” Why Are Most American Burgers Crap? “


Easy boy’s and girls, just trying to get your attention here.

For many years the american style burger was a complete mystery to me.
You see, when I came to America forthe first time in 1970, my  “burger”
senses were still completely in love with our german version, which go
by the names of:

Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischpflanzln.

To this day I can not understand how one can forgo the deliciousness
and texture of a “proper” Frikadelle for a limp , skinny, mostly dry and
tasteless meat patty made of  low grade, unseasoned and uninteresting
ground beef.
( Remember friends, I said “most’ American burgers, not all )
Of course, the principle of having a good piece of meat layered with lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and a variety of other goodies is a wonderful
idea. But, if this is such a standby and tradition for so many folks, why on earth
do most people treat it like crap ? Crappy buns, crappy patties, crappy condiments.
No love.
So here is what I suggest to the american public:
Let’s make GOOD burgers from here on !     🙂
I will throw the first coin by giving you all the simplest and best recipe for
a plain, good old frikadelle . There are many variations and once you have
mastered the basics, you should experiment until you find your personal favorite.
A frikadelle is a very versatile dish. It can be served as a snack, cold with mustard
to dip and a slice of sour dough bread on the side. Or as a lunch or dinner dish,
with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, roast potatoes and fried onions,
french fries (fritten) and salad or any other side dish, condiment and sauce
which would go well with a steak or burger. Just make sure that if you go the
few extra steps to make a wonderful frikadelle instead of a measly patty,
don’t destroy the good stuff by adding lesser sides and condiments.
If you are a burger fanatic, you want to read :  History of the Hamburger


  • 1 c. finely diced  (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk and squeezed dry.
  • 1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and veal)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh marjoram
  • 1 T. butter

Method :

  • Saute onions in oil until translucent. Cool slightly.
    Cut softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
    Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan. Form 4 patties and fry over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 350°F  until done. You may also continue frying them in the pan until they are no longer pink inside.
    Variation 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before sautéing for a really nice, crispy exterior.
    Variation 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi.  In my house we use Maggi as a table side condiment.
    Variation 3: Meat Patties with caraway. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram.
    Variation 4: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped bacon to the meat .Find your own best burger recipe by experimenting
    and giving them the love they deserve  !                       🙂


  1. That sounds delicious. When I do burgers I like to grind my own out f sirloin and bacon mixed with oatmeal, minced onion, red bell pepper, guiness and some salt and pepper. Topped with crispy bacon swiss and cheddar cheese, lettuce tomato, and onion. Unfortunately even though I was once a pastry chef and have made my own breads I still prefer to get buns from the local bakeries. I will be trying your recipe the next time I make burgers. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Billy,
      a meatloaf is a loaf, not a patty.
      The whole point was about frikadellen, the forerunners of american hamburgers.
      As I said a few times, I love steak tartare and I appreciate a really good hamburger,
      but unfortunately most of what you get out there is crap 🙂


  2. I love Frikadellen, though I was introduced to them by a Danish friend of mine so they were slightly different than the above recipe.

    I do have to say I’ve been delving into the stuffed burger realm lately with different types of fillings and they have really upped the quality of burger I am making. One of the last ones I put together was a Bacon Cheddar stuffed burger. http://sourdoughusa.com/?p=1192

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do have to say that I love Frikadellen, though I was introduced to them by a good friend of mine who is Danish not German.

    I’ve recently started making stuffed burgers and that has certainly increased the quality of burger that I am currently making. Most recently I made a bacon cheddar stuffed burger. You can see the recipe here http://sourdoughusa.com/?p=1192

    Liked by 1 person

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