Jazz up your next burger with these four, creative toppings

Burger Toppings

The warm weather is on its way out, so it’s the perfect time to savor the end of summer with a barbeque. Everyone puts pickles and mustard on theirs, but you can do better. From pear to pineapple, our handpicked burger toppings are sure to surprise even the most captious of your Instagram foodie friends.

Related: How to Grill the Ultimate Burger

Pear and blue cheese: The exact combination of flavors isn’t a new one considering the sweet juiciness of pears and the tangy bite of the cheese typically compliment one another out in roasted pear salads, usually with walnuts and mushrooms. The preparation is a little bit more involved with the pears, but the results are worth it. Cut the fruit into wedges about a ½-inch thick at the skin, or a little thinner than you’d cut tomato slices. Blue cheese is pretty crumbly to start with, which can be a little unwieldy on top of a burger.

Once the patties are on the grill and heating up, shake the container of blue cheese to reduce some of the larger chunks to a finer consistency. After flipping and when the paddies are almost ready, lightly sprinkle them with the cheese so that it melts on the top. At the same time, gently place the pear slices on the grill before closing the lid for a minute or two, or until the outside of the pear slices begin perspiring. Afterward, top each burger with a couple of pear slices while the blue cheese is still warm, and then pile it on a fresh whole wheat bun.

Sweet corn salsa: A messy — yet extremely fresh — topping for burgers on a hot day, sweet corns salsas can range from sweet-and-sour to molten hot. However spicy you like it, it’s a also a good idea to pair the salsa with sliced tomato and pepper jack cheese for a juicy pile of toppings that go great with tortilla chips and watermelon.  Moreover, you can even sprinkle the meat with lime before you cook it to give it a zesty pop.

Pineapple: Fruit on a burger? You bet. Pineapple is sweet and tangy, a fitting set of flavors for any burger. Before you get your patties going, slice up a pineapple and take off the brown skin on the outside, laying it on its side and cutting it into rings afterward. Then, lay the rings flat on the grill when you flip the burgers so as they get a nice sear and some light marks, flipping them once or twice off direct heat. Place a ring of pineapple squarely on the top of each patty where you’d normally add the cheese.

Close the lid of the grill to ensure the fruit gets some heat on it, thus allowing the rings to develop a nice carmelized edge to them. Heating up the pineapple takes away some of the tart edge, and balances really nicely with the savory flavors of the meat. If you want to throw an extra twist on this one, a dab of thicker teriyaki sauce spread on the bottom bun is a great alternative to traditional condiments.

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Green peppers and bacon: Despite your reservations, it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that: green peppers sliced into crunchy strips, layered with crispy bacon. Raw peppers are easy to add after cheese as a tasty alternative to onion, or cooked underneath the cheese as a flavorful, melted mess. A little bit of savory bacon flavor and crunch will make those peppers taste even sweeter.

Got a great burger topping that you use to impress your friends? Share it in the comments below!