Burger bars are becoming the new it thing for social gatherings. It is not necessarily a buffet but it is as easy as one. The great thing is that each person is able to create their own master piece. The best thing is that as the host you aren’t slaving over a plated meal. Burger bars can be fitted to each individual guest’s dietary needs. If you have vegetarians you can have special burgers just for them but also beef burgers for those guests who prefer the real thing. Burger bars are perfect for any type of gathering. Throw together lots of toppings, a few sides, some chips and you have yourself a low key almost maintenance free event.
With so many toppings available how do you decide what to put on your burger bar? You first must decide on the level of work that you are willing to put into maintaining the meal verse socializing with guests. Maybe you want to throw the burgers on and let the rest take care of itself. In this case you need to stick to ingredients that are not going to spoil after a few hours out of the refrigerator. If you are able to balance maintaining the bar and socializing then go for the gusto. Add items that can be maintained with an ice bath so they don’t spoil and all the other extras.
It is a simple concept to throw together on short notice. There many things to consider when putting together a burger bar. First consider what type of meat you want to use for the patties. I suggest making sure you take into consideration each of you guests preferences. Veggie burgers are popular and can be purchased ahead of time. Beef burgers can be bought ahead of time however I would not recommend this type for the serious burger fanatic. Use a mixture of beef that contains a decent fat to beef combination and combine different seasonings for added flavor. This will suit many different taste buds. As for toppings below you will find a thinks to think about for your next burger bar gathering.
Buns: I am shocked at how many types of rolls and buns are out there for use with hamburgers. For the burger bar I like to use things that people wouldn’t think of when making burger at home. Bagels, rye bread, onion rolls, buns that are covered with seeds, pita bread and of course plain buns for guests who like to keep it simple.
Cheeses: Decide whether you want the cheese to be melted on the meat or can you place the cheese on a plate and have guests choose from there. I would suggest a variety of cheese for guests to choose from. Some to think about are Swiss, Cheddar, American, Provolone, Mozzarella or whatever you can think of. Some people even use cream cheese so really prepare for all of your guests different and unique taste buds.
Vegetables: You can choose to sauté the veggies or leave them raw. Many guests would love some sautéed onions, mushrooms and peppers. A quick and easy way to make this happen is to throw them in a packet of tin foil and butter and grill them ahead of time. You can then use a small crock pot to keep them warm for guests to eat later. Other veggies to consider are lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, sprouts, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, relish and cucumbers. Some fruits to consider adding are apples and pineapples. Fruit adds a tangy, sweet kick to every bite.
Other Meats: For those meat eaters who love to pile it on cook some ham, bacon, lamb or sausage ahead of time for guests to have on their beef patty. This will be an added bonus for meat eating guests.
Seasonings and Sauces: Don’t forget the seasoning salt and ground pepper. Consider putting out Cajun spice for those guests that like to spice up there burgers. Sauces to consider are hoisin, barbeque, A-1, ranch and sweet and sour. You will also want to add the standard mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise to complete your burger bar.
Of course not everything in this list needs to be added for a successful burger bar gathering. Include the items that will satisfy the taste buds of your guests. Then sit back and enjoy all the praise you get for the best gathering idea ever.