Making a delicious burger seems so easy, but all sorts of things can go wrong. A bland, desiccated puck slapped in a squishy white bun with the obligatory ketchup squirt is an all-too-common cookout experience. Make underwhelming burgers a distant memory with a few new meat ’n’ condiment combos. Choose from these beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and turkey burger recipes, plus a vegetarian portobello mushroom “burger.” French fries and onion rings required.
1. Juicy Lucy Burger (a.k.a. Jucy Lucy)
A Minneapolis daughter, Juicy Lucy is a cheese-stuffed beauty. American cheese is standard, but feel free to free-style with cheddar, even pepper jack. Get our Juicy Lucy Burger recipe.
2. Chipotle-Bacon Turkey Burger
Anchovy paste and soy sauce add just enough umami to this baby to take it over the top. Add a slather of spicy chipotle ketchup, and you’ve got a tasty turkey burger that sings. Get our Chipotle-Bacon Turkey Burger recipe.
3. Double-Decker Portobello “Burger”
Pesto and a crunchy ciabatta bun add extra flavor and texture to this meatless sandwich that sacrifices none of the drama of its cow-burger cognate. Cheese (Monterey jack or provolone) make it deluxe. Get our Double-Decker Portobello “Burger” recipe.
4. Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger
Ground pork is juicy, but can be a little too one-note for a burger. Enter Mexican chorizo, which, with its vinegar and spices, can never be accused of blandness. Get our Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger recipe.
5. Mediterranean Lamb Burger
Lamb tenderness and rich, lanoline-like flavor make it the perfect candidate for a smoky char and an assertive spicy mayo. Cilantro and a touch of cumin enhance the distinctive lambiness of these sophisticated burgers. Get our Mediterranean Lamb Burger recipe.
6. Banh Mi Chicken Burger
The Vietnamese banh mi may just be the sandwich for our times—bright-tasting, full of character, and open to variation. This chicken-patty version hits all of that, plus pushes our burger button in the best way. Get our Banh Mi Chicken Burger recipe.
6. Onion Rings
These are definitely not burgers, but a burger universe that does not include onion rings is unthinkable. These have a supercrisp breadcrumb layer that makes them out of this world. Get our Onion Rings recipe.
8. French Fries
Fries are burgers’ invariable companion, but they aren’t always what they should be. This recipe, which calls for a double-fry technique, yields fries with good color, a crisp skin, and a light, fluffy interior. Get our French Fries recipe.