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Burger Bar: Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers Hardcover – April 20, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Take your burgers from everyday to extraordinary with Chef Hubert Keller.

"There are burgers and then there are Hubert Keller's Burger Bar burgers. In this book, Hubert Keller turns out original and delicious burgers and raises the bar for everyone else."—Alain Ducasse

Drawing on his experience as a four-star chef and using only the finest fresh ingredients, Chef Hubert Keller, the creator and owner of the popular Burger Bar restaurants in Las Vegas, St. Louis, and San Francisco, reveals how to re-create his sophisticated, succulent burgers in your own home.

Burger Bar features more than 50 inspirational recipes for Keller's burgers and sides that emphasize high-quality ingredients, fabulous flavor combinations, and simple preparation techniques. From meaty delights such as the New York Strip Surprise Burger and the Greek Burger, to the off-the-beaten-path Crab Sliders and Buffalo Burger, to must-have sides and sauces such as Perfect French Fries and Piquillo Pepper Ketchup, there's a recipe to delight every palate.

Packed with professional tips on preparation and presentation plus Keller's "Build Your Own" techniques, Burger Bar is the go-to cookbook for anyone who wants to know how to build a better burger.

Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from Burger Bar


Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon Sliders

Burger Bar Milkshakes

Perfect French Fries

From the Inside Flap

"Every chef dreams of extending his vision to appeal to as many people as possible. Keller has done that with his restaurants and this book, by sharing with cooks how to build the best burgers."—Guy Savoy

"We knew everyone loves burgers, but we wanted to offer something new. What if we reimagined burgers and applied our fine-dining culinary training to create the best-tasting burgers possible? We would take them seriously because, we noticed, burger lovers take the subject seriously. Very seriously."

Those are the words of Hubert Keller, nationally acclaimed chef and owner of the dining hotspot Burger Bar with locations in Las Vegas, St. Louis, and San Francisco, and host of the PBS-TV series Secrets of a Chef, explaining how he and his colleagues brought their passion for high-quality food to everyone's backyard favorite: the burger.

In Burger Bar, Chef Keller and Penelope Wisner show you how to create a mouthwatering, out-of-body burger experience—the ultimate burger. Through easy-to-follow recipes illustrated throughout with gorgeous color photographs, this cookbook features a collection of 50 succulent burgers complete with Keller's personal suggestions for sauces, buns, and condiments.

Just imagine a rich beef burger stuffed with luscious melted blue cheese, a BLT turkey club burger, or a smoked salmon burger. There's an unforgettable lamb burger with a Provençal flair. You can go vegan with the Southwestern Bean Burger or a seasonal temptation that features pumpkin and quinoa. And let's not forget dessert: wow your family and friends with a knockout s'mores "burger" or tease your eyes and palate with a rich chocolate-hazelnut ganache "burger" draped with a slice of mango gelée "cheese" and enclosed in a warm glazed donut "bun."

The real beauty of this book—other than the burgers themselves—is that you can re-create the customized, build-your-own concept of Burger Bar. You can suit your taste, time, and budget by paring down presentation or by borrowing condiments or sauces, and even techniques, from one recipe and applying them to another. Keller encourages you to try the burgers that have won over thousands of fans and make your own burger masterpieces.

In addition, you'll find recipes for spectacular fries and sides, as well as guidance in selecting meat, forming patties, pairing burgers with beer, and cooking the juiciest burgers you've ever tasted.

If you aren't wishing for a burger by now, you will be once you sample the culinary wonders that Burger Bar has to offer!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470187670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470187678
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently purchased both "Burger Bar" and Bobby Flay's "Burgers, Fries & Shakes." Must be the summer of the burger cookbook. Last summer it was star chef grilling books. Anyway, I have to say the "Burger Bar" wins. Flay's book is all about the toppings. It really is more of a salute to his new restaurant chain. "Burger Bar" focuses on different approaches to burgers. In addition, "Burger Bar" offers a nice set of recipes for side dishes, sauces, and drinks.
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Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is far more than a book about burgers. It is a book about great flavor combinations, cooking technique and presentation, all brought to you through manageable recipes. Most burger recipes are paired with a "condiment" recipe, some of which can be time consuming, but have no fear, don't feel like making the "spicy aioli" from scratch... don't bother making your own mayonnaise, just take out the Hellman's and add Chef Hubert Keller's additional ingredients (worked for me - - I'm not making mayo).
The "Mustard Seed Chicken Burger" (including a grated apple that adds the moisture lacking in most poultry burgers - without adding any flavor that doesn't belong in a burger) and the "BLT Turkey CLub Burger" are both amazing, easy to make and most importantly result in clean plates from the pickiest of eaters.
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Format: Hardcover
Hubert Keller was amazing in the first episode of Top Chef Masters, and in Burger Bar he shares many of his secrets to creating the ultimate burger experiences at home. There's something here for everybody -- beef, lamb, poultry, fish and vegetarian burgers -- many of which will simply astound with their creativity and combination of flavors. There's even recipes for sides and desserts. A burger book unlike others, and a trip inside the mind of a chef who is as creative and innovative as they come.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i wasn't expecting as much as this cookbook provides. It has plenty of recipes and lots of good tips to help with preparation. It was a little surprising how much complexity can go into making burgers but the result is worth it. Also, there is a bit more than just burgers. The cookbook also has recipes for sauces and sides that go well with the burgers, veggie burgers, fish, and other burger type sandwiches in the recipes. Have fun in the kitchen and on the grill with this cookbook.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book! Many creative ideas. More than I'll probably use. The bottom line in Kellers opinion is: "you can't have a great burger without great beef." And the bread is important too! I tend to agree here. So save on all the prep time, expensive mushrooms and ingredients, and buy some Kobe or other highend beef, and a fresh bulky roll for your "puck"! You won't care what is on it at that point. Bon appetit!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I am a "burger snob". At the same time, I am a purist as well. I believe the only ingredients in a burger should be meat and bun. On the other hand, that can get old for many people (not me, but just about everyone I know). This book covers the many options one has when creating a "burger".

I really enjoy watching Hubert Keller. He seems to be able to transform a dish, but yet keep it true to its original idea. This book is a great example of that. This book is full of recipes for "burgers". Even thought the ingredients go far beyond simply "meat and bun", there is no question that what is being made is, in fact, a burger. This differs from some places that can take those same ingredients and make something resembling a burger, but not quite (though they still call it one. I think this has to do with the actual burger (at least in the meat section) being the "center of attention" no matter what the ingredients. It's not different in the rest of the book, be it fish, poultry, vegetarian or even dessert, but it really comes through in the meat section(s). I'm not sure if I am explaining that properly. It just seems to me that anything in this book could be considered a burger, while what some "upscale" places call a "burger" would make one question what [their] idea of a burger is.

Only thing(s) I wish I saw in this book is at least one venison recipe and maybe a section on buns. Mr. Keller does address the fact that many different buns can be used, but the "snob" in me really feels that a good burger is worthy of a homemade Kaiser Roll or a high-quality something or other fresh out of the oven. Beyond that, the book is complete.

So why the title of the review? As I said, other than being a snob, I am also a purist.
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Format: Hardcover
I was hoping for a book that enables me to create the ultimate hamburger with delicious beef and over-the-top ingredients. Though the book has a few useful tips, I don't need to know what pre-processed item to put on my burger but rather how to make that item myself. Nothing is said about the kobe or wagu-style patties available at some gourmet markets or even buffalo mozzarella. It's a cliché that avocados can be placed on a burger, but so what? Creativity could have been kicked up a few notches.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a generic hamburger recipe book. What we have here is the crystallisation of the experience and recipes from a talented French cook who became succesful in the USA.
For example, the introductory pages detail meticulously how to make a really great burger, instead of just a good one. Here we clearly see the chef's experience.
Then we come to a nice selection of 50-odd recipes (approx. 30 for the burgers) running the gamut from beef to poultry to fish to vegetarian. Even just the meaty burgers vary a lot: from a pesto beef burger recipe to a Brazilian style Feijoada burger. There are very few recipes that don't tempt me. And the chef's experience again shows through the introduction of each recipe, and the very precise instructions that for example warn you when a patty is delicate.
This being an American book, expect here and there some ingredients that are not always evident to find in Europe, for example Monterey Jack cheese (just substitute with a slice of cheddar), or chipotle chiles (dried smoked jalapeno chilis), but I think that everyone can make reasonable substitutions. Also the measurements are not metric and the temperature is stated in fahrenheit, but I don't really mind. It would be sad to dismiss this book because of that detail!
The book also features a number of side dish recipes, next to the unavoidable french fries (correctly and precisely described that you should fry them twice at different temperatures), onion rings, pickles, and a few salads (these look serviceable but not as inspiring as the burger recipes). Also a few interesting relishes, sauces, milkshakes and cocktails (the lavender-cucumber mojito is one I plan to try).
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