National Cheeseburger Day is September 18th, so have fun with it.
Instead of your personal standard, branch out and make your CB special. You can do it by using a different:
Ground meat or blend
For inspiration in these areas (you might call it food porn), check out CheeseAndBurger.com.
But today’s tip is the easiest of all: Think outside the bun.
So many different types of bread—plain or toasted—are waiting to cradle your burger.
SUBSTITUTES FOR HAMBURGER BUNS
What should you use instead of a hamburger bun? The easiest answer:
Walk down the bread isle of your market and see what speaks to you. You’ll find more than enough yummy choices to re-envision your burger.
Bagel burger (garlic or everything) or simit burger
Baguette burger (or other French bread)
Burger on rye
Croissant burger (great with pretzel croissants)
English muffin burger
Ezekiel 4:9 burger or Genesis 1:29 burger (both breads have lots of whole grains and legumes)
French toast burger
Garlic bread burger
Indian bread burger (chapati, dosa, naan, paratha, roti)
Italian bread burger
Nut bread burger
Olive bread burger
Pizza crust burger (a great use for leftover pizza dough)
Potato bread burger
Pumpernickel burger (add sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing for a burger version of the Reuben sandwich)
Pupusa burger (pupusa is a stuffed corn tortilla)
Onion roll burger (or other specialty roll)
Rustic loaf burger
Toast burger (toast white, whole wheat, whatever you have)
IF YOU WANT TO USE A DIFFERENT CHEESE…
We second that motion! But don’t make an obvious switch among American, Cheddar and Swiss slices. Consider:
Brie or Camembert (the difference)
Flavored Cheddar (we love a burger with Cabot Chipotle, Garlic, Horseradish and Jalapeño Cheddars)
Jack or Pepperjack
Havarti or other butterkäse
Washed rind (“stinky”) cheese:* Epoisses, Muenster d’Alsace,† Limburger, Pont l’Eveque, Stinking Bishop, Taleggio
*It’s a personal thing, but we love stinky cheeses, both in general and in the way they complement the grilled, beefy aroma and taste of the burger. The aroma is not necessarily representative of the cheese. But the cheese is specifically crafted to create those earthy scents.
†Munster d’Alsace, also called Alsatian munster and French munster (optional spelling muenster), has nothing in common with bland American munster, except that they are both cheeses.
 A baguette cheeseburger (photo courtesy Ian Warf | Pinterest).  In France, McDonald’s serves the McBaguette (photo McDonalds).  Try a hard roll, and don’t be afraid to go rectangular instead of round (photo courtesy Telepizza.de).  We love a burger on toasted sourdough bread (photo courtesy Omaha Steaks)  Pita: a natural pocket for your burger (photo courtesy Droolworthy Daily).  A natural: the English muffin burger (photo courtesy Thomas Breads).
BURGER COOKING TIPS
Use fresh meat: The more freshly ground the meat is, the more tender and flavorful the burger.
Keep the meat cold. Patties will stay as juicy as possible when they’re cooked cold. Putting the patties in the fridge also helps to keep the flavor-carrying fat from dripping out.
Stop flipping! Flip only once: Constant turning will toughen and dry out the meat, and if you flip too soon, the burger will stick. Cook two minutes per side for rare, three for medium-rare, four for medium, and five for well-done.
Don’t press down on the burger! When a burger is pressed with a spatula, the juice is pressed out, taking all that moistness and flavor with it.
Move a cheeseburger. To add cheese, move the burger to the cooler side of the grill, top with cheese and cover the grill for a minute to let the cheese melt.
Thanks to Crawford Ker of Ker’s Winghouse for these tips.