top at an In-N-Out
Burger along California’s Interstate ; and look
at the parking lot; you’ll see electric cars
parked next to heavy-duty pickup trucks, and
every stripe of American silently sharing the
equalizing experience of the roadside ham-
burger, the original, a;ordable square meal.
From that fast-food burger to the extravagant
gilded versions that now regularly appear on
white-tablecloth menus, the hamburger
embodies America in all its complexity.
I have eaten countless burgers, made from
all kinds of meat, and no meat at all, in all
kinds of environments, all over the world. I’ve
also cooked countless burgers, mostly in
restaurants, but also in museums, in alleys,
on rooftops and in ;elds. For the past ;; years
I have spent a great deal of time pursuing
hamburger perfection, only to realize there
is no perfect hamburger. There is only the
hamburger that is perfect for you. That said,
there are bad hamburgers, and bad can and
should be avoided in the choices you make in
both your purchases and your preparations.
In short, use the best of what is available,
and the ingredients you like the most. The
wisdom contained herein will set you on the
path to a better burger.—Chris Kronner
BUILDING A BETTER BURGER
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36
When cooking (or grilling),
burgers come together
quickly. Most patties, from
rare to well-done, cook in a
matter of minutes. It’s very
even—to have all your
ingredients prepped before
starting, so you can build
and then eat your burger(s)
in a timely manner.
Your burger station
should have all the
condiments at the ready.
Lettuce cleaned and
separated into leaves.
Tomatoes sliced. Onions
charred. Pickles pickled.
Mayo ready to be spread.
Ideally, the buns should
toast while the burgers
cook—you want both to
be finished at roughly the
same time. In terms of
timing, err on the side of
toasting the buns first and
then finishing the patty.
Chris Kronner took
over the kitchen at
San Francisco’s Slow
Club at the age of
23. He has worked at
Serpentine and Bar
and after a run of
pop-ups he opened