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How to Make Your Next Burger Your Best Burger

This sizzling classic can bring pleasant surprises to your summer table.

Eating a hamburger
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Burgers cooked on the grill definitely make the short list of perfect summer eats, along with refreshing watermelon, corn on the cob, and garden-fresh tomatoes. And although there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with tossing a store-formed patty onto the grill and serving it with a slice of cheese, a whiz of ketchup and a smile, it’s also fun to freshen up your summer routine, including what you put on your bun.

Mix Your Meats
Beef is the classic burger meat, but any ground meat makes a delicious burger, from chicken to turkey to a mix of beef and pork to oily fish like salmon. A quick Google search will also reveal myriad vegetarian burgers made with lentils, black beans or other healthy, protein-packed legumes.

Double Down on Proteins 
After a long day of fun in the sun, one reason a burger is so satisfying is because it delivers a wallop of muscle- and energy-reviving protein. If you really want to lean in with your protein, but don’t want to load up on fat with bacon or too much cheese, try putting a lacy-edged, gooey-middled fried egg or fanning out thin slices of avocado on top of your burger.

Turn Up the Flavor
Grilled meat or vegetable patties have a distinctive flavor that needs no adornment. But it can be fun to have a themed meal by adding flavors as toppings or even mixed into the meat. A spicy salsa or black bean salad can be spooned on top of a burger for a southwestern flair. Soy sauce or hoisin can be mixed with burger meat or fish and topped with miso-flavored mayonnaise or grilled bok choy for a nod to Asian cuisine. Ask yourself, what are my favorite flavors? Then ask, how can I get those flavors in a burger? You’ll be surprised at how many ways there are.

What does your best burger look like?

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