The Perfect Burger: Experts Weigh In

What exactly is the definition of a perfect burger, anyway?

Last week, we released our ranking of the 40 Best Burgers in America and the America's Top 10 Chain Burgers, and these lists were devised thanks to a panel of burger experts, who submitted suggestions of their favorite burgers to be included in our survey. With about 150 burgers from all reaches of the country to choose from, this panel of 30 experts then voted for their favorites in each region, which we then tallied and used to assemble our final ranking.

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Along with their burger suggestions, we also asked our panelists to answer this simple question for us: "What is the definition of the perfect burger?"

The responses were as varied as the burgers on our list. Some prefer nothing but a little bit of griddled meat with onions on a bun; others go a much more gourmet route. But in the end, certain unanimous qualifications became evident: The use of high-quality meat, for one, prepared with care and an eye toward balance.

Read on for the definition of a perfect burger from ten of the country's top chefs, food writers, bloggers, and journalists, including chefs Jonathan Waxman and Jimmy Bradley and writers George Motz, John T. Edge, and Tom Sietsema.