Warning: burger “buns” and cravings to follow – here’s what chefs had to say on the perfect burger

So, a burger is a just burger, right? Wrong! A good burger is everything! It’s that all-satisfying one-bite wonder … We’d even say that burgers are a favourite food group all on their own.

We asked a few professionals to weigh in on what makes the perfect burger and, without burger-ado, here’s what they had say.

Chef and cookbook author Zola Nene said: “For me, there has to be the perfect patty-to-bun-to-garnish ratio – it’s all about getting the components balanced. Also, a burger bun has to be soft. It can be lightly toasted but it has to be soft – nothing ruins a burger faster than a stale bun.”


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“The first and most important component is the chef. Without the love and care of a trained professional, it’s like drinking decaf!” says Joburg burger joint Buns Out. “The bun must be soft, fresh and ready to handle all that saucy goodness. As for the patty – forget beef, it needs to whatever tickles your fancy! Our fav at the moment is a well-made veg patty as they are hard to come by – a grilled mushroom ain’t fooling nobody! Sauce the top and sauce the bottom and you’ve got yourself the perfect burger. All the garnish needs to be fresh, whack everything together, and voila!”


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Cape Town’s Side Wing shares their formula for a perfect burger: “Most importantly, a good bun and good meat (lean meat-to-fat ratio is important). A nice balance of texture is also important (good crust on the patty with a pink centre, toasted bun and creamy mayo), then also a good balance of flavour (sour pickle, savoury meaty salty patty, and sweet and spicy sauce.”


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Chef and restaurateur David Higgs has this to say about the perfect burger: “Must have gherkins and raw onion on it, but most importantly you must be able to pick it up and eat it without the bun falling apart or it being too chewy.”

“Obviously, no one likes a mushy veg patty so, for starters, the patty has to be firm, full of flavour and shouldn’t squish out as you’re eating it,” says Lexi’s Healthy Eatery, the plant-based burger aficionados. “Then, definitely a good toasted or even charred bun really kicks it up a notch. But probably the most essential aspect is the sauce. A burger’s gotta be saucy!”

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Our takings: never underestimate the power of a good bun, a healthy amount of sauce can make all the difference, and you should definitely treat yo’self to a burger immediately!

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