The One Burger Rule Anthony Bourdain Always Stood By

Whether you’re a cooking newbie or a seasoned chef, the burger is a dish that can go one of two ways — a delicious success or a disastrous failure. Whether that’s maintaining a balanced ratio of bread to meat or avoiding soggy burger buns, the perfect burger requires the right balance of ingredients, and a lot of patience. 

And if there’s one person to look to for advice in this feat, it’s the late cooking master, Anthony Bourdain. For the chef, a burger only has to consist of three key elements — “the classic soft squishy potato bun, a hunk of well-ground good-quality beef, and more often than not processed meltable cheese,” as he told Tech Insider (via YouTube). 

Additional garnish like lettuce and tomato is preferable, but the more you add to the stack the harder it is to eat. “In a perfect world, you should be able to eat a hamburger with one hand and get a representative chunk of all the elements,” Bourdain explained. “There’s a tectonic slide that occurs when you start to over complicate and add other products.” 

One of these complications is the brioche bun, which even made it on the chef’s “Crimes Against Food” list (via Inside Hook).

Avoid brioche buns

So what’s so bad about sweet, sweet brioche? Well, as Bourdain wrote, the mighty hamburger bun is there for a reason — to absorb grease, “not to add greasiness to the experience.” A brioche bun is “woefully unstable for this role” according to the chef, as it “crumbles” when you grip the burger and take your first bite. “God is against the brioche bun,” Bourdain concluded. 

Food site the Daily Meal would agree, writing that the ideal burger bun should be “structurally sound” and “soft enough” to bite through as well as being “big enough to envelop the whole burger, and small enough not to completely overwhelm it.” 

But what if you like the sweetness brioche can bring to a burger? If you don’t want to ditch the bread, all you need to do is toast your buns before assembling the burger. According to Foods Guy, broiling brioche in an oven will garner the best results as you can “warm them evenly but still keep them soft inside and a deliciously crisp outside.” Broiling is when you cook food at a specific temperature with a constant flow of hot air (via the Spruce Eats). 

Bourdain may have stood by his anti-brioche burger rule, but that doesn’t mean you have to. 

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