Who couldn't love the crunchy, salty taste of real strips of bacon on a patty of beef1? The bacon burger is a ubiquitous and well-loved American tradition, but obtaining the best bacon burger for your money can be very tricky indeed. This entry attempts to educate those who are ignorant of the subtle delicacy that is the bacon burger.
No bacon burger can be without the big three ingredients lest it end up a 'bacon-in-a-bun', 'meat-patty-with-bacon', or just a simple, plain old 'burger'.
Ground beef patty - Grilled or fried.
Bacon - This should be at least three strips, and hopefully more. The quality of the bacon is one of the most important determining factors for the overall quality of the burger.
- Bun - Buns range from sesame seed to kaiser rolls to simple bread. May be toasted, buttered or otherwise prepared, but no specific requirements are warranted.
These optional additions are the make-or-break factors for a bacon burger. They can push an average burger into the realm of stardom, but if recklessly applied can just as easily destroy the subtle balance and plummet a burger into obscurity. The ultimate test of a burger is the amount of other stuff you're tempted to pile onto it: the less additions you need, the better the quality of the core burger.
Ketchup - You can never go wrong with the basic staple of American fast food. Best applied by the consumer of the burger to taste, rather than by the food preparation staff.
Mustard - Another perfectly valid condiment for bacon burgers. Dijon-style is great, though there's much to be said for plain ol' yellow.
Pickles - Though not this Researcher's favourite, many people espouse the value of these little green vegetables.
Lettuce - A standard bacon burger addition; can be detrimental if not high quality, however.
Tomato - Also pretty standard, and again quality is very important.
Onion - Adds that little bit of 'zip' to a burger.
Avocado - Either sliced or mashed, this tasty addition does wonders for any burger. One of this Researcher's all-time favourite additions.
Cheese - This Researcher restricts his tastes to the more pure, cheeseless bacon burger, but acknowledges cheese as a potentially tasty addition.
For an admirably similar entry from the opposite side of the Atlantic, read about Bacon Sandwiches from Britain.