The Ingredient That Will Change Your Burgers Forever

If you think about traditional American cuisine, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is a burger with a side of Coca-Cola. Whether at a fast-food chain or a backyard barbecue, the combo always seems to work well together. There's a way to make it even better. According to Taste of Home, instead of enjoying the burger and coke separately, you can mix the soda directly into the burger meat before cooking it.

This may seem a bit ridiculous, but just think of how barbecue pulled pork is made. In many recipes, soda is one of the main ingredients. As Insanely Good Recipes explains, during the cooking process, the sugar in the soda creates a distinct caramelization that you wouldn't be able to get from regular granulated sugar. And because the sugar is in the form of a soda and is therefore not as concentrated, it's easier to achieve a sweet and savory balance. When combined with the meat and barbecue sauce flavors, the result is a sandwich with layers of delicious flavor. Of course, you can apply the same principle to a burger.

How to add soda to a burger

Whereas barbecue pulled pork is either slow-cooked, roasted, or smoked, burgers are not grilled for as long. Therefore, the amount of soda and adding it is slightly different. Taste of Home shares a recipe that calls for ½ cup of soda per 1 to 1½ pounds of ground beef. It begins like any burger would, with ground beef, and includes an egg and some crushed crackers, plus ¼ cup of cola. The rest of the soda is combined with French dressing and brushed on later in the grilling process, like you would a barbecue sauce.

After grilling the burgers for three minutes on each side, you'll then brush the soda-based sauce onto the patties before letting them finish cooking through. You'll end up with a burger that is perfectly moist and savory yet sweet. Just make sure not to use any diet soda so you can get maximum caramelization and flavor.