The Best Type Of Burger Bun To Use If You Like Them Toasted

The hamburger is such a fundamental part of American culture that it is surprising it isn't mentioned in the Constitution itself. Grilling burgers at parties is a rich tradition, and a well-cooked burger with tasty toppings can instantly make it the star attraction. However, many grill masters overlook the importance of the bun. Toasting the bun is an easy additional step making the difference between an average burger and one that receives a standing ovation. 

As Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati told Food & Wine, "When I cook, I always want my bun to be grilled because, by toasting the inside, you're creating contrast of textures." Toasting not only makes the bun crispy but also softens the inside, adds to the flavor, and can impress your dinner guests (via The Heirloom Pantry). The advantages to toasting buns is even backed by hard science: According to Cook's Illustrated, most store-bought buns have already staled a bit by the time they are pulled out of the package, and heating them up by grilling or toasting releases water and rehydrates the bun, returning it to out-of-the-oven freshness.

And while there is much advice out there for the best methods of toasting the bread — namely in a frying pan, the oven, or on the grill — as well as the many merits of toasting itself, the question of what bun to use is often ignored. Let's look at the various suggestions for the best hamburger bun for creating an amazing burger.

It's all in the buns

When toasting buns, it is better to opt for ones on the firmer side. "As a general rule of thumb, if the bun is more toothsome, I think you definitely want that softer by toasting it so when you bite into it it's not so firm," Mark Rosati told Food & Wine.

The French brioche bun is a very popular choice amongst burger aficionados for toasting. Besides having the desired crispy crust, it has a tender inside that does an excellent job of soaking up the meat's juices (via Simple Grill Recipes). In addition, brioche is naturally fluffy, and its light flavor doesn't compete with the meat or ingredients (per The Heirloom Pantry).

The Italian ciabatta bun is another favorite option that, similar to the brioche bun, has a harder shell and does a good job of holding the juices. It is a great choice for juicy burgers if toasted first and pairs well with salty ingredients such as bacon and sun-dried tomatoes (via Restaurant Clicks).

For lovers of the classic sesame seed roll, consider the Kaiser roll, which, because of its firmer crust, is more ideal for toasting. It can be seen as an upgraded version of the sesame seed bun, and its flakiness provides space for all the juices to get soaked up (via Bakerly).

Hamburgers remain the quintessential American food, and we should never stop in our pursuit of perfection. Toasting the right bun is an integral step toward a legendary burger.