Here’s a fun idea for your next backyard barbecue— a Build Your Own Burger Bar complete with a buffet of toppings and condiments. You provide the options, while your guests bring their appetites and creativity.
If I had just one last meal to enjoy, I would most certainly pick a thick and juicy burger loaded up with toppings, so messy that a large stack of napkins is absolutely mandatory. What can I say? I’m a burger girl.
During the summer, burgers are my first choice for grilling and entertaining. They’re easy, versatile, and a crowd-pleaser for sure.
The Best Burger Recipe
A burger bar starts with a good hamburger patty, of course. I’ve found that 80% lean ground chuck is the best meat the start with. It has more fat, but a lot more flavor. You can add flavorings and spices as you like, but if you start with flavorful beef it’s not necessary.
I like to keep my patties simple— with a heavy sprinkling of salt and pepper, a dash of worchestershire sauce, a bit of garlic powder, and some fresh herbs. See the recipe card below for the full “recipe”.
How to make a Build-your-own-burger bar
The possibilities for toppings are almost endless! How big or small you want your options to be is totally up to you. Have your buns, hamburger patties, and toppings spread out on a big buffet table so your guests can choose what they like. Have the table placed next to the grill if you’d like to serve the patties as they’re done cooking. Here are the toppings I served with this burger bar, but don’t feel limited to only what you see here. Get creative!
- Pepper Jack
- Red onions
- Caramelized onions
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Jalapeño peppers
- Yellow mustard
- Dijon mustard
- BBQ sauce
When you’re done building your burger, if it is so tall you can’t fit it in your mouth without a bit of effort, then you’re doing it right. I’m always guilty of overloading my burgers, or is that even possible?
The great thing about a burger bar is everyone gets to make the burger they love, and explore new flavor combinations and ingredients. What is on your perfect burger?
The Best Burgers
For the patties:
- 2 1/2 lbs (1 kg 100 grams) ground chuck (preferably 80% lean)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs like sage, oregano, or rosemary
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
To serve (optional):
- 6 hamburger buns
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Cheese and other toppings, as desired
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef with the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and herbs with your hands.
- Divide mixture into 6 balls. Press into a disk about 3/4 inch high.
- Brush both sides lightly with oil. Cover and chill until ready to grill, up to 8 hours.
- Grill over high heat, about 4 minutes on each side for medium. Cook longer if you want a more well-done burger. If adding cheese, place on the top of the patty during the last 30 seconds of cooking. Serve immediately as desired.