- Professional chefs told Insider some of their tips for making store-bought burger buns taste even better.
- Steaming or air-frying buns can improve their texture.
- Adding herbed butter or mayonnaise can add flavour and moisture to stale buns.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
With the right treatment, even store-bought buns can taste gourmet.
Insider asked professional chefs to share their favourite tips for elevating pre-packaged burger buns.
Read on for some of the best ways to make store-bought buns taste better.
Buy the freshest buns possible.
Jessica Formicola, chef and owner of Savoury Experiments, told Insider that if you’re buying premade burger buns in the grocery store, you should always try to purchase the freshest pack available.
“Fresh buns are always better than frozen or stale buns,” said Formicola. “Frozen buns will be a little drier than fresh ones because freezing reduces their moisture content.”
Though frozen buns may be a bit cheaper, your burgers will likely taste best if you opt for a fresh package.
Always heat your buns for better texture and smell.
The quickest and easiest way to revive packaged buns is to simply add heat.
“Just a little heat, such as from grilling or toasting, reactivates the gluten in the bread,” said Formicola. “This makes the buns softer and enhances their scent.”
If you do nothing else to your burger buns, tossing them in the oven or toaster for a minute or two will help recreate that just-baked aroma and texture.
Try basting your buns for moisture and flavour.
Inject flavour right into burger buns by basting them with a seasoned butter mixture.
“I like to create fun, flavored butters and baste all my breads,” said Formicola. “Using melted butter with just a 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, chilli powder, or cumin can totally transform a boring bun.”
Use a small kitchen syringe or plastic pipette to insert the butter mixture into the buns. Be careful not to over-baste the bread, as this can make it soggy.
Use a panini press to revive stale or dry burger buns.
Salvage that package of stale, dry burger buns by popping them into a panini press.
“Any type of bread, including a burger bun, can be smashed in a panini press,” said Formicola. “It will help the bun taste delightfully toasted and chewy.”
Though it may be easiest to press an assembled burger, you can also use a panini press to toast buns by themselves.
Add mayonnaise to your buns before grilling them.
Chef Andre Alto of Pechanga Resort Casino told Insider that adding a touch of mayonnaise can breathe new life into store-bought burger buns.
“Take any quality mayonnaise and spread onto both sides of the bun. Then, on a flat-top grill, simply toast until golden brown on each side,” said Alto.
This trick is easy to customise. You can add any flavoring to the mayo that suits your palate or burger recipe. Try mixing in garlic powder, minced basil, or chilli powder
Try steaming your burger buns on the stove.
Steaming store-bought buns can make them more tender and plump up stale buns by adding moisture.
“Hot-dog stands steam their buns because it makes them taste good. You can do the same at home in just a few minutes,” said Alto.
To make a homemade steamer, take a perforated bowl, such as a colander, and place it over a pot filled with a few inches of boiling water. Add the buns to the bowl, cover the bowl with a lid, and steam the buns for a minute or two.
For a crunchy bun, use an air fryer.
“This method will produce that classic and crispy texture we love on a burger bun,” said Cabrera. “Since air fryers usually come with additional racks, you can use them to toast buns, too.”
Using an air fryer to prepare burger buns works best if the bread is already quite soft and you prefer a slightly crunchier bun. Try brushing the bread with some butter and leaving it in the fryer for a minute or two.
Add toasted sesame seeds to the top of the buns.
Sesame seeds on burger buns aren’t just for decoration. When prepared correctly, they can add a lot of flavour.
“Toasted sesame seeds help bring out the flavour of yeast-based bread,” Cabrera told Insider. “Once you try adding them to store-bought buns, you will understand how something so small can make a big difference.”
Toast the sesame seeds in the oven by spreading them on a lined baking sheet and baking at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown. You can use a light coating of oil to help them adhere to the top of the bun.
Dress up the top of your buns with grated cheese and herbs.
Load up your buns with fragrant herbs and cheese for an extra special burger.
“Yes, even your bun can have toppings,” said Cabrera. “Grate some parmesan cheese and add some herbs right on top of the bun to add a rich taste.”
Herbs like basil, parsley, cumin, and thyme are perfect for adding tempting flavour and aroma to your buns. Stick the buns under your oven’s broiler for a few moments to help the cheese melt.
Add roasted garlic and olive oil to infuse the whole bun with flavour.
Alto recommended roasting garlic with olive oil by wrapping the cloves in foil and placing them in the oven for an hour on low heat.
“After they have been roasted, I spread the garlic on the toasted bun along with some of the garlic oil. This adds a subtle, sweet garlic flavour to the bun and throughout the whole burger,” said Alto.
If you have enough garlic-infused oil left after treating your buns, you can also drizzle some onto the burger patty for added moisture and flavour.
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