The Best Cheeses To Use For Next-Level Burgers

by Marisa Ross

The foundation of any good burger is, of course, the patty itself, but whether you like your slab of meat completely well done, or so rare it's still mooing, a boring ol' burger becomes gourmet when you dress it with the right accessories. A slice of American cheese is the standard, classic topping we've all come to know and love, but it's not your only option — these best cheeses for your burger will do incredible things to help improve flavor. It's OK if you like to play it safe and simple with a standard slice, but you'd be amazed at what experimenting with this key ingredient can do.

From California to Florida, popular burger joints pride themselves on creating traditional, mouth-watering burgers with just a few components, and the common American cheese — but imagine if they played more with their cheese selection. Sure, 'Merica may be home of the tried and true cheeseburger with — you guessed it — American cheese, but switching out this custom option with some international cheesy options can make a huge difference.

If you think this is crazy talk, maybe you're right. Perhaps this cheesy idea is blasphemy. But if you ask me, you can never have too much of a good thing, and that especially applies to cheese. So go ahead — explore your options. Here are seven thick and juicy cheeseburger recipes that are guaranteed to show you what (cheese) you've been missing.

1. Cheddar

This dark, yellowish-orange cheese is one of your faves for a reason. The classic pick gives your burger a sharper, bolder flavor. (Bonus points if it's aged white cheddar.) Cookies and Cups shows you how to do it right with this candied bacon maple cheddar burger.

2. Blue cheese

Sometimes it takes a little funk on your burger to get your tastebuds dancing. This rustic recipe from Half Baked Harvest uses crispy, charred elements along with strong cheese and a boozy sauce for a perfect balance of black and blue. Gorgonzola cheese works well, too.

3. Gouda

Whether in its smoked or regular form, this Dutch variety of cheese will produce a burger that's so delectable, it'll make your eyes roll to the back of your head. Whitney Bond (aka Little Leopard Book) showcases gouda with this award-winning coffee-crusted cheeseburger topped with almonds and mushrooms.

4. Goat cheese

Goat cheese is creamy, tangy, spreadable, and pairs well with anything. This luxurious cheeseburger from Adventures in Cooking uses red wine and mushrooms to create a masterpiece fit for a king.

5. Pepper jack

Give your burger a kick with this southwest-style recipe from Blogging Over Thyme. This cheese is suitable for anyone who appreciates a little zest and mild heat.

6. Swiss

The Swiss sure know how to do their fondues, so it makes sense to top a burger with the same stuff that you use in ooey gooey dipping heaven. Closet Cooking whips up a Cuban burger that really highlights the light and pleasant cheese.

7. Brie

The best was saved for last, because there is no greater cheese topping — or patty stuffing — than brie. More burger joints should feature this creamy cheese on their menus, because patrons would definitely be coming back for more, and this spicy peach caramelized onion brie cheeseburger from Climbing Grier Mountain is all the proof you need.

Images: Cookies and Cups; Half Baked Harvest; Whitney Bond; Adventures in Cooking; Blogging Over Thyme; Closet Cooking; Climbing Grier Mountain