Gallery: The Burger Lab: How to Make the Ultimate Patty Melt

  • The Finished Product

    Burger patty melt

    Looks good, don't it? Here's how to make it.

    The Ingredients

    Burger patty melt ingredients

    Burger patty, lots of sliced onions, even more butter, plenty of cheese, and white rye bread.

    Salted Butter

    melted butter on pan

    Sprinkling the melted butter with kosher salt gives it the salty kick of the salted butter I remember from childhood grilled cheeses.

    Swirl the Bread

    bread in heated pan with melted butter

    After placing the bread in the butter, swirling it around as it cooks helps for more even, crisper, tastier browning. Toasting the inner side of the bread helps give the cheese a jumpstart on melting.

    Say Cheese!

    cheese slices on bread

    A full two slices each of American and Swiss provides a balance of gooiness and flavor.

    The Patty

    beef patty on hot pan

    Shaping a ground chuck patty into the same size as the bread ensures good meat-to-bun distribution.

    Well Charred

    charred beef patty

    Not much to say here that the picture doesn't already explain. I'll leave it at that.

    The Fond

    browned bits of beef patty

    All the browned bits that the burger leaves behind is flavor just asking to be soaked up by...

    The Onions

    cooked onions

    ...the onions. This photo was taken only 30 seconds after the onions were added to the pan and the meat juices were deglazed by the liquid they exuded. How now, brown co...onion?

    Juicy

    burger patty

    Good burger patties exude juice. It's a fact of life. Best use'em to improve our sandwich. How, you might ask?

    Sizzle

    caramelizing onions in burger juice

    Why, by adding it to the caramelizing onions, of course! Welcome to flavor country.

    Done Caramelized

    caramelized onions in pan

    By repeatedly deglazing with meat juices and water, you can brown onions in a quarter the time it normally takes. The French got nothing on this one, baby.

    Assembly

    burger patty melt

    Bread, cheese, onions, patty, ready to grill. you can fit a full cup's worth of raw onions on a single sandwich after they've been cooked down.

    Low and Slow

    burger patty melt

    Low heat allows you to brown the bread and melt the cheese without scorching the butter.

    Ahh...

    burger patty melt

    Cheesy, beefy, sweet, crisp, buttery, and downright delicious.

    The Tasting

    man eating burger melt

    Does Ed like it? He seems skeptical, but...

    Yes.

    Robyn eating burger melt

    ...Robyn sets him straight. Cheers!

    Burger patty melt