Is there such a thing as the perfect burger? Science says yes


There’s good burgers, and then there’s seriously good, life-affirming burgers. But what is it that sets them apart? Is it the special house-made sauce or the prime beef patty? Nope.

According to leading food scientist Charles Michel, eating burgers is a multi-sensory experience where the smell and feel are more important than the actual taste.

In fact, Michel’s scientific recipe for perfect burgers is comprised of smell (30%) + feel (25%) + presentation (15%) + sound (15%) + taste (15%).

The best burgers are apparently 7cm tall, 5cm wide, contain 9 layers, and should never be eaten off a plate with a knife and fork for maximum enjoyment. So forget what mum and dad taught you about table manners. Science said so.

Now here, in all its glory, are the 9 layers of a life-affirming burger:

1. Warmed seeded burger bread sprayed with sesame seed oil
2. Chipotle sauce
3. Crunchy lettuce and sliced gherkin
4. Juicy, vine ripened tomato
5. Crunchy slices of serrano ham and deep fried onion
6. Slices of melted, Camembert cheese
7. Wagyu beef patty seasoned with BBQ sauce, salt, pepper and finely chopped onion
8. Ketchup sauce
9. Lower bread splashed with soy sauce

While it’s no secret that we eat with our eyes, the Oxford University food perception expert says we can’t underestimate how much we eat with our ears, too.

"We actually 'taste' food with all of our senses and it is scientifically inaccurate to think just about the taste of food in the mouth when discussing deliciousness,” Michel said.

“Imagine how disappointing a burger would be without hearing the crunch of the crispy bacon, lettuce or gherkin. Focusing on the sizzle of the meat, the sound made by food in your mouth as well as listening to your favourite song whilst eating a burger can really make it more enjoyable."

So the only question left to ask now is how do we get a job as a burger scientist?

Parts of this article previously appeared on

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