Anthony Bourdain's 9 Rules For Making The Perfect Burger

IMAGE Esquire UK

Chef, writer and burger-aficionado, Anthony Bourdain is a man who knows a thing or two about ground beef placed between two pieces of bread.

In a discussion with Tech Insider, the author of Kitchen Confidential reveals his golden rules for the perfect burger.

1. Don't overcomplicate it

"Are you really making this classic dish better? "You might deconstruct it in a way that impresses people or delights them, or astounds them. But does it make it better?"

2. Use a potato bun (yes, it's made with potato)

"It has to be squishy."

3. Use "a hunk of well-ground, good-quality beef"

Or you can use two "squashed, flat, grey, perfectly acceptable grey patties stacked on top of each other."

4. Use processed, meltable cheese

"Now look, I like a blue cheese burger, but as with all things you cook, there trade-offs."

5. You should be able to eat the burger with one hand.

"I like lettuce on a burger, maybe even a tomato is nice," Bourdain says. "But it makes it more structurally difficult to eat. You should always be able to eat a burger with one hand."

I am a man of simple needs

A photo posted by anthonybourdain (@anthonybourdain) on

6. You can use use ketchup, and maybe mayonnaise

"Personally, I approve of ketchup on a burger, mayonnaise if you insist, but beyond that you have to ask again, 'Am I making it better?'"

7. It shouldn't be messy

"You know, a burger is a beautiful thing. It's not beautiful when you are wearing half of it."

8. Consider bacon...

"Again, Does bacon make it better? Maybe..."

In Bourdain's opinion, bacon can throw off the balance and/or make the burger messy.


9. Don't make a burger that's too difficult to eat

The golden rule:

"One of the greatest sins in 'burgerdom,' I think, is making a burger that is difficult to eat. Where the bread-to-meat ratio is out of whack. Where it's either too greasy or not greasy enough. Or the damn thing just doesn't hold together the way God intended burgers to hold together."

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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