If you want to replicate the Kronnerburger in full, be prepared. "A Burger to Believe In" (by Chris Kronner with Paolo Lucchesi) has recipes for everything from the buns (pain de mie style, moist and light) to the dill pickles (there are 17 ingredients), as well as pages on dry-aging meat at home.
But he also recognizes the different levels of burger connoisseurship from the "Extremely Lazy" (have burgers delivered) through the "Really, Really Dedicated" — "build a small dry-aging chamber, dry-age your beef, and scream at family or roommates about how they don't appreciate anything."
For those who fall somewhere in between, Kronner has the following tips.
Use beef that's ground fresh. This will help control the amount of fat — ideally around 30 percent — and the texture, which should be coarse. Find a butcher who will grind a blend for you, or buy a grinding attachment.
If you don't have a grinder, you can hand-cut your beef. (Kronner sees his burger as, essentially, a seared steak tartare.) To do that, chill the beef in the freezer until firm but not frozen, then cut it into ¼-inch slices, then into ¼-inch strips, and then into small cubes. This version works well in a cast-iron skillet, but not so well on a grill.
Cooking over wood matters. At least, as opposed to gas grills. "It makes a bigger difference than you realize," says Kronner, who's also OK with charcoal. Seared in a cast-iron skillet works, too, but to accentuate the crust, rub one side of the patty with a little softened butter before cooking over high heat.
Compromise over onions. Because people are divided about how they want their onions on a burger, find a half-measure and grill red onion slices on one side only, which gives you the benefit of crunchy texture but also caramelized sweetness.
Save your buns. You can resuscitate even the saddest burger bun by buttering the cut sides and then griddling until crispy. If the buns are stale, cover them with a lid so they steam a little bit. (But really, you shouldn't be using stale buns in the first place.)
Go mayo crazy. The cheese spread goes way beyond burgers. You can mix it into potato salad, use it as a dip for French fries, or spread it on a club sandwich or BLT.