You can haz America's best cheeseburger
October 26th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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All National Cheeseburger Day coverage

Chuck out everything you ever knew about making cheeseburgers, and get ready to beef up your burger repertoire.

Named the best burger in America by The Food Network, the 10 o’clock burger from Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta relies on fresh ingredients made from scratch. Executive Sous Chef Jason Paolini showed patrons how to make the famous burger at Taste of Atlanta over the weekend.

“The secret is making everything from scratch,” Paolini says. “We grind our own meat daily, we have a bakery that makes our own bread, we make our own pickles, we make our own ketchup and mustard. That’s what makes it so delicious.”

Don’t have a meat grinder? Don’t sweat it. Paolini gives some tips on how to replicate his masterpiece from home, with as much hassle as you’re willing to sacrifice.

1. Bake your own bread

Holeman & Finch bakes its own bread, and Paolini suggests doing the same at home if possible. If not, buy fresh-baked rolls.

“One of the good ways to tell a good burger bun is if it has some good sponge action, so when you squeeze it, it comes back,” he says. “That way, it will absorb some of the juices from the meat.”

Paolini uses a French-style roll and butters and toasts the inside of each bun before fitting with a burger. He also uses buns that are the same size as the burger patties to ensure that each bite is the same.

“Toast the buns in the skillet, so just the inside of the bread is toasted and the outside is still soft and has that nice bread texture,” he says.

2. Use fresh ground meat

If you don’t have a meat grinder at home (and really, who does?), you should be able to get fresh ground meat from “any decent butcher around town,” Paolini says. The 10 o’clock burger is made from one part chuck and one part brisket, equally distributed.

Each patty should be 4-ounces each, with two patties per burger. “We patty them thin so that when you cook them, all the fat renders out, which creates a good, juicy burger,” Paolini says.

Salt one side of each burger and place salt-side down on a griddle or sauté pan. Burgers should be cooked medium, with the inside of the patty left slightly pink.

3. Add red onions and Kraft American cheese

Once you’ve flipped your burgers and salted the tops, add sliced red onions on top of one of the burger patties and top both with one slice of Kraft American cheese.

“That helps cook the onions a little bit while retaining that raw, crisp flavor,” Paolini says.

But Kraft singles? Really?

“The idea is that it’s a classic American burger,” Paolini says. “We use Kraft American cheese because of the way it melts.”

4. K.I.S.S (Keep it simple, stupid)

Don’t overdo it on the condiments.

“You can get a burger with ten different things on it – mushrooms and onions and lettuce and tomato and foie gras and cheese,” Paolini says. “We wanted to just keep it simple and make it perfect.”

Holeman & Finch adds only red onion, American cheese and homemade pickles to its burgers, with its very own ketchup and mustard on the side.

“If you can find good bread and butter pickles, French’s Mustard and Heinz Ketchup … you’ll come pretty close to recreating it,” he says.

5. Serve with fries and a bubbly beverage

What’s more American than French fries? (Besides, you know, Kraft singles?) Holeman & Finch serves its burger with a side of homemade fries, made from Idaho potatoes.

Add a beer to the palate or wash it down with your standard soft drink.

“The idea is that it’s a classic, so eating a burger and drinking a Coca-Cola out of a glass bottle is great,” Paolini says.

The burger might be “classic,” but it’s certainly not ordinary. It’s just simple.

“Each ingredient can stand on its own,” Paolini says. “You don’t really need more.”

All National Cheeseburger Day coverage

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Filed under: Bite • Burgers • Dishes • Make • Sandwiches • Techniques & Tips

soundoff (374 Responses)
  1. Eaka

    This looks terrible. It's the worst American food ever. You need a big mouth to eat that piece of junk.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom

      Hear hear ... It looks really bad indeed. People pay for their heart attacks not for food.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • Cindy

      I totally agree. I won't force myself to eat that. I rather have a veggie burger about half the size of that gigantic mountain.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
      • Tom

        I'd rather have taste than a veggie burger.

        November 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • lucnhtime

      I wonder that myself how people can take a bite of that thing.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  2. Chris

    Big Mac is the best burger

    October 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  3. TruePatriot

    A good old hamburger – the most American of all foods. Liberals and Obamatards must be enraged to even see a picture of it. Stick with the French foods, libs; leave the patriotic foods to us who will vote your party out of office next week.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jerry

      I am a Liberal and Obama Supporter that loves a good hamburger. So leave your characterizations at home.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • trumod

      Good grief. You're politicizing a CHEESEBURGER? Son, get a friggin' grip.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
      • Kev

        This is from the party that politicized French fries i.e. "Freedom fries".

        October 26, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
  4. Hamptons

    I am sorry but that looks very sickening. To put that much beef on a burger is stupid.
    No wonder this country is over is idiots like you that offer food of this size
    that has our kids so over weight.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Mary

      lmao WHAT
      don't blame the people who make them, blame the idiots who fall for it AND feed the garbage to their children lol
      and burgers are least worries of "obesity" food

      October 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Chef Fizzles

      There is nothing wrong with eating a good juicy burger once in a while. The problem with our country's obesity problem is that no one knows moderation. You don't eat a burger like the one shown every day. To indulge once in a while is not a problem.

      October 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom

      The problem with obesity is not too much meat. It is the consumption of too much simple carbohydrates that lead to an insulin overload, which leads to the desire to consume even more food.

      Complete proteins (most commonly found in meat), fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Done and done.

      November 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  5. Roger

    I'm sure one of their single cheeseburgers will taste just as well, w/o the wait

    October 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Anthony

    Best Burger Period = In & Out Burger

    October 26, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • lessgetreal

      My wife says that In & Out Burger is the best during a period, too.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  7. lessgetreal

    Take a 9" x 11" baking dish. Line it with crumbs from your corn hip bags. Chop some white onion and sprinkle it over the crumbs. Cover that up with shreadded cheese. Get two large cans of Wolf Bran Chili (no beans) and slowly bring them to a boil. Add 1 pack of your favorite hot dogs, cut into 1" pieces. Back to boil. Pour that over the chip, onion, and cheese stuff. Put fresh Fritos over that. Put chopped white onions and more cheese over that. In the oven at 325F until the cheese bubbles. Take out and let stand for 45 minutes. Cut in squares. Re-heat whenever and add jalepenos, mustard, relish, hot sauce, etc. Best for TV ball games.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  8. Forrest

    Anyboy in LA looking for the best burger, check out this blogs top 5 burgers in LA, I agree...

    October 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  9. Kev

    Looks like a heart attack waiting to happen.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  10. Lea

    Actually, that burger looks awful. the meat looks raw and there is too much bun, too much meat and too many veggies. My Mom made the best burgers, I've never found any that could compare.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  11. Jerry

    Now if your ever in Vegas go to Le Burger Braisserre in Paris. Those are some of the best burgers I have ever had and some darn cute waitresses too.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  12. CATholic

    I iz in yur keetchun
    Kooking cheezburgers

    October 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  13. John

    How is McDonald's rediculous? It is the best and most original burger out there...the Big Mac! Get it straight!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  14. Maggie

    Looks delicious – but I can feel my arteries slammin' shut just looking at it!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  15. lessgetreal

    Try grillin' some onions. Tobasco sauce is good too. Gotta have burgers. Fried chicken. Chicken fried steak. Grilled steak and chicken and pork ribs. Baked chicken legs with salad and hominy on the side. Fried catfish. Meatballs stuffed with jalepeno monterrey jack cheese, cheddar, or mozzerella. 3 meat crockpot ( beef on the bottom, boneless pork ribs in the middle, chicken legs on top, sliced onions between them all, 2 cups Sweet Baby Ray's regular sauce and one cup of Asian sweet cili sauce.) Ground beef with onion soup on buns.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Kenny

      ...Water....A whole lot of water. And....................Funyans... yeah!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  16. Juni

    McDonald's? Seriously? You folks need to get out of the house more. That's just sad.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  17. John


    October 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  18. TimmyTown

    The best fast food burger is by far an "In n Out" burger as noted by another commenter. My personal favorite "fine dining" burger is the "Big A** Burger" at the Roaring Fork restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ. It's served in the bar area only during happy hour. The bar is usually packed, but it's worth waiting for a table or barstool just for the burger alone.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  19. William

    Think I just had a heart attack, or was that growling in my stomach, yippee cholesterol and lots of fat.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  20. mpouxesas

    that recipe can get any 85/15% ground beef from the local super market and do what I do in 5 minutes (or less). In a bowl grate finely one large sweet onion, add salt, pepper ( I prefer more than usual amount), oregano, the ground beef, some olive oil (one table spoon), plain breadcrumbs, one lightly beaten egg, one teaspoon ketchup, and mix well using your hands for 2-3 minutes. Make the patties (any shape you like) cook thoroughly on the grill (preferably on charchoal that has already burn–avoid flamebroil) and serve...plain, don't even need the buns (or cheese or anything else). Enjoy.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Hamburglar

      You realize thats meatloaf, not a burger right? You even said it doesnt need buns.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • smitty

      mpouxesas, you don't need a bun because what you have created is meatloaf. Not a burger.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  21. John's all about the All-American McDonald's burger...get it through your thick heads already!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • trumod

      You mean those lovely little hockey pucks with the soy filler?

      October 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
      • Val


        October 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  22. JoeBleaux

    A FRIED burger - is the best??? Everybody knows hamburgers are best cooked on a charcoal grill. A local butcher shop near me sells "ribeye burger" It's AWESOME. Really full of fat though, it runs out and gets all over you if you're not careful, but it's unbelievably good. They can keep their fried chuck/brisket burgers.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • Whoa iz Mee

      Agreed. The best I have had came off the back yard grill. My mom used to grind ribeyes with a grinder attachment on her kitchen-aid mixer and top it w/ fresh sliced mild cheddar....THE BEST hands down!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  23. Hamburglar

    WHAT? Kraft singles? How could this burger possibly be considered the "best" with Kraft singles on it? That cheese is revolting.

    The best burgers Ive had have used high grade deli american cheese that you cant get in a grocery store. The taste difference to fridge-aisle cheese like Kraft is night and day. I have never had a burger from a place known for their burgers that used Kraft singles, even chains like Five Guys and Smashburger dont use that garbage. I love American cheese on a burger but only when its high quality, low quality American cheese like Kraft is just horrible and I would much rather have another kind.. any kind.

    I agree with everything else, especially the buns, which is a complete afterthought to 99% of people who make burgers. You cant even buy a good bun made with eggs at the grocery store bakery section, just papery clone rolls that all taste the same (the most offensive bakery burger bun I bought was nothing more than a giant dinner roll). The best burgers have custom made buns that are closer to a brioche than sandwich bread.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Tom

      Kraft singles might be bad. might not be of the best quality. might not taste good. but it isn't "revolting". Again, people, save the self-righteous hyperbole for the Political Ticker.

      November 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  24. lessgetreal

    Jalepenos on the side. The debate about the Kraft singles? Two on each. One on the bun, one on the patty.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  25. Al


    Oh wait, wrong article.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tom

      It was Grover Cleveland's fault!

      November 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  26. Randy

    What do you mean I have to wear a shirt?

    October 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  27. Mago0o

    Le Tub in Hollywood FL has a tasty burger. I think GQ did a bit on them at one point. What they failed to mention is that the fries are awesome as well.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • trumod

      Le Tub is fantastic, but I don't know that I'd give it top honors.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  28. John

    Best burger in America = McDonalds!!!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • Bull

      White Castle or Krystal burger , good too.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
      • trumod

        You have to be drunk off your keyster for White Castle to be good.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
      • Nikki

        So you're saying that White Castle actually exists?? That's so funny! It never occurred to me that it was anything more than a fictitious Harold & Kumar craving!

        October 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
      • Ruby

        The don't call them sliders or gut grenades for nothing.

        November 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • JC-VA

      best fries too...

      October 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  29. Whoa iz Mee

    Ok, so the bake your own bread, grind your own meat, make your own ketchup and mustard right??? Guess what? So does MCDONALDS! buh duh ba ba ba! I doubt seriously that this is the best burger in world. The fact that they only sell 24 a day just adds the need and want for the burger, which adds nostalgia, which I guess makes it #1. When food network went to the spot they didn't even get one! So how can you make a burger you didn't even get to taste #1?!?!? I'm lovin it! (No pun intended)

    October 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Chef Fizzles

      Guess what? McDonalds does NOT bake their bread fresh, grind their meat fresh, make their own ketchup, mustard. What planet are you living on? McDonalds has all this outsourced and made for them. The ketchup is Heinz, the beef comes to the restaurant in frozen patties, the bread has so many preservatives in it that it will not mold.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  30. Angie

    Hmmm... I don't think I want to drive all the way to Atlanta, wait until 10:00 p.m. to eat, and MAYBE be one of the lucky few who get one of the 24 patties they're cooking that night. Uh, they may be great, but I can find fresh and wonderful cheeseburgers somewhere else at a decent hour and when I'm guaranteed to actually get one, especially since I'd be traveling with my whole family and we'd all want one. What would they do, play eenie, meenie, miny, mo, if only one serving remained for our table? Pshshshshsh, I don't think so. We don't like enough other things on their fine dining menu to warrant the risk. They do offer them for Sunday brunch, though, so that's a good thing. Perhaps we'd stop in if we find ourselves in the area after an early service one Sunday, as long as they serve more than just 24 for the whole day.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  31. Lindsay

    Yum!! But watch out booty!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Hellow

      mmmm I'll definitely be watching yours!

      October 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
      • Tom


        November 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  32. Genius

    I prefer the inside of my burgers to be red. Someone above said that chicken left pink is safe as long as it is free range chicken. This is completely incorrect. Chickens can naturally carry salmonella. With beef on the other hand, it is different because cows do not naturally carry e. coli. So, nothing to worry about with rare-medium rare beef. Honestly, if I couldn't eat rare-medium rare beef, I might just go vegetarian.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Nearly every, and all the vertebrates roaming the land and air, including you, carry E. coli in the gut.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • JC-VA

      What about the "Crazy Cow" disease..? Is that exterminated when cooked..? maybe not...?

      October 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • KC

      Mad Cow is not changed by cooking the burger. The danger in eatong undercooked hamburger is not from the beef, but from the processing into ground beef and introduction of fats, water, and other factors. Never had beef tartar?

      October 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  33. Ray

    My dictionary defines "infamous" as "Having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious; detestable." Surely they aren't that bad?

    October 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  34. Andy

    I just had this burger last week. Flew all the way from Chicago (well not just for the burger). I heard about it on Food Network and had to get one. The place fills up every night and don't take orders until 9pm for the coveted 24 burgers they make every night. 24! Thats all! It was truly magical!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  35. Agree

    I love TGI Friday's Jack Daniel burger

    October 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  36. Abbyka

    Now I'm even more hungry than I was before reading this! *whine*

    October 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  37. Neel

    I just recently visited Holeman & Finch, had the burger, and posted a full review here:

    October 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nikki I not only want a big juicy double burger, I want it with a side of french toast!!

      October 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  38. Dave

    Sorry, without green chile this just can't win a prize. The judges must not have spent any time in Northern New Mexico.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jay

      Couldn't agree more. The pinnacle of burger evolution is the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger. There are pretenders to the throne from coast to coast, but nobody gets it right like they do in New Mexico.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • trumod

      Leave it to the New Mexicans to push for green chilies.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  39. happy

    Wherez da BACON??????

    October 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  40. anw

    Anyone using Kraft american cheese should automatically be bumped from the "best burgers" list. I'm not impressed by the article. Use good bread and good ground beef...not a secret.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  41. Jerry

    Oh my that looks so good I could go for one right now.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  42. MattK

    What a joke....processed cheese product

    October 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • Tom

      Processed cheese products = greatest redundancy in the food industry

      Just eat and enjoy

      November 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  43. Blahhh Blahhh Blahhh

    Friendly's hamburger...especially on sourdough bread toasted. The idea of this crap burger being the best is just plain stupid. Kraft Singles??? Sooo gross

    October 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Ruby

      Blahhh is exactly how to describe a Friendly's burger. blahh blahh blechh!

      November 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  44. Hoodie

    I guarantee the Cherry Cricket in Denver has better burgers!!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Shane

      In 'n Out burger will win every time.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • Lord Gravy

      In n' Out is the best for a quickie – but yes, The Cricket rocks – I've been digging Hamburger Mary's here in LA too.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bull

      Terra Cottage,Lake Harmony,PA. Best burgers anyplace.To all,Good Day .

      October 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • KC

      Huey's in Overton Square, Memphis, TN.

      October 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • T. Bagher

      Plus, if you have problems with the local cops, the dishwasher will kill them for you. Hicky boy will see to that.

      October 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  45. we are all fUk'd

    i'm sorry but kraft american cheese does not belong on the best burger.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  46. phoenix

    the best and safest burgers are here in meridan and wallingford ct. they are steamed and fresh about 5 bucks for a one third pound

    October 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • dwditty

      I agree – It's Ted's World Famous for me.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Collin

      Steamed!? For pity's sake, a burger should be cooked over fire, not extremely hot water. Why don't you just microwave the poor thing and be done faster? I feel sorry for the cows whose tasty goodies are destined to end up on your plate as a steamed burger. Geck.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  47. Sean

    Sounds identical to the burgers I've made my entire life. It's a pity that it took a CNN article to tell people that using real bread and real meat is better than the fake pre-made stuff that most stores sell. About the only thing they left out is that you want Kraft Deli cheese for high quality burger cheese. The "singles" thing works, but you can definitely taste the difference.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • Robert

      I totally agree. I like the singles for sandwiches but deli cheese is best for burgers.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Hamburglar

      Even "Kraft Deli" is garbage. You have to go to the actual deli counter and order american cheese there. Prima Della from Walmart is decent, Hoffmans has good american cheese, every grocery store tends to have different brands for deli american and they are all pretty different. I have yet to find the perfect brand that is comparable to what you get from a good restaurant burger but everything from the deli counter is in a completely different league than kraft.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
      • trumod

        Land O Lakes Deli American is acceptable. I'd still swap it out for Cheddar, though

        October 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
      • Nikki

        Cheddar from the deli is so much tastier on a burger. Having said that, you all must be told that sliced blue cheese is absolute heaven on a burger.

        October 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
      • Hamburglar

        Unless its white cheddar I'll take jack cheese over cheddar on a burger, tastes similar but melts better and isnt nearly as oily. Muenster is a really good sub for cheddar too.

        October 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  48. Lyle Lovett

    Look, I know all about too little, too late,
    but what would we be if we didn't try.
    We gotta try.
    So please,
    if it is not too late,
    could we...

    ...make it...

    A CHEESE burger?

    October 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Les


      October 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
    • cactusmac

      Here I am,
      Yes, it's me
      Take my hand,
      and baby, you'll see

      October 30, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  49. MichaelM

    Hamburgers should never be served "slightly pink" Cooking thoroughly is the only way to kill Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus which are commonly found in undercooked hamburger.

    Other than that, this sounds like a delicious burger.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chef-E

      Not So...When using fresh ground, all natural, grass fed, hormone free, humanely raised cattle, there should be no issues with any bacteria and cultures normally associated with meat products...I would even eat chicken slightly pink with juices...slightly.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
      • SeanNJ

        Slightly pink chicken is a bad idea. Pork, fine. Beef fine. Poultry, no way.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
      • Chef-E

        I'm talking about Free-Range chicken...not mass produced 10 to a cage with no room, living in a noxious filthy enviroment, but healthy chickens. Back in the day pork needed to be cooked to 165 degrees to kill all the trichanosis, but the pork industry tightened their standards and cleaned up the slop houses and you now can enjoy pork medium rare. Duck is a fowl also eaten at rare to medium rare as is squab, goose etc...

        October 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
      • keith

        No issues with any bacteria?
        You need an education.
        No bacteria in grasss?
        Animals are full of bacteria, as are people no matter how they are raised, fed, killed. The risk maybe lowered by those methods but only the maost naive would say ther should be no issues.
        You may be a great chef, but you need to review biology and infectious diseases.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
      • yankee cowboy

        Chef-E, like all tree-huggers, you're WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

        ANY meat can be contaminated. But you run a much greater risk of getting sick or–worse yet–a parasite if you regularly eat undercooked meat, poultry, or fish. It's essential to cook hamburger thoroughly, especially if you're working in a restaurant. If not, you're setting yourself up for a lawsuit, just like Holeman & Finch are by recommending it "pink" inside.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
      • MIchael

        Chef-E is almost correct, when you buy grass fed beef the chances of the beef being contaminated with e-coli O157-H7 is reduced by about 80%. This is due to the normal acidity level within the cows intestines when eating grass. This stabilized acid more than likely kills any bacterial infection within the cows stomach. While it is not 100% it's still a better chance than the conventional corn fed beef.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
      • Chef-E

        As much as a tree hugger that I may be, I do strike a balance...and yes safety is priority #1. But our food system is in shambles. We are in an antiseptic society where our own bacteria fighting systems are being thinned by all polutants. If you like sushi, fish that swim in the sea carry alot more parasites than the general public realize. So what do we do as a food indusrty, we introduce flash frozen and cooked with a carbon monoxide to plump the blood vessels to retain the color in tuna. So how exactly are we getting sick...not from naturally occuring bacteria that has been around for milleniums. Just enjoy what you like, life is full of risks, and hopefully we don't become an industry like healthcare where lawsuits become the norm...just for added redirect..and perspective.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
      • toobs

        You're right- because free-range, organic cows crap out sunshine, rainbows, and puppies, not bacteria.

        Your ignorance gives me head pain.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
      • ec

        Meat becomes infected with bacteria AFTER slaughter. You can kill a fish and eat it right then and there and be fine. The danger comes after meat is handled and stored. Bacteria grows on dead meat that's waiting to get to market.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
      • keith

        Our immune systems are not being thinned, whatever that means. In fact severe illness and death from bacterial infections are thought to be in part due to an overwhelming or excessive immune response to the bacteria.
        Bacteria have been around forever, but they are not necessarily the same.

        No matter what an animal eats they are full of bacteria, just like humans. However many of them do not cause diseae in humans.We have acid in our stomachs to, but it does not kill all the bacteria in our intestines or in cows.
        The risk of food borne illness is always there. There are clearly ways to reduce that risk, but it is still there. To make a long story short the risk is relative and that is what people need to know. Not some nonsense statement that mechanisms of raising, feeding, slaughtering, handling etc. eliminate bacteria and any risk. (" there should be no issues with any bacteria and cultures normally associated with meat products")

        October 26, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
      • Becca

        I am Sorry to have to ask this but are you a McDolands or a Burger King Chef? I do not think you really know what Free-Range is. They just run around out side or in barns free but they are just as packed in as if they were in small cages. They are able to get more chickens or animals in a bigger spot. If they let them run around in a large barn they can pack more in. They let the animals run out side but in a big fenced in area they can fit in more animals in there also. But they are calling this mess free range as they are not in cages. But thee are so many crammed together they cannot move anyways. So people be ware of free range too. Oh and all of the eggs that were just recalled I think it was about a month ago , they were all free range as well. So so much for trusting free range. No matter what you say you have to cook all meats and all eggs well or it is a big chance you can get sick. I would never eat any eggs or meat that is not cooked all the way. Grass fed or what ever they still have to pee and poop some where and then you know what happens. They feed from this same grass. So beware of the half cooked meat, Free range and grass fed animals still do not eat then raw or half cooked.

        October 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
      • Chef-E

        I'll just make my retort quick, but information, or lack therof, is the boon to all industries. A little reading and for some alot, can take you in whichever way anyone deems fit, but the facts are the facts. The general public has been duped into beliveing or not what is, or not. With that Certified Organic, Free RAnge etc...unless we buy in our own communities and know where product comes from and how it is handled, buying off the grocery store reserves some inherit risks, right or wrong...who's to blame.

        Ok, not so short, but I could link alot of lil blerbs to read but this is where i get my meat and they dont sell outside the state of Florida...just start with this link and maybe you can find a farm in your community to support, if not enjoy your Big Mac...

        October 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
      • Margot707

        The issue is knowing where the ground beef came from and who handled it and how. A steak can be cooked and eaten rare because any bacteria on the surface will be destroyed in the cooking process. Bacteria can get into the inside of burger patties and therefore it is recommended to cook them to an internal temperature of at least 165^ to kill any potential contamination. It has nothing to do with whether the animal was grass fed or not. If the beef arrives fresh from the butcher and is ground on site, it would be safe to cook and serve rare. Several restaurants in my area serve their burgers rare because they get their beef locally from a trusted source, not shipped in from a commercial processing plant.

        October 29, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
      • The Masked Commenter

        The issue (with bacteria) is not what the cow eats, or whether it is allowed to wander around freely. Pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 are found in the cow's intestines (not the stomach). If the contents of the intestines are not spilled on the meat, there is no problem. If the cow is slaughtered cleanly, and the meat ground promptly, you could eat your burger rare.

        And the best fast-food burgers are from Culver's.

        October 31, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
      • Ruby

        Does your alot eat free range as well?

        November 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      My sister makes burgers your way. We call them hockey pucks.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jeff

      Seriously, dude? Live a little.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
      • happy

        shut up and pass the mustard

        October 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • scott

      make sure you drive the speed limit, make sure pocket protector is securely attached, have the fire extinguisher next to the grill, and cook that urder until it is 1/3 its original size and black as the ace of spades.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • KC

      Sorry, Mike, but you're wrong. There is nothing wrong with a hamburger that is pink in the middle as long as it reached proper beef cooking temp of 140-150F. If you're good at cooking a hamburger, you can do that and still have it pink the middle, and that is definitely the best way to have a burger. Overcooked is nasty.

      The original Huey's in mid-town Memphis is the best burger I've ever eaten, and I've eaten them all over the world.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
      • Ruby

        Have to agree with this one! I haven't had a Huey burger in years and I still remember it as being at the top of the list. Thanks for pushing my craving button and reminding me of a fine burger!

        November 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Shane

      You sound like a real pleasure to hang out with.... NOT.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
      • Raider

        Didn't people stop using NOT about 10 or 15 years ago? If not, they really should have.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
      • Borat

        You do NOT sound like a real pleasure to hang out with.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Mark P

      Please don't ever cook my burger, but I hope you enjoy your completely safe hockey puck.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • pimpleyum

      Cooked thoroughly? Why don't you just eat leather? There are more germs on that water glass you get when you eat out, along with that coffee cup from the diner, than in that medium rare burger. Live in a germ free environment do we?

      October 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
      • KC

        Bingo!! Thank you. And another issue is all these germophobes squirting anti-bacterial gel on their hands every 10 minutes. They don't usually use enough and end up creating even more super bugs that are immune to the very anti-bacterial gel they are using. Grow up, people. Kids used to eat dirt and they lived to be healthy adults. And, yes, that plate you eat off of at your favorite restaurant probably has more bacteria than any pink burger. Do you know the guy that made your organic salad washed his hands after he went to the bathroom?

        October 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Grondahl

      Beef has four levels of done-ness:

      Medium Rare

      That is all.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
      • Tom

        Medium Rare
        Medium well
        Well done
        And a favorite to some: Overcook

        November 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Jeff

      Well, I rarely order meat anything but Medium (if at a place that will actually cook medium right), or medium-rare at a corporate lawsuit-worried place that tends to overcook their food. Do I get sick here and there? Sure do. Is it worth those few rare days that I am sick to eat my burger red than cooked well done? Sure is...

      You can get just as sick off raw leafy vegetables, yet that doesn't stop anyone from eating salads....

      October 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • for arguments sake

      I live in japan and i have yet to hear anyone complain about bacteria or disease in their raw or partially cooked food. the people of the united states are overwhelmed with fear of anything the health care industry and media outlets shove down their throats.

      November 4, 2010 at 4:41 am |
      • Tom

        Well, for argument's sake

        Some people in Japan eat fish liver laced with enough tetrodotoxin to kill a blue whale.

        November 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  50. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    I canz haz cheezburger?

    October 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • tensor

      It's a lame attempt at well-known site. (Okay, well-known by many but, obviously, not all.)

      October 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        I know the site! I like to toss in some extra "z's". Makes it more gooder.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mr Man

      I think my heart stopped briefly just looking at the picture.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
      • Tom

        Heart stopped... IN LOVE

        November 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • happy

      No youse can't haz cheezburger!!

      October 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Shane

      Best burger in the US bar none is the one and only: In 'N Out Burger

      October 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
      • geezer

        Shane, you need to get out and explore a little more. In N Out is great for fast food, but there are far better burgers out there.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
      • Shane

        LOL!!! Hamburgers ARE fast food!!! And in that category, In 'N Out is the BEST. You don't know what you're talking about, Dude.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
      • lumps

        don't worry geezer, being a geezer myself, these young 'dudes' are so worried about getting back to their musty bedrooms, or shabby couches to go back playing video games, that they have no idea of all the mom and pop burger stands accross the country serving up deliciously greasy, char-broiled, 1/3 pound masterpieces that you have to actually have to sit an wait for once in a while. You're right, In-n-Out rocks the franchise world, but I have had the good fortune of trying many a burger that would put any 'animal' out to pasture.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
      • Mitch

        In 'N Out is the best franchise burger, I think. But the Best Burgers tend to come from hole-in-the-wall establishments that are family owned or otherwise small and not corporate. My favorite burger joint is a rough and tumble biker club on the edge of town. De-fragging-licious.

        My advice: If most of the Burgers that you eat come from places with a Drive-Thru, then you should really try to explore small, independent restaurants. You will be blown away.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
      • Dyson

        yeah and there is a reason its called "in 'n out". They are good burgers but best burgers I dont think so.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
      • Mike

        Shane, don't let these burger snobs get to you. You are right–all burgers are fast food regardless if you get them through a drive-thru place, or a sit down dive. As far as taste, my money's on In 'n Out also. There are others that are good also, but the I/O is King.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
      • Finlestein

        Your name is Shane....pfffft.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
      • raaa

        @lumps... you sound like just another old hag taking out their anger on younger people. I think it's time for you to join your friends and expire.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
      • ManRam

        Best burger in the world is Becks Prime (I live in Texas). Everything is better in Texas (Bigger too). :-)

        October 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
      • OBreezy

        In n' Out is the only thing I miss about California.

        October 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
      • Mike in NJ

        Say what you want, Shane, it is the internetz, so there's no need to 'back it up' or provide any proof or reasons. It's not like there are people who actually talk about this stuff as though there were objectiev criteria or anything.

        Unless you're some kind of food expert, or have been to over 500 places that serve burgers, you have no idea. Maybe I/O is YOUR favorite burger, right NOW. I bet you 3 years from now, you'll say "Why was I so stupid to think that was the best burger anywhere?!?"

        All burgers are NOT "fast food." I'd bet a buncha money you've never had a burger made with freshly ground beef. Or with a fresh baked bun. Homemade pickles. That stuff takes TIME. Remember, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy". Google it.

        October 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
      • Faith

        I agree that the In 'N Out burger is the best! That is the first place I go when I go to California to visit friends!

        October 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
      • JT

        I've tried In N' Out when visiting California and really don't understand the hype. Have had much better burgers in many different places. Was pretty disappointing after all the buildup.

        October 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
      • Dave

        The best burger comes from my own back yard bar none.

        October 27, 2010 at 9:36 am |
      • LaurenNicole


        October 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
      • Dan

        Mitch...In 'n Out is awesome. However, it is not a franchise. One family owns all.

        October 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
      • mike

        WOw, a new low.... in and out a best burger?! you must be smoking crack....

        It's really said when you see a lot of Americans prefer cheap and greasy low grade meat burgers as their first choice burger, but then is an upgrade from McDonalds so if you dont know better you might as well cherish what you have.

        To all the ones that can afford a bit more than In and Out, get out of your shell and try something new, you might be surprised.
        A good hamburger is not considered "fast food"...
        I lie in New York, and I laugh when someone tells me Shake Shack has the best burger in town.... It's just an In and Out equivalent of greasy fries and a chunk of cheap low grade meat.
        Very sad indeed....

        October 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
      • Nicolas

        i'm from mass. I dont think in and out was greesy at all. the fries werent very salty but they were still good. the burgers were decent. this place near my house has relatively small burgers with fried onions and warmed buns... better than in and out but i still wish they had one of those around here because a lot of times i'm not feelin those other fast food joints

        November 1, 2010 at 12:29 am |
      • Dave C

        In-N-Out is a good burger for a franchise, but I'd put my money on Fatburger any day for the honor of top burger. And a local place here in Vegas makes a burger that is way better than both of them and that's Kilroy's.

        November 2, 2010 at 4:52 am |
    • Hellow

      Is 'haZ' CNN's pathetic attempt at staying relatively fresh? I come to CNN to specifically read the trash they publish because its so humorous and idiotic, but this just might have put me over the top. I think you've sunk to a new low CNN, even too low for me. Prostitutes have more class than you do.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
      • ec

        You're pretty cocky for someone with bad grammar: "it's so humorous", not "its". And they're referencing a famous website. You must be really bored to just come to this site to read articles you think are written poorly.

        October 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
      • Shane

        @Hellow–Shut up, Dumb@ss. What do you want, a little gold star for pointing out useless drivel?! Go away.

        October 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Cathie

      @Shane-You had to go there, didn't you?!! Now I'm going to think about In 'n Out burgers all day long. They are soooooo good!

      October 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Raider

      Seriously Hellow? You might want to calm yourself a bit if something this minor can set you off like that. Wow....

      October 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Forrest

      LA's Best Burger

      October 26, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • Emily

      Try Johnny B's burger and I bet it's right up there with the best! I'm from Philly so I know what good food is!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • CNNPLZ

      Too bad food network knows nothing about food and only about selling out with shows like down home with the neelys

      October 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • rachi

      Pshhhh......In & Out has the best burgers....PERIOD!!!!!!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
      • Stephen Holbrook

        Five Guys takes In 'n Out behind the woodshed every time; way better.

        October 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • dj

      There is obvious room for improvement – we grow our own cows!

      October 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • PaulPerkins

      In fact, I do own a meat grinder and would make my burger out of sirloin, not chuck. Second, Kraft cheese – really? No, thank you. Crumbled blue cheese goes much better with that red onion. Finally, if you introduce a good Jamaican Jerk rub on the burger before cooking, you end up with a wonderful burger that goes great with a glass of Merlot. The best burgers in the country? They're found on my grill at home on Sunday afternoons!!!

      October 30, 2010 at 10:45 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants @ work on Saturday

        Just made me drool on myself. Also, I will be by tomorrow.

        October 30, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Mel

      The best burger I've ever found is Bubba's Burger in Hawaii. Yum yum yum! They don't use lettuce or tomato either :)

      November 1, 2010 at 1:57 am |
    • Gretchen

      fr the article:

      >...The idea is that it’s a classic American burger,” Paolini says. “We use Kraft American cheese because of the way it melts.”...<

      EWWWW. My wife and I cannot stand "american cheese". We prefer good sharp cheddar or provolone. Swiss is also great.

      November 1, 2010 at 11:52 am |
      • Vic

        Well... good for you and your wife, Gretchen!

        November 4, 2010 at 9:09 am |
      • Tom

        Ok, I can understand if you prefer other cheeses to American cheese. I certainly do.

        But I doubt that American cheese is so disgusting as to warrant an "EWWWWW." Please save the hyperbole for the articles on the political sections of CNN.

        November 16, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
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