Best Bun Options for Elevated Gourmet Burgers

There is something to be said for the classic white burger bun, and its ability to sop up grease from a fresh hamburger patty, without falling apart. Though it’s certainly not the only vehicle for transporting hot beef to your mouth.

There are certainly a lot of other tantalizing bread and bun options to consider. Especially if you are planning on making elevated burgers for a special event.

If you’re looking for the best bun option for elevated burgers, you might want to consider one or two of the following.

Ciabatta Burger Buns

Ciabatta buns offer a crusty exterior with a soft fluffy interior and the pleasant familiar flavor of rustic bread. The spongy interior of the bread is great for soaking up special sauces and retaining them without squirting out the sides of the burger when you bite into it. This also helps the ciabatta bun to soak up grease from a fatty burger patty without the exterior getting soggy.

Ciabatta buns have become so popular that you can find them just about anywhere. Grocery stores and bulk stores usually have them in abundance. Though you’ll usually find the most flavorful ciabatta buns in artisanal bakeries.

Best For

Ciabatta buns are best for thick burger patties and self-ground burgers that are still a little pink in the middle.

They’re also a top option for burgers that have their own special sauce or need a bun that can support sauteed vegetables.

Pretzel Burger Buns

Pretzel buns are another increasingly popular option for backyard chefs who want to create elevated burgers that can hold up to robust flavors and sauces. They offer a semi-soft exterior with an absorbent flavorful, and chewy interior.

Pretzel bread in general tends to be slightly saltier than a lot of other traditional burger buns, which can help bring out the flavor of the burger patty and toppings. Though you do have to use a slightly measured hand when seasoning the burger to make sure it doesn’t create an overly salty bite.

Pretzel buns play nicely with a wide range of melted cheeses and robust mustards. They also do a good job of sopping up any grease from the surface of the burger patty without disintegrating the bun in your hand.

Pretzel buns are also relatively easy to find in grocery stores and artisanal bakeries. If you have a modest amount of baking skills, you could even make them at home to save a little money. Though getting the exterior just right calls for a practice batch or two before the big event.

Best For

Burgers with robustly flavorful sauces, horseradish, and strong mustards.

Also plays well with exotic melted cheeses and pungent sauteed vegetables.

Brioche Burger Buns

Brioche bread and buns have egg and butter in the recipe which gives them a richness that most other breads can’t offer. They also tend to be very soft, which makes them great for burgers with a modest amount of toppings.

The brioche buns you find in a lot of bakeries tend to be smaller than other types of burger buns. This makes store-bought brioche a better candidate for smaller patties or sliders. The richness of the bun could also be used to enhance lean meats like ground chicken or turkey burgers.

Brioche can be a challenging bread to try to make if you’re not already an accomplished baker. Though three or four test batches and an easy-to-follow online recipe will probably get even a novice baker to the point where they can turn out great brioche buns

Best For

Burgers with smaller patties and/or sliders.

Great for adding some richness to lean meats like chicken and turkey burgers of 90/10 beef burger patties.

Potato Rolls

Potato roll burger buns tend to be pretty sturdy. They replace a small portion of the traditional wheat flour used in white bread with potato flour. This gives you a firm bun that isn’t going to break down easily in the face of even the juiciest burger patty. The potato flavor also plays nicely with self-ground burgers that use bold cuts of beef or steak.

Potato roll burger buns aren’t always the easiest to find in grocery stores. You usually have to turn to an artisanal bakery to find a truly tasty and soft potato bun.

You can make potato roll burger buns yourself. Though there’s a risk of the final bun ending up too starchy. So, if you go this route, make sure to try a few test batches to get the texture you want in your elevated burger.

Best For

Bold beefy favored burger buns and buns that have a higher-than-average fat content.

Pairs well with soft melted cheeses like cheddar and high-quality American cheese.

Kaiser Roll Burger Buns

Kaiser rolls are often used with elevated deli sandwiches and replace typical sesame seed buns with poppy seeds. A good kaiser roll tends to be flaky and absorbent, which helps it work well with juicy meats, special sauces, and melted cheese. All without compromising the integrity of the kaiser bun itself.

The issue that some people have with kaiser rolls for a bun is that the bread itself tends to be a little plain. This is the original nature of the bun in the deli world where it wasn’t supposed to stand against the meat.

If you want a more flavorful kaiser roll than the ones you find in stores, you can make them yourself with a little practice. This gives you the opportunity to replace the poppy seed topping with salt and/or garlic powder to boost the flavor, without changing the composition of the bread.

Best For

Burgers with a lot of sauce and juice or melted cheese.

Buns that benefit from replacing poppy seeds with other flavorful toppings.

Focaccia Burger Buns

Focaccia is a type of rustic Italian bread that is rich with olive oil and sometimes butter. Many times it’s enhanced with chopped aromatic herbs and a salty crust topping. The texture is something akin to a deep dish pizza crust. Though with a chewier, soft, spongy interior.

Standard focaccia like you find in stores and traditional bakeries are usually a little too thin for anything but sliders. Though it’s a somewhat easy bread to learn how to make on your own. With a little extra yeast and proofing time, you can get a thicker bun that brings an amazing amount of richness and flavor to elevated burger patties.

The rich fats, herbs, and olive oil of focaccia burger buns is great for alternative beef patties. This includes chicken patties and turkey burgers, as well as more exotic meats.

Best For

Non-traditional burger patties.

Burgers topped with sauteed onions.

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