Joe Isidori’s All-American Burger

Joe Isidori of New York City’s Black Tap restaurant knows burgers. Here’s Joe’s recipe for his All-America Burger, which he calls “The Perfect Burger.”

All-American Burger
Serves 4


For the Special Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
Heaping 1/3 cup ketchup
1 ½ tablespoons mashed canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
¼ teaspoon gochujang (Korean chile paste)
1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped half-sour pickle
¾ teaspoon pickle brine (from the jar)

For the burger:
2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
1 ½ tablespoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Canola or vegetable oil, for pan
8 slices American cheese
4 (4-inch) potato rolls, split

For serving:
Tomato slices
Pickle Spears


1. Make the Special Sauce: In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, chiles, gochujang, pickle, and brine until well combined. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator; let chill for at least 24 hours.

2. Make the burgers: In a small bowl, mix together salt and pepper and set aside. Place ground beef in a large bowl and gently loosen meat using your fingers. Form beef into four ¾-inch-thick patties. Using half of the salt and pepper mixture, generously season the top of each patty.

3. Heat a cast-iron flat-top griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Dip a folded paper towel in oil and use it to coat griddle or skillet. Using an offset spatula, carefully transfer patties to griddle, seasoned-side down; sprinkle patties with remaining salt and pepper mixture.

4. Cook patties, without pressing down or moving, until bottoms are browned, about 5 minutes. Flip patties and continue to cook on the opposite side 4 ½ to 5 minutes for medium-rare, or 7 minutes for medium, spooning out excess fat from pan as necessary.

5. Place 2 slices of cheese on each patty. Add 1 tablespoon water to pan and cover immediately. Cook until cheese has melted, about 10 seconds. Transfer burgers to plate and set aside.

6. Pour off most of the fat from griddle and, using a paper towel, wipe out browned bite. Return griddle to medium-high heat. Open potato rolls and place bottom halves, cut-side down, in hot pan until browned and toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn rolls over and toast opposite side 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. Repeat process with top halves of rolls.

7. To serve: Transfer each patty to a bottom half of roll. Top each with 1 tablespoon Special Sauce, tomato, and lettuce; sandwich with top half of roll. Serve with a pickle.

Pick up Joe’s cookbook Craft Burgers & Crazy Shakes on Amazon!