What Happens If You Fry A Hamburger In Butter?

Not only does Wisconsin claim to be the site of the first hamburger, but it's also where the American classic was taken to the next level with butter. The first butter burger is said to have been made in 1885 when "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen sold two meatballs fried in butter sandwiched between two slices of bread, according to Thrillist. It was about 50 years later that Solly's Grille in Milwaukee made the butter burger famous. Its version, which is still served today, includes a hamburger patty with a slab of butter on it, so the butter streams the patty and the bun as it melts.

For a long time, butter burgers were a regional specialty until Culver's burst onto the scene in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin, with its own version. Since then, the hamburger chain has grown with locations throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Unlike Solly's, Culver's puts butter on the crown of the bun and not on the patty. America's Test Kitchen takes a similar approach by putting a large pat of butter on the bun, accompanied by a thin hamburger patty that was cooked in a hot skillet. While these options are buttery delicious, Solly's approach truly transforms the butter into something magical.

Melted, golden goodness

The magic of a butter burger happens as the butter begins to melt. According to Thrillist, butter is comprised of butterfat, milk proteins, and water. When the butter begins to melt, it clarifies, meaning it turns to almost all butterfat. The transformation really begins to happen after 30 seconds, per Epicurious, which is the point the butter starts to liquefy and increases the burger's overall juiciness. Another restaurant famous for its butter burgers in Wisconsin, Kroll's Hamburgers in Green Bay, uses a charcoal pit to achieve a smoky taste with its burgers.

Should a burger be overcooked, the melted butter helps to disguise it, according to Epicurious. Combined with quality beef, like at Kroll's, where Black Angus ground beef is used, you get a doubly juicy hamburger. Chef and TV host Guy Fieri, who knows a thing or two about hamburgers, put his own spin on butter burgers. His recipe for The Food Network calls for butter that has been melded with basil, parsley, tarragon, cayenne, and garlic. Of the four sticks of butter used to make the compound butter, a piece of it is stuffed into the patty and another is placed on top of it, for the ultimate buttery burger. Go one step further and put butter on the patty and the bun and you have heaven on Earth.