Here’s the right way to put ketchup on burgers, according to a chef.

By Stacey Leasca
Updated October 04, 2018

If you’ve been blissfully eating burgers with sauces simply slathered on top all willy-nilly your entire life, we’ve got news for you: You’ve probably been putting those condiments on wrong all along.

Shayne McCallum, the chef at 8bit–a specialty burger eatery in Australia—says he’s been able to craft the world’s most delicious burgers by understanding the perfect condiment-to-meat ratio. And that begins with the way you swirl.

According to McCallum, people often make the mistake of putting their ketchup on in a circular motion. But, he and his staff prefer to squeeze it on in a zigzag pattern.

“It’s about the amount. I think if we circle you're just putting that little bit too much on,” he revealed on the podcast, What the F is for Dinner.

Beyond how to actually apply sauce, McCallum also advised that any would-be burger stars add just a touch of tomato sauce, yellow mustard, or pickle juice to their mayonnaise to maximize its flavor profile.

McCallum’s extremely useful advice didn’t stop at how you apply or craft sauces–he also let listeners in on how to choose the best buns and meat for their meal.

“The wetter, or saucier your burger is, the tougher the bread needs to be so that it doesn’t fall apart. Soft is good, but too soft will mean a big old mess,” he said.

At the end, McCallum noted that he’s only been able to make such delicious burgers through pure trial and error, which is something you’ll have to go through too.

To further hone your burger-making abilities, check out these six steps to crafting the burger of your dreams and read up on these over-the-top burger creations to inspire your next BBQ.