50 Best Burger Recipes For 2013

Summer's almost here and that means it's time for some grilling. While there are so many different dishes to cook outdoors, there's one that wins the popularity contest year after year — yes, we're talking about big, fat, juicy burgers. If you're like us, then as soon as the charcoal's been lit and your apron's tied on, you're obsessing over what beef blend you're going to use, what cheese to top it with, and most importantly, what condiments you'll use to finish it off.

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Because burgers evoke such crazy and obsessive reactions, we've decided to pay them the attention they deserve and compile a list of the 50 best burger recipes for you to try this summer. Whether you're a meat lover, a vegetarian, or an adventurous cook, we've searched high and low to round up the best burger recipes for you, and ranked them in terms of taste, technique, and ingenuity.[slideshow:

We've hand-picked recipes that come from all walks of culinary life — including cookbooks, professional chefs, and home cooks. There are burger recipes that will help you stretch your experimental legs in the kitchen, top-selling and award-winning recipes from popular restaurants and celebrated chefs, and recipes that'll keep you on track with your healthy diet.

To create this list of the 50 best burgers, we didn't just pick any random 50 to present to you. We started with hundreds of recipes and combed through each and every one of them to separate the wheat from the chaff. All of these recipes are unique and special to us for various reasons, whether it's the ingredients they use or the techniques used to cook them. Some recipes were selected because of the condiments and garnishes used to finish them, even if the technique of making the burger was not cutting-edge, and others were chosen because of how detailed and exact their method for cooking the burgers is. Some recipes caught our eye because of how deliberate the meat blend was — like finding the perfect balance of meat-to-fat in ground lamb for superior flavor and mouthfeel — and others were picked because of how innovative and appealing their special sauces were. Once we had our recipes, we inspected them thoroughly, tweaking instructions and ingredients, to ensure that they are the best of the best of the burger recipes out there.

These recipes run the gamut of burgers — from vegetarian and fish creations to specific types of meats and different grilling techniques — and they're ranked so you're not only getting the best, but you'll see what the best of the best are. They're not separated into categories, either, and while you may think it's impossible for a sweet potato burger to outrank a double cheeseburger, we beg to differ. We devised a method to judge our burger recipes equally, leaving particular preferences or beliefs aside.

Yes, one could argue that a burger that's slathered in cheese and mayo is going to taste better than a healthy, low-fat tuna burger, but what if that tuna burger was made from a blend of fresh herbs and coated in panko so that it's seared to a crisp perfection? Or, you may ask, how could a burger with practically identical ingredients to another outrank it? Maybe it's the careful thought and devotion in the way the recipe was written that makes it better than its twin.

There's a lot to learn about burger recipes when looking through this list. From toppings to types of buns, there are certain aspects of a burger that must be perfected when you're developing a recipe. Like the amount of meat to use for each burger, because although we're adverse to measuring our meat in ounces rather than pounds, sometimes you've  got to be exact in order to form the perfectly sized patty. And the fact that sometimes you should use fresh and dry varieties of the same ingredient, like garlic, to obtain optimal taste. Last but not least, we learned that one of the most important parts of crafting your burger is how you're going to finish it — whether that's with a special bun, sauce, toppings, or all three.

To some, a burger is just a burger, but to others, it's a world of flavors, tastes, and textures to explore. It's time to fire up the grill, so here are 50 burger recipes that we think are the best of the best.

50. Brussels Sprouts and Onion Jam Burger

49. Mini Greek Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Sauce

48. Black Bean-Hemp Protein Patties

47. Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger

46. Chickpea Burgers with Mint Raita

45. Herb Chicken Sliders with Raspberry Mustard

44. Brat Burger

43. Peanut Teriyaki Burgers

42. Murder by Burger

41. Mushroom Burgers with Fried Egg and Truffle Oil

40. Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

39. Butcher Burger

38. The Manhattan Latin Burger

37. McDonald's Big Mac

36. Number One Burger

35. Turkey Burgers with Pomegranate Molasses

34. Denny's Bacon Slamburger

33. True Food Kitchen's Bison Umami Burger

32. All-American Double Bison Cheeseburger

31. Hill Country Brisket Burger

30. Mini Mushroom Burgers

29. Charred Burgers with Red Onion Jam

28. Emmi Swiss Cheese Sliders

27. $100 Burger

26. Kefi Lamb Burger

25. Nancy's Burger

24. The Comme Ça Burger

23. White Castle Slider

22. Blue Cheese, Bacon, Fried Onion Sliders

21. Cheesebellied Guacamole Turkey Burgers

20. Pastrami Burger

19. Southwest Salsa Burgers

18. Roquefort-Stuffed Venison Burger

17. Italian Meatballs Burgers

16. Burger with Pickled Beets and Fried Egg

15. Homage to Island Creek Oysters Burger

14. Awesome Burger

13. Grilled Lamb and Pistachio Burgers

12. Big Papa's Beef Patty

11. Frita Cubana

10. The Ultimelt

9. Green Chile Burger

8. Sous Vide Burger

7. Cheddar Cheeseburger with Caramelized Shallots

6. The French Onion Soup Burger

5. Tortilla-Wrapped New Mexican Chile Burger

4. Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Mayo and Quick Cucumber PIckle

3. Crescent City Sliders with Triple Cheese Topping

2. Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Burgers

1. Gingered Burgers with Lime Slaw

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Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce