Dear AHT: How to Make a Palindrome Burger

We recently received this email in the AHT inbox from British burger lover Andrew Whitehurst, a visual effects artist who lives and works in London. In his words: "I'm probably the most English person you could meet, as I have a love of cricket and bitter beer, but I do adore Americana and the hamburger, the United States' greatest contribution to gastronomy." Andrew's adoration in a slider-poor city inspired him to make the Palindrome Burger, a full-sized burger with slider-like texture and flavor whose ingredients read the same top to bottom as bottom to top: bread, cheese, patty, onion, pickle, onion, patty, cheese, and bread. Check out the slideshow to see how he makes the burgers, and read his email below for more on his love of sliders!

[Photographs: Andrew Whitehurst]

Dear Serious Eats Burger Burghers,

Through your site, specifically the angry rants and The Burger Lab, I have discovered sliders. There are a couple of trendy cafés here in London that claim to serve sliders, but in truth it's either a meatball in a small bun or, worse yet, something like a small mackerel fishcake in a bun. Certainly not a slider. But the idea of a proper slider intrigued me so last New Year I made some, right down to making the buns from scratch as I couldn't find any in stores that were the right size, here:

20110729-palindromeburger-sliders.jpg

Homemade sliders on New Year's Eve.

I discovered that sliders have two additional benefits not mentioned in your recipes:

Because you don't need crazy griddle heat to cook them, they cook perfectly on the halogen electric hobs in my kitchen. Not having gas no longer meant not having burgers. And because you don't make loads of smoke or spray grease all over the kitchen when you cook them, my vegetarian girlfriend doesn't mind me making them as the flat doesn't stink afterwards. In fact you can cook veggie burgers in one pan and beef in another simultaneously making for happy veggies and carnivores dining together. And that can't be bad.

20110729-palindromeburger-finished.jpg

Palindrome burger.

So I've really taken to sliders but I wondered if I couldn't experiment, just a little, with the form. To that end I've created what I'm pretentiously calling The Palindrome Slider. It is so named because the ingredients in it read the same top to bottom as bottom to top: bread, cheese, patty, onion, pickle, onion, patty, cheese, and bread. My idea was to make a full-size burger that retained the slider qualities of texture and flavor.

So that's it. I don't know if you take recipe submissions but I'm quite pleased with this one and for me it sorts out the slider for the lonely diner conundrum that had puzzled me for some time.

All the best, keep up the sterling work, and thanks,

—Andrew Whitehurst