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The best cheese for burgers: Our top 7 favorites

Blue cheese? On a burger? Trust us, it's delicious.

Cheeseburger
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Unless you’re an insane person (or avoid dairy for dietary or ethical reasons—you get a pass), you turn your hamburgers into cheeseburgers. Cheese truly does make everything better, and burgers are perhaps the best example of this. But which cheeses should you select when it comes time to light the grill and crack open some cold ones? We’ve got the answers.

Cheddar

Person grating cheese
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Ah, classic cheddar. This trusty staple is certainly the most popular cheese for most backyard burgers. And while cheddar may be the typical choice, it’s far from mundane. This hard cheese has a crumbly texture, an easily melty consistency, and a slightly tangy, nutty flavor that works beautifully on a burger.

Monterey and Pepper Jack

Pepper Jack cheese
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One of the gooiest, meltiest cheeses on the block, Jack is beautifully mild and smooth, with a creamy texture that’s delicious on a burger. Add some spicy peppers to this modestly mild cheese, and you end up with Pepper Jack, which complements Jack’s smooth and creamy flavor and consistency. Either variety is an ideal burger choice, whether you want to keep it smooth or turn up the spice.

Brie

Brie cheese
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Ultra-popular, sinfully smooth, deliciously creamy Brie will give your burger an instant sophistication boost. Brie’s perfectly melty texture, paired with her subtle, earthy tones, is buttery and brilliant on any burger. We especially love it when paired with bacon on a brioche bun.

Smoked Gouda

Cheese
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This delicious cheese tastes like it was made for a barbecue. Gouda is creamy and sweet with nutty, caramel notes that take on a gorgeous campfire flavor when subtly smoked. While it may take a bit longer to melt than other cheeses on our list, Gouda does melt beautifully and will give your burger a beautifully complex flavor.

Blue 

Bleu cheese
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Love it or hate it, blue cheese always makes a statement. And if it’s bold you’re going for, blue cheese is absolutely incredible crumbled onto a hot burger patty. Blue’s creamy texture and sharp, signature funk melt seamlessly into the hot, sizzling meat of a burger in a way that’s absolutely divine.

Mozzarella

Burgers on grill
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Don’t come for us on this one. We understand that the mild and creamy bliss that is mozzarella is usually reserved for your favorite pasta dishes, but think about everything that makes mozzarella wonderful. It’s mild and creamy, it melts in a way that makes anyone’s mouth water, and its milky, grassy flavor is everything a burger wants.

American

American cheese
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Alright, look. We get it. The cheese snobs of the world may very well take issue with this selection because technically – technicallyAmerican cheese isn’t really a cheese, but a spread. It is, however, made from real cheese – usually colby or cheddar – and tastes delicious. Sorry. It just does. Especially if you grew up sneaking these perfectly plastic-wrapped treats out of the refrigerator as a kid, like some of us did.

There’s a reason American cheese is a popular burger choice. Sure, it’s cheap, but it’s also nostalgic and, honestly, quite tasty. No matter how snobby the burger (or cheese) sophisticate in your life may be, American cheese is always a good burger choice.

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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