When it comes to summer grilling, few things tantalize our taste buds like a good burger. Coincidentally, nothing frustrates us more than people who erroneously lump all burgers together under one roof.  There’s no easy way to say this, but the simple truth is that not all burgers are created equal. While a bun and a meat patty may be the basis of every burger, it’s what goes on top of, inside of and on them that counts. Here are 6 Award-Winning Burgers That’ll Change Your Grilling Game FOREVER:

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For ultimate decadence, grill up some Surf & Turf. Whether you love the sweet, buttery flavor of West Australian lobster tails or the tender succulence of Alaskan King crab legs, Allen Brothers has the perfect filet to go with it. Or mix it up—ribeye and shrimp, a surf & turf burger, or, for unmatched decadence, a wagyu filet and lobster.
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The Fat Doug

Award: South Beach Wine & Food Festival People’s Choice

You may know Michael Symon from his spot on the daytime cooking TV show The Chew, from his work on Iron Chef America, or from any of the incredible restaurants he owns and cooks at in Cleveland, including his famous burger chain B Spot Burgers. B Spot Burgers signature burger, The Fat Doug, won the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash People’s Choice Award, and with its list of ingredients, we can definitely see why. The burger features a brioche bun, coleslaw, pastrami, stadium mustard, and rich Swiss cheese, along with a decadent patty made with a mix of ground sirloin, ground brisket, and ground boneless short rib.


The Schlow Burger

Award: South Beach Wine & Food Festival People’s Choice

Crispy caramelized onions? Check. Perfectly seasoned ground beef patty cooked properly? Check. Cheddar cheese? Check. Creamy “homemade” horseradish sauce? You’re damn right. Michael Schlow’s The Schlow Burger is also a Burger Bash winning recipe, and with ingredients like that, it’s pretty easy to see why. We also love that the burger is fairly minimalistic and actually super easy to make. It just goes to show that simple still wins.


The Logan County Hamburger

Award: New York Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash

According to Katie Lee, her recipe for The Logan County Hamburger (featured in her cookbook, The Comfort Table) came from her grandmother, who invented the burger combination as something simple with cheap ingredients that could be made during lean times. This award-winning combination of beef, melted cheese, crisp bread (like a grilled cheese sandwich), and yellow onion is simple, inexpensive, and really, really delicious.


Original Joe’s “Hamburger Sandwich”

Award: SF Weekly – Best Classic Burger

Winner of SF Weekly’s Best Classic Burger award, literally everything about this burger screams “classic Americana”—from the literal name of the joint, “Original Joe’s” (has there ever been a more old school American name for a hamburger joint?!) to the name of the burger (they still call it a “hamburger sandwich”), to the simple, wholesome ingredients used. The recipe has been the same since the restaurant opened in 1937: A thick, juicy patty; plopped on two halves of buttered, toasted Italian sourdough bread; garnished with grilled onions and some cheese. And that’s it—no fancy glaze; no bullshit frills. Just a quality, wholesome American classic.


Animal's Boner Burger

Award: Eater: LA – Best New Burger in Los Angeles

The funny thing about this burger—aside from its very name, naturally—is that it’s the only burger on our list to win an award as a secret menu item. In fact, Animal isn’t a burger joint at all—they have one other burger on their menu, and it consists of foie gras, quail egg, and spam. Yeah… But the secret Boner Burger at Animal, which won Eater: Los Angeles’ “Best New Burgers in Los Angeles, 2015” sounds absolutely bonkers. House-ground short rib, chuck, and bone marrow (what?!), topped with jack cheese, caramelized onion, poblano chili, and Animals’s secret 420 Sauce (a deliciously tangy secret sauce that appears to be a mix between barbecue sauce and mustard), stuffed between two slices of toasted marble rye. We’re not big on boner talk here at Cool Material, but we’ve got a food boner just talking about it.


Kenny and Ziggy's In Queso Emergency Burger

Award: Zagat’s Best Burgers in America

Winner of Zagat’s “Best Burgers In America: Houston” contest, the In Queso Emergency burger by Kenny and Ziggy’s is massive, messy, gooey, and is more burger than any reasonable human being could every want. Made with a half-pound patty of ground short rib and skirt steak from Pat LaFrieda, NYC, and topped with lettuce, tomato, pepper jack, black label bacon, avocado, chipotle mayo, and onion strings, all between a challah bun. Is it 18 bucks? Yes. Is it worth every penny? You’re damn right it is.


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