Cooking

Build-a-Burger

The best burger in town is in your own kitchen
DIY Burger Guide
How to master the burger domain

Chicago is home to dozens of superlative burgers.

But we maintain that the best burger in town is the one you cook and customize at home.

The Burger: Publican Quality Meats sells its burger blend in preformed, frozen patties ($8 per pound). Coarsely ground local beef is flavored with porcini mushroom powder for extra savor. These half-inch-thick specimens need only minutes on the grill or in a hot cast-iron pan to reach an ideal temperature of medium.

The Bun: PQM's soft pretzel rolls ($4 for 4) are sturdy and flavorful burger vehicles. Or head to the French Market for potato or ciabatta-like Squish Squash buns from Little Goat Bread ($2 each).

The Condiments: Snag piquant pickled red onions or pickled green chiles from Little Goat Bread ($5 each), available at its Randolph Street. and French Market locations.

The Cheese: Torn between the merits of a cheddar or a blue? Hit Pastoral's French Market counter for Red Rock, a Wisconsin cave-aged cheddar with blue veins ($24 per pound).

The Rest: Source lettuce and tomatoes from the farmers' market nearest you, keeping an eye out for City Farm's gorgeous red butter lettuce and multicolored heirloom tomatoes.

Chicago French Market 131 N. Clinton St. Chicago IL 60661 312-930-4220 Publican Quality Meats 825 W. Fulton Market Chicago IL 60607 312-445-8977

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