian background. We opted for an easier version: burgers.
The magic ingredients in these burgers are the pasilla chiles, roasted on a gas burner or under a broiler 'til nicely blackened. Melt sliced or grated cheddar cheese on top during the last few minutes of grilling.
Recipes: Green Chile Cheeseburgers
Follow the recipe to make your own kimchi, or take a shortcut and use the condiment ready-made from the store. Pair the burgers with a beer with balanced malt and hops like Saigon Export.
Recipe: Korean Kimchi Burgers
These burgers are best simply dressed, with just a bit of ketchup or mayo. Add a few slices of gherkin if you want even more pickle flavor that you get from the capers, chopped gherkins, and shallots inside.
Recipes: Steak Tartare-flavored Burgers
Start with the right meat, then follow our 10-step recipe below. You'll be turning out one great burger after another. Prep and cook time: 30 minutes. Plus: See how to grind your own meat and make 5 delicious variations.
Recipes: The Perfect Sunset Burger