Should the question be what is the best cheese for hamburgers or what is the best cheese for cheeseburgers? Probably the latter, but do you need cheese for a cheeseburger? as it already has cheese. Ok, I think I am just confusing myself. Let’s play it safe and say this is a guide to the best burger cheese.
What makes a certain cheese amazing on a burger? The most obvious consideration is the taste. But just because a cheese tastes great it doesn’t mean it will be good on a burger. So the second consideration is also important, it needs a good amount of moisture, this helps the cheese melt onto the hot burger, giving you that lovely gooeyness. If the cheese isn’t moist and is a hard cheese it will most likely just sweat or the fat will separate from the cheese.
So which cheeses have a great flavor and a high amount of moisture? Below is our top ten list of the best burger cheese. If you think another cheese should be on the list then let us know your favorite burger cheese in the comments.
The philosopher Aristotle coined the phrase, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and this phrase perfectly describes American cheese on a burger. Standing on its own, American cheese is average at best. But when you combine it with a burger patty it becomes a whole different animal.
American cheese melts perfectly and oozes it gooey goodness into all the nooks and crannies of the burger. And having such a mild flavor you can simply use it as a binder so hold the burger toppings together and add another cheese for more flavor.
A creamy, buttery flavor with a spicy kick. I’m a big fan of spicy burgers, whether it’s a sprinkle of ground cayenne pepper or several slices of jalapeno, I find a bit of spice brings a little something extra to food. And as Pepper Jack has spice and melts nicely it is one of my favorite cheese for burgers.
Blue cheese scares a lot of people, so it’s not a cheese you should use as a default for a big cookout, as most people will turn their nose up at it without even trying. However, if you are more experimental than the average joe, Stilton is a great cheese to add to your burger.
Stilton is often paired with meat. It’s normally added to pork chops with a dollop of apple sauce or as a blue cheese sauce for steaks. So don’t fear the strong flavors will dominate the taste.
Gruyere is a cheese from Switzerland, and if you ever been to the Swiss Alps you’ll have seen people eating with a raclette set (or maybe even a fondue set). These sets are used to make it easy to eat melted cheese, and the cheese you’ll most likely see people eating is Gruyere or Emmental cheese. So you can be sure Gruyere has a long history of being great for melting. So obviously it’s also a great cheese for adding to your burger.
I always cook my burgers on a charcoal grill so they get a smokey flavor to them. But if I want my burger to be extra smokey I add some smoked bacon or some smoked Gouda cheese. Of course you can buy Gouda that hasn’t been smoked if you’re not a fan of smokey flavors, and you can smoke any of the other cheese on this list yourself if you wish. But I’ve tipped Gouda as a smoked cheese as smoke blends well with the flavors of the cheese and I see Gouda sold smoked as much as I see it without being smoked.
Cheddar is probably right on the line of being too hard and not enough moisture to be a great burger cheese. It does start to sweat and the fats do separate from the cheese. But if you grate cheddar it works much better. And the taste of cheddar is so flavorsome I think it’d be wrong not to add it to a list of the best burger cheeses.
When I use feta cheese on a burger I normally use it differently to the other cheeses on this list. Normally I’d add the cheese on top of the burger for the last minute or so of cooking. Feta cheese I like to crumble up and add it to a greek salad can place it under the burger.
Mozzarella cheese is renowned for the lovely cheese stings you get as you pull a slice of pizza off. And if it melts well on a pizza it’ll do the same for a burger. I’d just recommend you use more punchy flavors in the rest of your toppings, as Mozzarella is a little bland in the taste department.
Emmental is often called Swiss cheese, and as mentioned earlier, it’s made to be great for melting. I guess if you are reading this article you are relatively new to good cheeses and all these funny-sounding names from all over the world. But all the cheeses in this guide are very popular and can be found in most stores cheese section.
I know brie and camembert are two different kinds of cheese, but for burgers, you can use them interchangeably. The main difference being camembert has a stronger flavor. Brie already has a soft sometimes gooey center so it doesn’t need much melting. When I add it to a burger I also like to have cranberry sauce. Fruit on a burger! I know, but trust me, some fruits work wonders on burgers.