To any real fan, a hamburger is never “just a burger.” A great burger is a work of art, passionately thought out and painstakingly executed. It’s the very extension of the grill master’s identity.
So with the smells of charcoal and grilled meat beginning to perfume backyards across the country, we challenged L.A. Times burgermeisters everywhere to submit their recipes in our third annual Battle of the Burgers. The response was amazing. We received submissions from all over the country (and even the world), for creations combining common and unusual ingredients, many drawing from local flavors and regional cuisine. Every recipe was at once unique and uniquely American.
Thousands of votes were tallied to narrow the choices to the top 20 burgers. The best recipes were then put to task in the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen. The burgers were judged by Food section editors and staff. It was tough, but after days of testing, exhaustive judging (and maybe a little post-burger napping), we came up with five favorites.