I Tried 6 Fast Food Hamburgers—There Was One Clear Front-Runner

The winner was beefy, salty, and satisfying.

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/SZTvBm5BimxNzJ6X77uX3Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/f4dba9c2bb2ebeb2394bfecbc2cdd649″/><img alt=Sara Haas

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Sometimes I crave a plain ol’ burger, and not the fancy, sit-down restaurant kind. I want it to be beefy, with a soft bun, and loaded with veggies, ketchup, and mustard. I typically skip the cheese because it interferes with the flavor, at least in my opinion.

In search of the best burger to cure my future cravings, I set out to local fast food chains to find one that met my requirements.

The Burgers I Chose

In my area, I don’t have access to a huge selection of burger chains. That’s why my sample size was narrowed down to six. I chose single-patty hamburgers and opted for lettuce, onions, tomato, and pickle as my toppings.

How I Judged

I paid attention to the bun and the general appearance of the burger, but taste was the biggest factor when it came to naming a winner. That’s why I tasted the burgers with the toppings and without. I wanted something beefy, salty, and satisfying but I also knew this wasn’t a Wagyu burger going into it, so I set my expectations appropriately. That being said, it’s a burger, so it should still taste like a burger.

Out of the six versions I tried, there was one clear front-runner. Here’s how each option fared.

The Best Fast Food Hamburger, Taste Test Results

6th Place: Burger King

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/WEVtcH_5ZJRnFY5a9aH7ug–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/e521050d0f95bb3ec698749463588576″/><img alt=Sara Haas

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I know BK is all about “having it your way,” but this burger is nothing like how I prefer my burger. Sure, the toppings were plentiful and relatively fresh-looking. Yes, the bun was nice and fluffy, but the burger, oh my the burger. I realize some people love the smoky, grilled flavor of Burger King, but the flavor was so strong that I couldn’t even taste the meat. Instead, it tasted like what I imagine the scrapings left behind on my grill after grilling burgers taste like. No thanks.

5th Place: Wendy’s

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/IYHyvr3HFkb8qdqglGCWpA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/d832ba4a21f50907939e51881aeb7601″/><img alt=Sara Haas

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This single patty from Wendy’s looked like its usual square self. It was thin, unimpressive, and the accompanying accoutrements (lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion) were a bit on the sad side. The bun was nice looking but the burger was completely flavorless. So much so that I couldn’t distinguish it from the bun. I actually removed it from the bun so that I could taste it. Overall, I found this burger bland and boring. Perhaps some mustard, ketchup, and another patty would help.

4th Place: McDonald’s

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/vMraMToJ9JA4oiqKMXXaPQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/c5dd1777ea876e10cb2eccafde1e5cc5″/><img alt=Sara Haas

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Has this burger hasn’t changed since I was a kid? It didn’t seem like it. Ironically, I felt like this burger actually tasted like beef, which was awesome. The bun does nothing really to help, but the warm pickles are always a delight. While on the small side, I did appreciate the $2.00 price tag. It’s good, but not great.

3rd Place: Culver’s

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/YefXgH1u0CK2AF23_MfKkw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/a8b43d7eda7c0b14007817efa41bcbae”/><img alt=Sara Haas

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/YefXgH1u0CK2AF23_MfKkw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/a8b43d7eda7c0b14007817efa41bcbae” class=”caas-img”/>

If you’re a Butter Burger fan, then I’m guessing this choice lands in your top spot. I agree that the burger and bun are pretty good, but I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. The burger is flavorful, but just doesn’t deliver the “beefiness” I crave. It’s a big burger though, and a pretty good deal at $5.00.

2nd Place: Five Guys

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/lLhKEEuE5_NaooRU3emVpQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/6db542fe64a4e41addfc11bf05e10bf7″/><img alt=Sara Haas

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As the most expensive (over $9.00) on the list, I had high hopes for this Five Guys hamburger. Right away I noticed its size. It’s big, even for a single patty. The bun, although quite smashed, was soft, and not at all flimsy. The patty was decently sized and the toppings were plentiful, which I loved. Overall it was good, I tasted beefy flavor, but it wasn’t as robust as I would’ve liked. I’d order it again, but ask for my bun on the side.

1st Place: Shake Shack

<p>Sara Haas</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/kOo4.nfGa1KBlICKxI.w1A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/551aedda3cedc6160f2214acf90d27b0″/><img alt=Sara Haas

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/kOo4.nfGa1KBlICKxI.w1A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcyMA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/all_recipes_969/551aedda3cedc6160f2214acf90d27b0″ class=”caas-img”/>

It’s my favorite. It’s my absolute favorite. I love the smashed patty with crispy edges. I love the big beef flavor and I love the soft bun and all of the toppings. This is the burger. It just is and I’ll happily pay $7.00 for it every time. (Same goes for the cheeseburger.)

Read the original article on All Recipes.