Make Store-Bought Burger Buns Taste Better With This Restaurant-Worthy Trick

In the quest to replicate the ideal restaurant burger, there are many elements that must be individually perfected. Of course, the meat itself is of supreme importance, from choosing the best ground beef to deciding how to season your patties. The toppings and cheese selections also weigh heavily on the outcome of the final product. However, the most overlooked component that makes a significant difference when assembling a burger is the quality of its bun. The bun is, after all, what makes a burger a sandwich. Not only does it help absorb the moisture from the all-important sauces, but a bun's fluffy, lightly crisp texture also impacts every single bite. While you can certainly make your own hamburger buns, no one will fault you for opting for the convenience of the store-bought variety. And they don't have to be bland! You can make your store-bought burger buns taste restaurant-quality with the help of a single condiment: mayonnaise.

You might be used to using butter to achieve supreme toastiness, but mayo deserves a chance. Similarly to butter, the fat from mayo helps it pack a flavorful punch, but it has a more complex flavor and a more easily spreadable consistency. We also discovered in our ultimate showdown between butter and mayonnaise that mayo-slathered bread not only browns more evenly than butter when grilled, but it also has a higher smoke point. This means it can easily handle the high grilling temps and is generally more forgiving.

Just a dab will do

To achieve the restaurant-quality buns that will take your barbecue to the next level, you simply have to spread them with a dollop of mayonnaise (too much will leave you with soggy buns) before setting them on your grill to cook for 30 seconds to one minute. The most important things to keep in mind are the timing and the temperature. Since it's such a quick cook, the right time to get this final crisp is right after you take your burgers off the grill. Make sure to clean the space that the burgers occupied so leftover burnt bits and grease won't compromise your buns. Then, making sure the temperature is set to medium-low, gently place each mayo-spread bun over the heat. You may want to rely on indirect heat for the toasting, as setting the burger buns directly on top of an active flame will cause them to crisp up extremely quickly. 

As the buns brown, keep a close eye on their progress, gently pressing down the center of each bun if the edges seem to be browning faster in comparison. Once the buns reach an even, golden brown color, it's time to remove them from the grill and assemble your burgers. As for the best burger toppings, you can check out our definitive ranking, or, if you'd like to elevate your barbecue even further, get creative with our collection of unique burger toppings to pair perfectly with your delicious, restaurant-quality buns.