These burgers have sizable patties usually nosmaller than 8 ounces, often 10 ounces or more.They’re typically ovoid in shape, rather than flat,often broiled, and most often seen in pubs (hencethe name). It’s a style much celebrated in NewYork City.
Do we really need to define this for you? We didn’tthink so.
The term denotes burgers that seem to take theirinspiration from fast-food burgers but are some-how better—in terms of either ingredients or prep-aration or both. Fast-food-style burgers will bemade with fresh, not frozen, beef; use fresh pro-duce; and generally come from a single storefrontor, at most, a small, local chain rather than a nationwide chain. Burger Joint and Shake Shackin New York City and Gott’s Roadside Tray Gour-met (formerly Taylor’s Automatic Refresher) in SanFrancisco and St. Helena, California, are primeexamples.
Many people think a slider is just a name for a miniburger. Many people are wrong. A slider is some-thing specific: a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop the patty.The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions,absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor. A slider isat once a hamburger and, yet, something more.
Mini burgers encompass every diminutive burgerthat does not meet the definition of a slider (seeabove), often because it has been grilled or broiledrather than steam-griddled and almost alwaysbecause it lacks the bed of pungent onions. Therewas an annoying trend, roughly from 2006 through2008, whereby every chef in the country wasputting mini burgers (often misidentifying themas sliders) on his or her bar menu.
The steakhouse burger is defined more by whereit’s served than by any other unifying characteris-tic, though there are some general observationsone can make. Steakhouse burgers are usuallymade from the beef trimmings of the varioussteaks on hand and as such are ground from prime,aged beef. They’re almost always massive, heartyburgers on a par with pub-style burgers, and they’reoften broiled.
A Kobe burger is almost always a bad idea. Mostchefs cook these rare to medium rare, so as to notovercook the premium meat, but with so little cook-ing, the texture inevitably renders as mushy. It’slike moist cat food on a bun, with the meat oozing out the sides and back as you try to eat the burger.Kobe burgers are most often seen as mini burgers,as the meat is more affordable in smaller, sharableportions, and the Kobe/Wagyu and the miniburger/slider trends seem to have peaked at thesame time.
Chefs and burgers are a tricky thing: in some cases,high-end chefs work wonders with the humble dish;in others, overthinking can get in the way. Priceis a pretty good indication you’re eating a fancy-pants burger. But since price varies from city tocity, it’s difficult to set a hard-and-fast dollarborder. Let’s just say that if a burger costs doublewhat a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Value Mealdoes, you’re probably in fancy-pants land. If that’snot enough of an indication, you know you’re head-ing into rarefied air when one or more of thefollowing is involved: