Rank the Most Popular Hamburger Toppings in America?
September 4, 2009 4:00 PM   Subscribe

I need to purchase hamburger toppings and condiments without knowing in advance the preferences of the diners.

Please provide your own list of hamburger toppings in order of how popular you think they are in America. Out of curiosity, I am interested in lists from other countries as well.
posted by Matt Arnold to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
bacon
avocado
cheese
bacon
bacon
bacon
posted by scody at 4:07 PM on September 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Lettuce, tomato, onion
Ketchup, mustard, mayo
Pickles
Hot sauce or barbeque sauce
avocado

Those are the basics. I also like onion rings or griddled onions and sauteed mushrooms, but that's extra cooking.
posted by ohio at 4:07 PM on September 4, 2009


cheese (i prefer cheddar for a basic burger)
tomato
lettuce
pickles
ketchup
mustard
onions
posted by dino might at 4:09 PM on September 4, 2009


1. Mustard
2. Ketchup
3. Cheese
4. Onions
5. Pickles
6. Tomatoes
7. Lettuce
8. Mayo
9. Relish

That would be my guess... maybe pickles are more popular than onions.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:09 PM on September 4, 2009


ketchup
mustard
mayonnaise
chili
relish
pickles
lettuce
tomatoes
cheese
onions
bacon
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:10 PM on September 4, 2009


ketchup
cheese
mayo
pickles
mustard
onions

Mushrooms are good, and I like corn relish. Chive cream cheese with walnuts was a topping I used to get at Bon Apetit in DC way back when.
posted by jgirl at 4:12 PM on September 4, 2009


Remind me to never go to NC!

ketchup
mustard (standard yellow)
mayo
cheese (american or cheddar)
bacon
lettuce
tomato
dill pickles
onion
sweet relish
avocado
posted by elsietheeel at 4:14 PM on September 4, 2009


Ketchup
Cheese
Mustard
Relish
Tomato
Lettuce
Pickles
Mayonnaise
Fried onions
Fried mushrooms
posted by cCranium at 4:14 PM on September 4, 2009


Don't forget the veggie burgers!
posted by spaceman_spiff at 4:15 PM on September 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


The bare minimum in my book is lettuce and tomato. Cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles are standard. Anything beyond that is getting fancy. But if you're going to get fancy, consider some good mild salsa.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:20 PM on September 4, 2009


From wikipedia

"Condiments are usually added to the hamburger or may be offered separately "on the side"; the two most common are mustard and tomato ketchup. However, mayonnaise, other salad dressings, and barbecue sauce are also popular. Traditional "Texas" hamburgers and cheeseburgers usually omit other liquid condiments besides mustard.

Other popular toppings include bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms, cheese sauce and/or chili (usually without beans). Heinz 57 sauce is popular among burger enthusiasts. Somewhat less common ingredients include fried egg, scrambled egg, feta cheese, blue cheese, salsa, pineapple, Jalapenos and other kinds of chile peppers, anchovies, slices of ham or bologna, pastrami or teriyaki-seasoned beef, tartar sauce, french fries, onion rings or potato chips.

Standard toppings on hamburgers may depend upon location, particularly at restaurants that are not national or regional franchises. In the Upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, burgers are often made with a buttered bun, butter as one of the ingredients of the patty or with a pat of butter on top of the burger patty. This is called a "Butter Burger". In the Carolinas, for instance, a Carolina-style hamburger "with everything" may be served with cheese, chili, onions, mustard, and coleslaw. National chain Wendy's sells a "Carolina Classic" burger with these toppings in these areas. In Hawaii hamburgers are often topped with teriyaki sauce, derived from the Japanese-American culture, and locally grown pineapple."

And speaking of regional variations... no one's mentioned jalepenos yet (Southwest).
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:22 PM on September 4, 2009


bacon
cheese (blue, cheddar, spicy jack,processed oil product)
jalapeno
mustard
ketchup
onions
mayo
garlic salt
pepper
BACON
posted by iamabot at 4:27 PM on September 4, 2009


A french-canadian guess:
Relish-ketchup-mustard
mayonaise
salad
cheese
tomato
onions
pickles
bacon
avocado (guacamole)
sometimes I put chips too.
posted by ddaavviidd at 4:33 PM on September 4, 2009


I am going to propose a four-part breakdown of condiments:

1. Basics. With the basic set, you can't have anyone particularly upset.
ketchup
mustard
pickles or relish
onions
lettuce
tomato
cheese: American is level 1, Cheddar is an alternate if you can't bear to have this on decent meat.

salt/pepper

2. Nice Selection
Here we add the slightly classier toppings:
Bacon - bacon is more expensive/labor intensive, which is why it goes here.
Swiss or Jack - in addition to a 'basic' cheese
Mayo - some of us like making special sauce

3. Regional Favorites
One or two of these may be in slightly more demand in your part of the country.
Jalapenos
Avocado
Sweet (green/bell) Pepper
BBQ Sauce
A-1 Sauce
Mushrooms
Chili
Salsa

4. Thematic Selections
In special cases, consider some of these:
Special Cheeses: feta for a 'greek burger', or perhaps the spicy burger grouping might include pepper jack.
Special Sauces (spicy? teriyaki? tzatziki?)
Fruit/Veg: pickled things, pineapple,
Whimsical: meat beyond bacon. Alternatives to buns.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:33 PM on September 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


In the Carolinas, for instance, a Carolina-style hamburger "with everything" may be served with cheese, chili, onions, mustard, and coleslaw. National chain Wendy's sells a "Carolina Classic" burger with these toppings in these areas.

And this is heaven on a bun.

But we do sell avocados here for those that must do something unusual to their burger....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:36 PM on September 4, 2009


Here in England, many (most?) burgers come with "relish" that is not green pickle relish in the American tradition but rather a red tomato-based concoction that looks like salsa but tastes more like sweet ketchup.
posted by sueinnyc at 4:37 PM on September 4, 2009


I'm just seconding scody's list. I would add jalapeno pepper slices to the list, though. Coming in second would be sauteed mushrooms and swiss cheese.
posted by crenquis at 4:47 PM on September 4, 2009


The way Australians add a nice slice of BEETROOT to a burger (along with a fair selection of previously mentioned toppings) is a real treat!
posted by dirm at 4:50 PM on September 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you serve chips and guac, then those who want avocado/guac on their burger can use the guac. Everyone else can just enjoy the chips and guac.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 4:50 PM on September 4, 2009


  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles

posted by floam at 4:59 PM on September 4, 2009


Everything at the "make yer own" condiment bar at my favorite burger joint, in the order of how likely I'd be to use it..

Ketchup
Jack Cheese (maybe it's Mozzarella)
'American' Cheese
Bacon
Pickles (not relish)
Onions (fried)
BBQ sauce
Mustard
Onions (raw)
Relish
Tomato slices
Lettuce
Jalapenos or banana peppers
posted by rokusan at 5:01 PM on September 4, 2009


Just to make sure, let me put it out there that the burger itself should contain no fillers, no onion soup mix, no actual onions, or garlic. The burger should be nothing but ground beef (a mix of round and chuck is best), seasoned with salt and pepper and worcestershire sauce if you want to get fancy. This provides the perfect base for whatever toppings you or your guests may desire. The following toppings should absolutely be available:

1) Cheese (cheddar is standard)
2) Lettuce
3) Tomato
4) Sliced onion
5) Ketchup
6) Mustard
7) Mayonnaise
8) Sliced pickles

And for extra credit, you may also add:

Bacon
caramelized onions
sautéed mushrooms
sliced red and/or green bell pepper
avocado
Jalapeno peppers, or any other hot chilis really
BBQ sauce
pickle relish
different cheeses, pepperjack, or spiced gouda or swiss or gorgonzola or whatever
Thousand Island dressing, for those that want to mimic a Big Mac
salsa
a fried egg
onion rings
some folks put french fries on their burgers

For tons of great burger ideas you could check out this restaurant's website and their menu in pdf format
posted by wabbittwax at 5:56 PM on September 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I endorse cobaltnine's hierarchy, though I'd never consider "pickles" and "relish" the same.
posted by rokusan at 6:02 PM on September 4, 2009


The way Australians add a nice slice of BEETROOT to a burger (along with a fair selection of previously mentioned toppings) is a real treat!

Oh yes, absolutely. No self-respecting Oz hamburger is complete without a layer of sliced beetroot from a can.

Also:
Pineapple (slices from can, extra bonus if grilled)
Bbq sauce.
Sliced pickled sandwich cucumber (also from a can).
posted by Kerasia at 6:05 PM on September 4, 2009


Ah, yes, after some discussion, a clarification: minimally, pickles OR relish should be available at level 1, with a slight preference towards pickles and against relish if one must be chosen. At level 2, both should be present.

Relish is a primary condiment in the Hot Dog or Sausage-inna-Bun hierarchy, not yet available.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:23 PM on September 4, 2009


Favorite burger 1:
quacamole
raw red onions
pickled jalapeños

Favorite burger 2:
sauted mushrooms
sauteed onion
swiss cheese

Favorite burger 3:
BBQ sauce
sauted onions
sauted bell peppers
posted by zinfandel at 6:42 PM on September 4, 2009


I second cobaltnine's list - very nice breakdown
posted by radioamy at 7:06 PM on September 4, 2009


Horseradish.
posted by torquemaniac at 7:29 PM on September 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


This ought be sidebarred.
posted by vrakatar at 11:19 PM on September 4, 2009


Get some Trader Joe's tomato chutney if you can!
posted by jgirl at 5:52 AM on September 5, 2009


Caramelized onions! Also, people forget about shallots, but when they taste them they'll thank you for remembering them.
posted by zepheria at 9:43 AM on September 5, 2009


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