Cooking Tips

The Real Reason to Toast Your Burger Bun

Hint: It’s not just about improving flavor or creating a layer of crispness.

Published Mar. 30, 2021.

You’ve crafted the tastiest, juiciest patty; procured the meltiest cheese; and assembled an array of scrumptious fixings—so don’t stop there. Complete the perfect package by toasting your bun. 

Toasting the burger bun provides additional flavor and exterior crispness that can enhance the sandwich. But the real reason to take this step? By the time you pull one out of the bag, most burger buns have staled at least slightly.

Toasting returns the interior to its fresh-out-of-the-oven softness, creating a supremely plush, moist cushion for the meat. 

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Why? Heating bread to at least 140 degrees temporarily reverses retrogradation, the process that stales bread and other starch-based foods, by releasing water that gradually gets trapped within the crumb’s starch crystals as the bread sits.

Once it’s released, that water is then available to hydrate the crumb, making it taste more moist and fresh. 

Here’s how we toast our buns, indoors and out.

An illustration of toasting burger buns in the oven

How to Toast Burger Buns in the Oven: Broil split buns 6 inches from broiler element until lightly toasted.

Tongs holding a toasted burger bun on the grill

How to Toast Burger Buns on the Grill: While burgers rest, grill split buns until lightly toasted, 30 to 60 seconds.

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