Bobby Flay's Potato Chip Upgrade For Satisfying Burgers

Few professional chefs are as qualified to discuss the craft of making a good patty as Bobby Flay. Even before the world-renowned chef opened his chain of burger restaurants — Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP) — in 2008, he tirelessly experimented with the ingredients that complement a classic round bun and ground beef patty. He adheres to tradition in many respects; for example, salt and pepper are the only two ingredients Flay uses to season his patties. However, when it comes to fillings, he diverges from convention. Flay is known for stuffing crispy potato chips into his burgers — a creation that you can find on BBP's menu, called the Crunchburger.

Aside from fries, potato chips are perhaps the side dish most commonly served with a classic burger. Their airy, paper-thin crunch provides a nice contrast to the thick, juicy texture of a ground beef patty without mirroring the pillowy softness of the bread, making them a sensible addition as a filling. The taste also plays a significant role in why Flay consistently adds potato chips atop his patties. They offer a fried, salty finish that enhances the savory flavors of the beef. The melted cheddar further binds these elements together, making it easy to understand why this combination is so appealing to him.

Get creative with your potato chip flavors

In line with Bobby Flay's traditional seasoning approach, the chips placed over the patties at Bobby's Burger Palace are relatively simple. However, just because Flay uses plain crisps doesn't mean you can't experiment with more adventurous flavor profiles. Barbecue, cool ranch, and jalapeño chips are among the more popular alternatives to the classic salty potato crisp, and they can easily be layered between a burger bun and a patty.

If you find your palate yearning for more than just cheddar and vinegar in most chips, consider thinly slicing and frying your own potatoes at home. While not as convenient as grabbing a snack bag from the grocery store, this approach allows you to employ virtually any seasoning at your disposal. Garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne are just a few of the staples to sprinkle on homemade chips, but don't hesitate to explore unique flavors such as adobo or sumac.

Other ways to upgrade the flavors of burgers

Potato chips are not the sole ingredient Bobby Flay uses to innovate. Beyond the traditional lettuce, tomato slice, raw onion ring, and pickles, he likes to add more savory proteins — like fried eggs — to his burgers. For an extra zing, you could always add raw or pickled chilis. If you're unsure which variety to choose, Flay frequently uses piquillo peppers. Just make sure not to overload your burger with toppings, as too many ingredients can obscure individual flavors, or detract from the essential taste of a well-crafted burger.

Regarding the primary components of a burger, cooking an 80/20 patty in neutral oil will help maintain the meat's juiciness, and keep the beef flavor front and center. For the bun, opt for a fluffy variety that is easy to bite into — the potato chips will add that textural crunch — and choose a cheese that complements the flavor profile of your chosen crisps.