Try our ultimate cheeseburger recipe below or check out more burger recipes, including our ultimate beef burger, spicy lamb burger and vegan black bean burger. For another variation on this popular dish, try our comforting cheeseburger pasta.

After members of the olive team had a near religious experience trying the out-of- this-world cheeseburger served up at the Four Legs pop-up at the Compton Arms, Islington, I was tasked with the challenge of creating my own version of the perfect cheeseburger. It’s all about bringing together the key elements:

  • the juiciest aged beef patty, smashed and pushed into the pan for maximum crispy edges
  • melty American- style cheese on top
  • a butter-toasted brioche bun
  • spicy/sweet/sour/crunchy pickles
  • a riff on a famous sauce from a famous burger from a certain famous American fast food outlet.

This is how to put it all together...

Which is the best beef for the burger?

A mince with a good amount of fat will make all the difference to the flavour of the patty. Look out for steak mince with a fat content of 15%. And if you have a good butcher near, ask for aged beef mince that has been minced with added fat. It will give the deepest, beefiest flavour, while staying tender and juicy.

How do you make the best burger patty?

Getting a non-stick frying pan smoking hot and squashing the burgers into the pan will allow the patties to form charred, crispy edges – this is the fats and proteins on the surface of the meat caramelising. It’s best to only cook two at a time (unless barbecuing) because overcrowding the pan will lower its temperature, hindering this caramelisation process.

Putting a lid on the pan once the cheese has been added is important. The steam created under the lid will melt the cheese quickly so the burger doesn’t overcook; and it will also help release the delicious crusty bits off the bottom of the pan so they join the patties when they are scooped into the buns.

Is the burger sauce important?

The sauce may have a fairly long list of ingredients but it’s well worth it. The sweet, smoky and sour combo complements and cuts through the richer flavours of the brioche, cheese and patty.

Which are the best burger buns?

Using brioche buns, as opposed to normal burger buns, will give a sweet edge and a well-structured bun that can hold the burger. Toasting the buns on the cut sides adds flavour as well as stability, preventing it from collapsing when all the burger juices soak in.


  • 4 brioche burger buns, halved
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 600g minced beef (15% fat)
  • 4 cheese slices
  • 10 sliced pickles, cut into pieces (we like Dino’s Famous Chilli Stacker Pickles)


  • 2 echalion shallot, very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp liquid from the pickle jar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • a pinch garlic powder
  • a pinch onion powder
  • a pinch sweet smoked paprika


  • STEP 1

    To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a little seasoning.

  • STEP 2

    Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and brush the cut sides of the buns liberally with melted butter. Toast in the hot pan until really golden and toasted.

  • STEP 3

    Turn the heat to high. When the pan is really hot, season the mince and form into four balls, then push two into the frying pan, squashing to flatten. Sprinkle over some salt again and cook for 2 minutes until really crisp, then flip, sprinkle over some salt and repeat. Lay a sheet of cheese onto each and cover with a lid for 30 seconds until melted. Move onto a plate and repeat with the remaining patties and cheese slices.

  • STEP 4

    Spread some of the sauce onto the bases of the buns, then top with the cheese patties. Top with lots of pickles, then spread the tops liberally with the sauce and put on top to serve.


Adam Bush Chef Portrait
Adam BushDeputy food editor

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