Food & Drinks

The Best Hamburger Buns You Can Buy in the Store

Bakeries all over the world make brioche hamburger buns. They make sesame buns, too. And challah buns, and whole grain buns, and lots of other buns.

You can ignore all of those. Instead, pay attention to the bakeries that make potato rolls, which—and I say this without hyperbole—are the only buns worth considering when you want the best hamburger possible.

Potato buns are squishy instead of stiff. They meld with the burger instead of becoming a fluffy obstacle you have to fight through before reaching beefy nirvana. If for some reason they’re forced to sit around, the buns don’t get soggy as quickly as standard white buns, and they don’t break apart into a mess like some inferior buns. (I’ve been talking about standard hamburger buns here, but since we’re on the topic it warrants saying: if you are ever served a burger on a ciabatta roll, stand up, walk out of that place, and never look back.)

Perhaps you’ve visited a food site on the internet in the past 10 years and already know that Martin’s Potato Rolls are generally touted as the end-all-be-all of sandwich buns. In our testing we found, unsurprisingly, that the hype is warranted. We compared Martin’s to five other potato rolls in a blind taste test and, despite a few worthy challengers, they came out definitively on top. But if you can’t find them, no problem—we did choose a runner-up.

For our methodology and the full list of hamburger buns we tasted, scroll to the bottom of the page. First up, the rankings!

Our Favorite Hamburger Buns: Martin’s

No surprise here. Ever since Shake Shack started building their burgers with the illustrious Martin’s Potato Rolls, the pillowy, squishy buns have been a darling of the food world. (If you ask me, it’s what made Shake Shack’s burgers notable in the first place.) The rolls have a malty flavor with a good balance of sweetness and salt. The texture is nearly marshmallowy: tender, but with a chew and a pull that gives in to a satisfying bite without getting in the way of the burger (or other sandwich fillings).

BUY IT: Martin’s Potato Sandwich Rolls, $3 for a pack of 8 at Target.com

A Very, Very Close Second: Schmidt’s

Look, don’t get me wrong, I love a Martin’s. But I just met Schmidt and plan to be a loyalist for a while. For me personally, these buns—which came in a very close second in our taste test—were far-and-away the better rolls. They have a bit more loft where Martin’s are a tad more dense, but still squish into the perfect handheld vehicle for a beef burgerblended burgerlamb burger, or whatever other burger you’d care to stuff it with. I also found that these buns weren’t quite as chewy as Martin’s, which has a tendency to linger in your mouth a little longer. Regardless, either way you go, you’re in for a superior cookout.

BUY IT: Schmidt’s Potato Sandwich Rolls, $3.50 for a pack of 8 on Instacart

What We Were Looking For

The best hamburger bun had to be squishy without falling apart; it had to have a good balance of sweetness and savoriness; and it had to have good flavor without any strange aftertaste. Oh, and it had to be a potato roll.

Though we had a smaller cadre of samples than we usually do for taste tests, there was a lot of variation among the competition. Some buns had a bitter, chemically aftertaste. Another was so sweet it could be considered good fodder for an ice cream sandwich. Still another was incredibly dry and had an overpoweringly sour taste, as if vinegar had been added to the dough to mimic the effects of slow-fermented bread dough. (We were not fooled.)

 

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Pulled Chicken with Philippine Barbecue Sauce, Snap Pea and Apricot Slaw on a @potatorolls

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How We Tested

Each package of buns arrived to our offices frozen. Once all buns were in hand, we left them at room temperature for six hours to thaw completely.

We started the tasting by sampling the buns untoasted, unadorned, un-anything—just straight out of the packages. This led to several immediate eliminations. With the two front runners in place, we put the buns to use. First: in a classic smashed cheeseburgerloaded with tomatoes, lettuce, and a secret sauce. Second, in a slow-cooked shredded chicken sandwich dripping with barbecue sauce and a vinegary snap pea slaw. Both of these tests left the Martin’s fans on team Martin’s and the Schmidt’s fans on team Schmidt’s, resulting in an overall victory for the potato roll poster-child.

All tastings were conducted blind by a team of Epicurious editors and staff and no distinction was made between organic and non-organic products during testing.

Source : MSN