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Burgers for Everyone!
Tap here for 3 sizzling apps to nail grilling season.
No cookout would be complete without juicy burgers hot from the grill.
But as basic as they may seem—all you need is a patty, a bun, and some heat, right?—there’s a big difference between a pretty good burger and one that melts your mind like a slice of American cheese.
How’s an ambitious grill-master supposed to know where to start?
To narrow the field, we asked the pros behind three popular cooking apps to tell us about their best burgers—and why these deserve the star treatment this season.
For classic carnivores
The app: Panna
The recipe: Le Petite Grocery Burger, a thick, rich, 100 percent chuck patty covered in melted Gruyere, topped with caramelized-onion jam, whole-grain mustard, and half-sour pickles—all sandwiched into soft brioche.
The backstory: When Justin Devillier, the chef-owner of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, added a burger to his menu, he approached it with the rigor he applies to his fine-dining dishes, but without any fussiness.
“I decided to build the burger the same way I built our charcuterie plates,” he says. The question that inspired him: “What would happen if we transplanted the classic American cheeseburger to the French countryside?”
With the help of a few store-bought swaps, Devillier’s creation is dead simple to replicate. “The mustard, the mayo, and the ketchup that you associate with a classic American burger are echoed in the aioli, grainy mustard, and marmalade,” Devillier says. “It’s the universal flavors that make it a real crowd-pleaser.”
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For vegetarians (permanent or occasional)
The app: Fit Men Cook
The recipe: Chipotle Walnut & Vegan Black Bean Burger. “I’m the ultimate carnivore,” says Fit Men Cook founder Kevin Curry, “so when I incorporate plant-based foods into my diet, they really have to pass the taste test.”
The backstory: “When you’re making a burger from grains,” Curry says, “you can really manipulate the nuances in a way you can’t with the aggressive flavors of meat.”
In this burger, chipotles lend a warm heat, and pulverized walnuts add heartiness and mimic the texture you’d find in traditional ground meat.
Bonus: These burgers are perfect for prepping ahead. "In fact, they're even better when they’ve had time to firm up in the fridge before cooking. And because they’re plant-based, you don’t have to worry about spoilage.”
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For creative cooks
The app: NYT Cooking
The recipe: You’re gonna learn to make your own, buster.
The backstory: The New York Times’ cooking app is brimming with enticing burger recipes. But for the culinary experts behind it, the ultimate mission is to give home cooks the know-how to go off script and forge their own way.
Thus the app’s comprehensive “How to Make Burgers: A Guide.”
"It's great because it breaks down how an excellent burger is really just the result of a bunch of smart decisions and little techniques," explains Times cooking columnist Melissa Clark.
For example: Handle patties as little as possible, because pressing them tightly can make them compacted and dry. Also: For a perfect char on the outside, only turn burgers once, when you think they’re halfway cooked.
To avoid the dreaded mush factor when making veggie burgers, Clark says to first roast watery ingredients—like beans, beets, or mushrooms—to help draw out moisture and boost the flavor.
You’ll learn these tips in the app—and much, much more.
“Just don’t forget,” Clark says, “to always eat them while they’re hot!”