burger bar

The Big Burger Bar

Best Of..., Comfort Food, Southern Dinners, Southern Potlucks & Parties

Your friends and family will love trying out unique topping ideas at your backyard barbecue burger bar!

Nothing says “cookout” like traditional burgers and hotdogs. But if that idea is feeling a little stale to you, spice it up by taking it to the next level with a full spread of toppings served buffet style.

Your friends can make their favorite burger or try something brand new at your Big Burger Bar!

Grilling the Perfect Burger for your Burger Bar

First things first. What are the secrets to grilling the perfect burger?

  • The meat – If you’re going with beef, ground chuck is the best choice because of its tenderness and optimal fat content. For “veggie” burgers, the Impossible and Beyond brands have great flavor and texture, and are excellent meat substitutes.
  • The patty size – Go big or go home. Make sure your burger patty is large enough that it won’t shrink to a size smaller than the bun once it’s cooked. A quarter pound patty is usually a safe bet, but your guest won’t complain if you go a little larger! Thick juicy mini burgers are also a fun choice, so folks can sample different topping options.
  • The cook temp & time – With your grill at 400 F, you’ll want to cook each side of a quarter pound patty for about 4 minutes each, to reach medium doneness.
  • The cheese – Once you’ve flipped your burgers, wait a couple minutes and add the cheese two minutes before they’re done. That’ll give you the perfect melt.
  • Lots more helpful tips here!

Creating Your Burger Bar

You can get as traditional or creative as you’d like with your burger bar. If you have a large crowd, you could also do this pot luck style, and have your guests each bring a favorite topping.

You’ll need your basics: First, the meat for burgers. Select ground beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie burgers based on what you and your guests love.

Choose a variety of buns. Brioche buns are delicious, and the classic sesame bun is always a favorite choice. Don’t forget to pick up slider buns if you’re serving mini burgers.

Then onto the burger toppings! Here’s where you can get creative with cheese, hot and cold toppings, and sauces. And if you really want to get fancy, you can go beyond our list and cook up really special toppings like fried eggs or fried mozzarella.

Here are are some delicious and easy burger bar ideas. You’ll add your guests’ favorite cheeses. The other toppings and sauces are presented buffet style for folks to serve themselves.


  • pepper jack
  • bleu cheese
  • cheddar
  • provolone
  • Swiss cheese
  • American cheese

Cold Toppings

  • guacamole or avocado slices
  • salsa
  • pickled jalapeños
  • sliced tomato
  • shredded lettuce
  • sliced raw onion
  • sliced pickles
  • relish

Cooked Toppings

  • bacon
  • chili
  • grilled pineapple rings
  • onion rings
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • caramelized onions
  • grilled bell pepper slices


  • A-1 sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • teriyaki sauce
  • hot sauce
  • sriracha
  • mayonnaise
  • ranch dressing
  • thousand island dressing
  • ketchup
  • mustard

What about Hot Dogs?

Heck yes! Hot dogs will fit right into your Burger Bar. They could even stand on their own if you wanted to just go with a Hot Dog bar.

Be sure to include toppings that work especially well with hot dogs, like relish, chili, and melted cheese.

Check out our other backyard barbecue menu ideas as well!

We hope you’ll have fun with your Big Burger Bar!

burger bar

The Big Burger Bar

Try this fun idea for your next barbeque — the Big Burger Bar! Have your guests top their burgers with a variety of unique toppings, served buffet style.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course bbq menu
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 658 kcal


  • 20 quarter pound burger patties raw and ready to grill
  • 20 brioche buns varying types, or as many slider buns as you need
  • 20 cheese slices varying types

Cold Toppings

  • 1 bowl guacamole
  • 1 bowl salsa
  • 1 bowl pickled jalapeños
  • 1 bowl shredded lettuce
  • 1 bowl sliced tomatoes
  • 1 bowl sliced raw onions
  • 1 bowl sliced pickles
  • relish

Cooked Toppings

  • 1 bowl bacon
  • 1 bowl chili
  • 1 bowl onion rings
  • 1 bowl grilled pineapple slices
  • 1 bowl sautéed mushrooms
  • 1 bowl caramelized onion
  • 1 bowl grilled bell pepper slices


  • A-1 sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • teriyaki sauce
  • hot sauce
  • sriracha
  • mayonnaise
  • ranch dressing
  • thousand island dressing
  • ketchup
  • mustard


  • Prepare your selected cooked toppings such as grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, chili, and onion rings.
  • Prepare and set up all selected toppings on a long table, with serving utensils, buffet style.
  • Grill up the cheeseburgers per your guests' cheese selections.
  • Point your guests in the direction of the tasty toppings, and watch as they build and enjoy their burgers!


Calories: 658kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 31gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 217mgSodium: 634mgPotassium: 331mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 887IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 200mgIron: 3mg
Keyword bbq
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