Chef Dez.

Chef Dez.

On Cooking: Part 3: Making the perfect homemade burger

Going without complimentary toppings is like having mashed potatoes without the gravy, or apple pie without the ice cream.

As the final entry of a three-part series on perfecting homemade burgers, this one will focus on burger toppings and bread selection.

Going without complimentary toppings is like having mashed potatoes without the gravy, or apple pie without the ice cream.

Mayo, mustard, relish, and ketchup are obvious additions. A classic, but essential way to also top any burger would be with the traditional lettuce, tomato and cheese, but there any many others to consider: bacon, onions (fresh or sautéed), pickles.

The main thing to remember that when adding vegetables, season them with salt and pepper.

There are countless other toppingss that could crown your masterpiece – hot sauces, ethnic sauces, different types of mustards, salad dressings, dips, spreads, olives, sundried tomatoes, and an assortment of cheeses.

The type of bread/bun you choose could be based on many factors. Maybe you are creating a burger of a certain ethnic cuisine, such as an Italian burger, then I would use a type of Italian bread, such as a ciabatta bun, for example.

Or perhaps your burgers are quite messy because they are dripping with toppings, then I suggest a denser type bread/bun to help make it firmer when it comes to eating the burger.

Also toasting the bread/buns on the grill always and more texture/flavor to your finished burger; brush lightly with oil and put directly on the grates of your BBQ until lightly charred and toasted.

One last note, always melt the cheese onto the burger patty during the last part of the cooking time, if using a meltable cheese. Melted gooey cheese is more appealing in not only taste, but presentation, as well.

Chef Dez is a chef, writer and host. Visit him at

chefdez.com.