Burgers are on my mind this week. Wednesday was National Burger Day (what, did you miss it again?). And this Labor Day, I’ll be grilling burgers to enjoy with my family. When it comes to getting this delicious mix of meat and bun into one’s mouth, there’s really no wrong way to go about it. But we all know how, especially when one’s burger is piled high with tasty fixins’, those toppings can squirt out the sides and drop out the back. You end up trying to pick up those grilled onions and slices of bacon and shove them back into the bun. Could there be a better way?
The Japanese television show Honma Dekka!? wanted to find out. They tasked 3 researchers — with expertise in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry — with figuring out the very best way to hold a burger. In the name of science, this crack team analyzed the issue for four months, studying 3D images of burgers to discover where the weak spots and potential leaks arose. At the end of their study, they shared their conclusions with the world. The secret, as it turns out, is the pinkie. While most of us grab our burgers with our thumbs on the bottom, and all the rest of our fingers on top, a far superior hold is to use both hands, placing both the thumbs and the pinkies on the bottom of the burger, with the three middle fingers resting evenly-spaced on top. This lends balanced support all around the bun. No tasty toppings are lost as the burger makes its way from the plate to your mouth.
Put that in your Weber and grill it.
The best way to hold a burger
– The middle fingers on top.
– (Cross-section. Use both hands!)
– Thumbs and pinkies on the bottom.
– Burger is divided into equal parts for balanced holding.
Illustration by Ted Slampyak