To Toast Or Not To Toast? How To Handle Types Of Hamburger Buns

There's something undeniably satisfying about grilling a hamburger on a warm, sunny day. As the heat from the grill rises and the savory scent of the meat fills the air, it's easy to feel a sense of contentment. Perhaps it's the combination of being outdoors while simultaneously indulging in a delicious meal that makes grilling burgers such a pleasurable experience, or maybe it's the simple pleasure of cooking food over an open flame that makes grilling so nice.

Whatever the reason, there's no denying that grilling can bring immense happiness, and when you finally sink your teeth into that juicy, perfectly cooked burger, with all your favorite toppings and condiments, it's hard not to feel a sense of satisfaction for what you have created. But one question may be on your mind when it comes to building the perfect burger– do you toast the bun or not? Well, that may depend on the type of bun you've chosen.

The best burger buns for toasting

Toasting hamburger buns on a grill is a matter of personal preference, but it can definitely add some extra flavor and texture to your burger. Toasting the buns will give them a slightly crispy texture and smoky flavor that can complement the savory taste of the burger. However, not all hamburger buns are suited for grilling, depending on their texture and composition. For example, in an interview with Food & Wine, Mark Rosati, the Culinary Director of Shake Shack, said that he chooses firmer rolls, like a Kaiser roll, for grilling because they hold up to the heat and leave perfect grill marks.

Rosati said he avoids lighter, fluffier rolls because they don't always grill well. Similarly, rolls that are very dense and heavy, such as bagels or ciabatta, may not absorb the grill marks as well as other breads, so you will need to pay attention to how long you grill it. If you're unsure whether a particular type of roll is well-suited for grilling, you may want to experiment with a small batch first to see how they turn out before grilling a larger batch. 

How to properly toast a hamburger bun

To grill your hamburger buns, brush both sides of each slice of bread with a light layer of olive oil or melted butter to prevent it from sticking to the grill and to add some extra flavor. Then, slice them in half and place them on the grill, cut-side down, for about 30-60 seconds, or until grill marks appear and the bread is lightly toasted. You can also add some herbs or spices, such as garlic or rosemary, to the bread for additional flavor. 

If your bread isn't suited for grilling, or if you are afraid of burning the bread, you can toast your hamburger buns in the oven or a toaster to give it that crunchy texture that pairs so well with a juicy hamburger patty. If you really want to kick it up a notch, you should try toasting bread in a pan. Either way you choose to toast your hamburger buns, the texture and flavor can improve your already delicious burger.