This Is The Key To A Great Burger, According To Adam Richman - Exclusive

There's nothing worse than taking a huge first bite into a burger expecting it to be juicy, tasty, and satisfying, only for it to completely disappoint you right off the bat. But for most burger lovers out there, we've all had that experience a time or two. The worst part about it is that a bad burger can be completely avoidable, especially if you're making them yourself.

Famous foodie and burger connoisseur Adam Richman would agree. He spoke exclusively with Mashed at the New York City Wine and Food Festival, where he was asked to judge the festival's annual Burger Bash, a competition between some of the best burger makers in the Big Apple. He insisted that it's really a lot easier than you think to master a good burger — and in fact, not overthinking your sandwich is key. He also shared what he feels is the most important thing to keep in mind when you want some meat that will make your day.

Of course, Richman was sure to note that even the best burger meat can be brought down if the vessel for eating doesn't hold its own. "The bun shouldn't just be a conveyance device for meat to your face," he said, but rather a quality piece of bread that will stand up to and complement whatever burger creation you're craving.

When it comes to burgers, the secret is to keep it simple, says Adam Richman

At the end of the day, you don't need a whole bunch of fancy ingredients and artisan techniques to make an amazing burger. In fact, Adam Richman would argue that the harder you try to load up a burger with signature sauces, a mound of veggies, layers and layers of cheese, and more ... well, you might actually be making your burger worse. That's especially true when it comes to the heart of the burger itself: the meat. "If you have a really good product, in a really good burger, generally speaking, salt and pepper [and] temperature control is all you need," said Richman.

Speaking of good product, the quality of your burger meat truly makes all the difference. Pasture-raised, organic meat from small-scale shops or the butcher counter at your grocery store will usually yield better-tasting results than the discount packaged meat you'll find on supermarket shelves. Richman recalled that some of the best burgers he had growing up were the ones "my dad would make ... in a little Weber grill in our driveway."

He explained, "With just good enough meat, if you go to a local butcher, they grind local meat and whatever," which can make for a burger that's just as good as one you might find in a gourmet restaurant. When it comes to beef specifically, "It's about the ratios." Richman says you want to look for "80-20 — 80% meat to 20% fat. You could go 70-30 if you're really like, 'screw my heart.'"

For the latest from Chef Adam Richman, follow him on Instagram. Plus, click here to learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.