Feelin' Saucy: Ranking Burger Condiments From Worst To Best

When it comes to the world of burgers, what haven’t people tried? Everything from beer to bubblegum has been shoved between burger buns and some things just do not work while others do.

State fairs and big restaurants have always tried to add a new twist to this classic meal with varied degrees of success. During the summer season, anything from tofu to a hot dog is between buns so getting the condiments right is imperative.

Chain restaurants have spent ages trying to figure out exactly what their customers want between their buns. KFC keeps it simple with pickles and mayo while McDonald’s adds everything from mustard to cheese. Clearly, there are plenty of ways to do it and plenty of condiments that are unfortunately still unheard of.

The flavor of your dish will finally depend on these condiments so you should know your mustard from your cheese. This list is also going to help you on your next visit to Subway because you won’t be stuck there wondering if honey mustard goes well with turkey.

Wendy’s and McDonald’s continue to experiment with toppings even after years of experience so obviously we should too! Here is a list of condiments that will work for any burger including some that will not.

20 Peanut Butter

You are going to need Jesus after you bite into this because this simply isn’t right. It is a great condiment in itself and who does not love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at any point of the day? While that is all fine, trying to mix it in with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and mayo is just weird. As versatile as peanut butter maybe, there are some dishes that simply cannot handle this addition. Your beef patty wishes to be left alone when it comes to this pairing.

19 Brussel Sprouts

via eater.com

The whole point of having a burger is that you are looking for an amazing meal for cheat day and if you are hell bent on ruining it- you would add Brussels sprouts. Do not let the menu at a fancy restaurant that sells ‘burgers with crispy Brussels sprouts’ fool you. Whether it is going to be seasoned or not- you are asking for trouble. Only a few vegetables work with burgers and Brussels sprouts do not fall into that category. Stick with the classics instead. Being vegan is not always worth it.

18 Foie Gras

via dartagnan.com

Please do not do this. You are impressing absolutely no one and you never will. A burger is meant to be a messy dish that is enjoyed at a fast food restaurant for Pete's sake. Do not let the millionaires take that away from us. This extremely expensive ingredient that is known only for its price tag and not for its taste value is going to set you back more than your burger will. And for what? Go for a classic instead - bacon is a better bet. For those of you who are unsure about what Foie Gras is, it is essentially made out of the liver of a goose or duck that has been force fed. So, you are also going to hell with this one. Just don't. This process has actually been banned in 16 countries.

17 Marinara Sauce

via cooking.nytimes.com

Yes, there are actually people that do this with their burger. No, we do not condone it. Spaghetti and meatballs have dibs on this one and there is a very good reason for that. It just works. Do not try to mix dishes that are as different as chalk and cheese. It will also make your burger a massive mess. It is like when you go to Subway and think putting half a bottle worth of sauces into your sandwich isn't going to make it soggy. You will have bits of bread all over your hand and your burger breaking into mini pieces. Don't bother.

16 Applesauce

via simplyrecipes.com

Yes, people actually did this. Does it really surprise you though? I mean we are living in a world where tide pods are swallowed. Nonetheless, it is obvious that someone got confused while they were making an Apple pie but just decided to keep going hoping the outcome would be better than the idea. Spoiler - it wasn't. If you want to test your taste buds, a website has even posted a recipe for Applesauce cheeseburgers. You can also find tons of restaurants that like to experiment. It is different if nothing else. That is all we can say really.

15 Nuts

via yelp.com

So a couple of restaurants have decided that mixing nuts and mayo together makes for a great condiment for your burger. Most people thankfully disagree but there will always be those few that simply do not have their head screwed on right. The Nutburger at Matt's Place, a burger joint in Montana, is one of the few burgers that do this. Overall, the restaurant actually has some great reviews but we would give the Nutburger a skip. They do serve bacon along with this burger though so I suppose that salvages it a bit. Nonetheless, their milkshakes are far better along with a classic BLT.

14 Horseradish

via laurasleanbeef.com

If you are from the Midwest, loving horseradish as a condiment over all others is pretty normal for quite a few people. Most horseradish lovers tend to be on the slightly older side and tend to love comfort food. This one is a member of the mustard family so it is automatically healthier than most. Once you finish grating it, you can mix it in with some cream and other good stuff to create the final product. This hot flavoured sauce condiment goes really well with burgers and you can follow this recipe if you would like to give it a whirl at home.

13 Hummus

via cookingclassy.com

This is another low-calorie condiment you should try it out. You can supplement something that is less healthy for this one and who does not love hummus? It goes with pretty much everything. It is, in most cases, made with blended chickpeas, some olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Overall, all of these ingredients are organic which is great if that is something you aim at when you are out eating. You can follow this Jamie Oliver recipe and make it at home as well.  Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre as well. Bonus - you will be done with this recipe in less than ten minutes.

12 Sautéed Mushrooms

via mushroomsonthemenu.com

Adding mushrooms to your burgers is a very American thing to do because it certainly is not very famous in Europe. Nonetheless, when someone does finally try this they simply cannot stop at one. When you are using mushrooms with burgers, you can try pretty much anything but most restaurants stick to button mushrooms. This is normally because they brown really well and are the perfect shape. It is really easy to do this at home as well if you are a mushroom fan. Just thinly slice your mushrooms, throw it into a pan with some butter and salt and then wait by their side till they turn a nice brown. Tip: Before they turn brown, they will boil - do not panic, all you need to do is wait till the water evaporates.

11 Pickles

via seriouseats.com

A classic for KFC and it is pretty easy to understand why. Almost every KFC burger is served with the traditional pickle and mayo combination - it just works. The pickle tastes great because of its crunchiness. This complements the juicy, greasy burger really well. Pickles made at home should be the way you pay homage to the colonel from here on out. David Lebovitz has a great recipe for home-made dill pickles that will add that much-needed crunch to your burger. Since a lot of people do not love pickles on their burger, consider serving them separately if you are entertaining guests.

10 Jalapeños

via feastmagazine.com

Craving a kick to your burger? Well, we are going to help you turn the spiciness up a notch with this next list item. Jalapeño slices are becoming more and more popular by the minute among fast food restaurants. McDonald's keeps introducing new burgers that focus on deep-fried jalepeños such as the Jalapeño Double Burger. Essentially more restaurants are focusing on burgers that set our tongues on fire and tons of people are loving it. A lot of burgers also come with jalepeño poppers or taco sauce. Depending on how much you can take the heat, you have a list of options waiting for you.

9 Relish

via follain.ie

You can buy some great jars of relish at your average supermarket or you can take it up a notch and make some for yourself. This great recipe with sticky onion relish is to die for, so get cooking. Relish is also really healthy depending on what kind you are using. Some of the available versions are not great for your health like sweet green for example. But there are certain relishes that are as little as four calories per tablespoon which means it is amazing for your diet and tastes great. Dill Relish is the one with the fewest calories. So, if your kids are hell-bent on burgers, you can at least make them healthy-ish.

8 Caramelized Onions

via barbequick.com

Any burger and we mean absolutely any burger will taste better with caramelized onions and this rule applies for hot dogs as well. A great burger will have a ton of mayo, some mustard, chopped up tomatoes and caramelized onions. In Scandinavian, they even have fried crunchy onions bits that are used with burgers and hot dogs. Personally, we believe that a petition needs to be started for everyone who loves them so we can bring them over to this side of the world. Since we have not managed that yet- here is a recipe for you!

7 Coleslaw

via delish.com

A lot of people love their burgers and hot dogs covered with coleslaw and tons of restaurants serve a bit of it on the side. This cold and salty condiment taste great with a beef patty and some ketchup on the side. If you are making your burger at home you can follow one of our great recipes to get you started so that it sooner than later becomes your regular condiment. It mostly contains raw cabbage and mayonnaise as the main ingredients. Carrots, radish, mustard, celery seeds, pepper and salt are the other ingredients in most cases.

6 Chimichurri

via marthastewart.com

This may not be as well known as some of the other condiments on this list but you need to try it just the same. Its main ingredient is parsley and it is mostly a green coloured sauce that also has a red variety. This sauce was first made in Argentina and Uruguay. It contains garlic, oregano and red wine vinegar as well. It is pretty healthy overall and if you are getting tired of ketchup every single day, this could be your new favourite. The flavours that will be most powerful will be the parsley and garlic. Here is our favourite recipe.

5 Salsa

via bbc.com

If you are looking for something to replace that traditional ketchup condiment, salsa is a great option. It definitely adds a kick to your burger. In a recent survey, it was discovered that one in every four people is a salsa fan so maybe we are missing out? This one is also really healthy since it is a great way to sneak in some veggies. It also has tons of minerals and vitamins that we otherwise miss out unfortunately enough. The stuff you buy at the store may lack in all the good stuff that makes it worth it for your body and these packaged versions also contain too much sodium. We personally recommend going for something a little more home-made but a fresh product off the shelf will do as well.

4 Mustard

via budgetbytes.com

Not everyone loves mustard on their burger but if you do fancy a bit of it from time to time, it tends to become a very important ingredient. It packs in a lot of flavour and you do not have to worry about the calories because they are practically non-existent. A burger patty with some mustard and cheese along with veggies tastes absolutely divine. It is also considered a condiment that is good for your kidneys and any health expert will tell you that there are not many of those! If you get the chance to build your own burger at a fast food restaurant - keep that in mind.

3 Bacon

via applebees.com

Bacon and eggs, bacon and cheese or bacon and burgers - you just cannot go wrong. This condiment genuinely does improve everything. The crunchiness that comes from deep-fried bacon goes really well with that beef patty. Tons of menus at different restaurants will ask you if you want it smoked to which you have to say ‘Yes’ every single time. Even fast food restaurants have understood the importance of bacon in a burger with McDonald's going all out with their advertisements for bacon burgers. You can also try bacon flavoured sauce if you are not a fan of the real thing - we do not understand it but we do have a backup option for you, BBQ sauce.

2 Ketchup

via foodtolove.co.nz

This one features pretty high on our list and with good reason. It is another classic and as we have already learned, you cannot go wrong with these. Ketchup is the dipping sauce for your fries and it has always gone really well with mayo. Not everyone loves it but so many people do that they give out sachets. Most restaurants tend to use tomato sauce within their burger but if you want a kick try making yourself a burger that focuses on chili sauce by trying our recipe. You will be done before you know it. Alternatively, you could find yourself a great restaurant that does the same thing.

1 Mayonnaise

via foodinaminute.co.nz

The undisputed sovereign of condiments, mayonnaise, was God’s gift to mankind when we asked for the perfect dish. It makes everything from a salad to a burger better even though it does, unfortunately, come with an additional 500 calories as a side dish. It is also super easy to make so even if you are having an at-home BBQ, you do not have to worry about the long recipe. This one literally has 5 ingredients. Mayo tastes better when it follows the original recipe though - this classic works really well for just about everyone.

More in Food for Thought