This Is America's #1 Most Craveable Fast-Food Burger, Customers Say
Almost half of all fast-food chains have a burger at the core of their menu. But just because burgers are such a ubiquitous fast-food item does not mean every brand that makes one knows how to knock our socks off with a top-notch creation.
In fact, a new survey conducted by data company Technomic revealed all the intricate considerations that separate a craveable burger from a mediocre one. In order to find America's favorite burger in 2022, the chain asked fast-food customers to rank burgers based on their craveability. And believe it or not, regardless of all the fancy new kids on the block, America's palate still favors an oldie but a goodie.
But first things first—let's start with some runner-ups. Taking a commendable third spot was Burger King. Usually runner up to McDonald's, consumers ranked the craveability of the chain's burger at 54.4%, stating that the char on the burger patties was something special and that the Whopper was their go-to menu item, according to Restaurant Business.
In second place with a 61.2% craveability rate was Krystal, a chain that's recently been putting some serious efforts into making a comeback. While a bigger bite can appeal to some, the chain's mini burgers are what draws customers to the chain. The slider-sized burgers are steamed to keep the sandwich tender and juicy.
And the winner happens to also be known for slider-sized burgers. Coming in first place, White Castle proves once again that being America's oldest fast-food chain doesn't mean being behind the times.
According to Restaurant Business, 72.4% of customers ranked White Castle as having the most craveable burger, with their petite square burgers having been made the same way for over 100 years. White Castle punches its burger patties with holes and places them over piles of chopped onions to steam.
Customers who participated in the survey made claims like "the steamed burgers are the best," "they're the best little cheeseburgers on the planet," and "only White Castle makes them like that and they're certainly craveable."
It seems that steaming is key, but White Castle has also accomplished efficiency by using their tried-and-true cooking tactic. Turns out, the holes in the burger patties are actually the secret to cooking them faster and keeping up with high demand.
A White Castle worker in 1954 named Earl Howell is to thank for this. He noted this theory he had, and after management saw that it worked, going forward, every White Castle in America put five holes in their patties. Safe to say, Howell is now in the White Castle Employee Hall of Fame.
The onions underneath the burger patties also play a key craveability role—they help steam the meat and flavor the entire sandwich. Onions hold a lot of water, so when exposed to heat, they release a ton of steam. The holes in the patties help the steam to cook throughout the inside and outside of the burger. Once the buns are placed on top, the onion flavor travels through the meat and into the bread.
White Castle burgers require no flipping, standing out from the other contesting chains. Something to think about!