Jonathan Waxman, Chef, Barbuto, New York City from The Perfect Burger: Experts Weigh In Slideshow

The Perfect Burger: Experts Weigh In Slideshow

Jonathan Waxman
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Jonathan Waxman, Chef, Barbuto, New York City

"I like a simple version: a good bun (preferably brioche style), the best ground beef (freshly ground — 75/25 ratio (meat to fat) grass fed if possible, not too coarsely ground). The meat should be cold when you form patties. I like 7 ounces, 6 seems too small and 8 too big. I like a thick patty, 1 3/4-inch thick. I like to use sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The meat should be formed quickly, with no kneading or excess labor. Patties should be kept at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. The best cooking method is either over medium-hot red oak coals or on griddle set over a charcoal fire. The meat should acquire a crispy exterior and [be cooked] only medium-rare. I like cave-aged Gruyère, bacon, a slice of avocado, a slice of heirloom tomato, a thin slice of grilled onion, a leaf of oak leaf lettuce. I like a toasted bun smeared with butter then aioli, plus Dijon mustard. No ketchup or pickle."