Slideshow: Staff Picks: Our Favorite Condiments for Burgers and Hot Dogs

Holy Triumvirate: Pickles + Onions + Tangy Spread
Holy Triumvirate: Pickles + Onions + Tangy Spread
While I like to keep each individual burger pretty simple, there are still a lot of things that have gone on my burgers from time to time. But the three things I consistently go back for, whether I'm at In-N-Out, Shake Shack, or just making a few burgers at home (not too common these days), is the holy burger triumverate of pickles, onions (grilled or pressed into the patty, if you prefer—sometimes I do), and a tangy spread. At home, that spread consists of mayo and ketchup mixed with some pickle relish and seasoned with vinegar and sugar (check out my In-N-Out clone recipe here. Ed Levine said to me last week that pickles make any sandwich better. Never do I find this more true than with a hamburger. J. Kenji López-Alt
Mayo, Fried Onions
Mayo, Fried Onions
I didn't know the hot dog's full potential until I visited Chile and tried a completo, a hot dog topped with an obscene amount of mayo (along with avocado mash, chopped tomato, mustard, and hot aji sauce). This...this is what I'd been missing in the US. It was glorious. I love mayo on burgers as well.

I also want to give some love to my favorite non-spreadable topping: crunchy fried onions, a common hot dog topping in Scandinavia. I don't understand why they're not more commonly used on hot dogs and burgers in the US. Fried onion bits can only bring happiness. Robyn Lee

Mustard and Mayo Mix
Mustard and Mayo Mix
I've never met a condiment that I didn't like, but if I could only top my burger with one thing ever again, it would be a 50-50 mix of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. It's got the fattiness of mayo and the acid of mustard - both necessary for optimal burger enjoyment. Carrie Vasios
Pickles
Pickles
Pickle relish, as well as thin-sliced pickles, are important on both burgers and dogs. Just look at my fridge—I always have pickles stocked. Ed Levine

[Photograph: Shutterstock]

Caramelized Onions
Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions. I love the way they cook down into something that's a little sweet and a little savory and gets totally embedded in melted cheese. In-n-Out's Animal-Style pretty much represents everything I want my onions to be: super-brown and caught in a delicious gooey matrix of American cheese melt. Carey Jones
Relishes
Relishes
This question is extremely tough for me. I tend to get just as, if not more, excited about the condiments than whatever's underneath. Give me whole-grain mustard and caramelized onions and kraut, and...pretty soon I can hardly put the bun lid back on top. But if you made me choose just one (urgghh), I'd say relish. That balance of vinegar, salt, sugar, and crunch is all there. It's like a vinegary salad you can slather on top.

Also, I'm a fan of the add-an-egg option on burgers, if eggs count as condiments. —Erin Zimmer

Cole Slaw
Cole Slaw
My mother instilled in me a taste for Hebrew National hot dogs covered in cole slaw. The hot/cold salty/sweet combination is a summer classic in our family (and Hebrew National is the only acceptable brand in the Fishner household). Ben Fishner

[Photograph: Stephanie Frey / Shutterstock]

Mustards of all kinds
Mustards of all kinds
If I have to choose one, I'll go with mustard. From salad dressings to sausages, mustard gives that extra kick separating a good dish from a great one. As for what specific kind, I refuse to pick a favorite. As I realized on a visit to the National Mustard Museum in Wisconsin, you can never have too many different kinds of mustard. Nick Kindelsperger
Spicy Mayo
Spicy Mayo
I'm a sucker for chiles with my grilled meat, and I'm a slave to mayo at the condiments table. I like economy in my sauces, and something that tastes great on my burger, my fries, my pickles, and my spoon is my key to a happy patio cook-out. I'll take spicy mayo any way I can get it, but sambal oelek and harissa are my two favorite mayo mix-ins. Add a shot of pickle juice and I'm very, very happy. Max Falkowitz
Sriracha Mayo
Sriracha Mayo
Just a few seconds of work to stir together Sriracha and mayo is rewarded with a sauce that's creamy, spicy, tangy, and garlicky. It's strong enough to hold its own against a big meaty burger patty, but doesn't overpower the beefiness you want. Get the recipe here. Josh Bousel
Shack Sauce
Shack Sauce
Favorite condiment for burgers would be Shack Sauce, and for hot dogs, well I'm always on Team Burger. Alaina Browne
Chimichurri
Chimichurri
This tart chimichurri sauce is my favorite condiment of 2012. In fact, it's also my new favorite way to eat the leafy herb known as parsley, much thanks in part to our pantry staple friends garlic and red pepper flake. And our Sauced columnist Joshua Bousel, of course. Jessica Leibowitz