The Nutty Addition That Will Change Your Hamburgers Forever

The first time Guy Fieri tried peanut butter on a burger, he cried for his Mommy. The year was 2007 and the Food Network star was on the road in Lafayette, Indiana for Fieri's hit show, "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" (via Food Network). During a stop at Triple XXX Family Restaurant, an eatery known for its variety of burgers, Fieri reluctantly sampled the Duane Purvis All American burger.

Named for the Indiana Football Hall of Fame honoree who played for Purdue University in the 1930s, the burger has a love-it-or-hate-it fan base. According to ESPN, the local sports icon inspired the unusual combo decades ago when he revealed he preferred peanut butter on a burger over any other condiment. Triple XXX decided to add it to the menu, where it remains a big seller.

It's an unusual combination, but Purvis may have been onto something. According to Taste of Home, adding a dollop of peanut butter to ground beef before shaping the meat into patties is a surefire way to add extra moisture to burgers, and Delish explains that the nutty saltiness of peanut butter brings to beef results in a subtle umami. Plus, it's been a not-so-secret ingredient in chili for as long as we can remember. Per My Recipes, peanut butter is an adaptable complement to both sweet and savory dishes and it works especially well with spicy meat preparations.

A matter of taste

Wide Open Eats is a big fan of peanut butter and ground beef, noting the chameleon-like character of the ubiquitous American spread and its ability to bring nuanced balance to a variety of flavor profiles. When it comes to burgers, the outlet suggests either mixing the peanut butter into the ground beef before making burgers or using it as a condiment when serving burgers. The pre-cook method adds fat that lends itself to a burger that's juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Used as a condiment, peanut butter will melt with the heat of the cooked burger.

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant goes the condiment route, slathering a layer of peanut butter on the bun for its Duane Purvis All American burger. Back in 2007, Guy Fieri took a big bite and declared, "I absolutely don't enjoy that at all," before calling out for his Mom (via YouTube). Thirteen years later, in 2020, he gave it another try. This time, it was at Sabores in Logan, Utah. Needless to say, Fieri was a bit skeptical after his experience at Triple XXX, but this time he was delightfully surprised (via YouTube), declaring, "That's good. The chipotle aioli and a little bit of the sriracha take the burger from being sweet and really heavy peanut butter to being a little spicy peanut butter, like a Thai peanut dipping sauce."

Love it or hate it, adding peanut butter to a burger is a matter of taste.