Burger Madness: Does Patty Size Matter?

We're talking burger patties. Do you like them thick or thin? The market is flooded with gourmet half-pound slabs of meat. Most of the people I know prefer thick patties inches larger than the bun. I do not. I am obsessed with the meat-condiment-bun ratio. And you?

Glory Days: My first upside down burger at Maple and Motor.

Anyone remember the TV ad with the little old lady who, when handed a giant bun, flips open the top and screeches, “Where’s the beef?”  It was the mid-80s and burger chains were growing faster than algae in August. The Wendy’s where’s-the-beef campaign was wildly successful. Fast food customers demanded larger patties.

Now the market is flooded with gourmet half-pound slabs of meat. Most of the people I know prefer thick patties inches larger than the bun. I do not. I am obsessed with the meat-condiment-bun ratio. I prefer them to be of equal proportion:  A little bun, mustard, pickle, tomato, grilled onion, and beef in each bite.

Jack Perkins at Maple & Motor serves a half-pound burger. If you don’t like it, he suggests you share it. That does not always work for me. I go there when the mood for massive meat when I hit M&M.  Same for Beck’s. I love their gently smoked burgers smothered in hickory sauce.

Goff’s patties are a little over four ounces. I love the #2 (cheese and hickory sauce), but it is not the same without Harvey. Now, they will melt the cheese for you. In-N-Out serves three ounces.

Whenever my friends and I go out for burgers, we have the thick-or-thin patty debate. It has been going on nearly 20 years. One of them has converted to the Paleo Diet, which complicates the whole issue.

What about you? Thick? Thin? No dead cow? Wingfield’s triple?


  • BradfordPearson

    Wingfield’s, even the single, is way too difficult to manage. I think Off-Site juggles the bun-beef issue the best.

  • JackAttack

    I agree Mr. Pearson. But I do love the Maple and Motor burger every once in a while. I’m with you too Uncle Nancy, I miss Harvey. (Why do they call you Uncle Nancy?)

  • twinwillow

    I love the great burgers at Beck’s Prime. But after I put one away, I am stuffed! Given a choice, I’d rather eat a 1/3LB burger than a 1/2 half pounder.

  • Michael Hassett

    It’s not about the size of the patty, but how you cook it.

    Off-Site, hands down.

  • Greg Brown

    Thinish patty with crisp, fried edges. Toasted, slightly burned bun of fairly equal size. Condiments and greenery to suit. It is truly all in the ratio.

  • Mike

    You are absolutely correct, Nancy. Unless there is something special about the meat, which is rarely the case (M&M is one) , the ratio needs to be correct.

  • SirBeefALot

    I’m a big beef party guy. Love Wingfields. Have eaten a double which I think us a full pound. I went to the big party last year when Nancy dressed like a pig and I met Mr Wingfields! He is the kindest dude out there I’m his customer for life!!!

  • Golfnfashion

    I like the size of the burgers at Goodfriend. Enough to fill you up and still leave room for a few beers.

  • Mavdog

    yes, proportion does matter. too big a beef patty and the rest of the burger gets lost. need to have a good taste of tomato, onion, pickle and mustard to make it right.
    that being said if the beef patty is too thin there’s no pink and there’s little if any juice. a good burger needs both.

  • Wes Wells

    I love big, messy burgers with the works but the best burger I’ve ever had was at Beer & Burger Joint in Miami. A (true Japenese) wagyu patty with charred fois gras lobe, crisp lettuce, chilled tomato and Duke’s mayo on a egg brioche bun. Nothing more. Anything like that exist in Dallas?

  • tomcat

    If size is what your after Grub burgers on Greenville is a great place, But its hard to beat the great burger at Jake’s on Skillman.

  • Phelps

    Quarter pound is about right. That’s why I prefer OSK over M&M. I would rather eat two burgers with the right balance instead of one super thick burger.


  • PF1

    Tried all mentioned except Off Site – Becks wins for me. I prefer BecksGreenville location over Grub across the street – service is top notice at Becks and it’s never chaotic. Salads are very good, too.

  • PF1

    A good day to visit Wingfields – crowded , no wait to order, but they were busy filling orders and the wait for food was 35 minutes. Nice people working at the counter, and it appears the majority of customers are regulars who call ahead. Burger is huge, juicy, tasty, nicely garnished with lettuce, tomato and onion. – I can’t imagine eating a double. The fries are not my favorite. I don’t plan on returning soon – I’ve had my fill of cholesterol and salt for a few months.

  • Christopher Bireley

    I want my burger as thick as possible. For the same reason I want my steak as thick as possible. It’s the only way to get a true rare to medium rare. When it’s thin, all you can get is over-cooked meat.

  • Ricarols

    All over the OSK and M&M preference; both excellent on the day with extra kick flavor options – grilled jalapeños (M&M), green chile (OSK). Tater tots (M&M) hard to say no to; 48-hr cracked pepper brisket sandwich (OSK) even harder to say no to and an admirable choice if a burger is not calling. OSK leads the pack – with Phelps on this one; their bun/patty ratio is as good as it gets.