I would always want lettuce on my burger. It makes my burger look colorful and healthy and I like the soft crunch it gives when I chew on my burger.
What about you? Have you ever wondered why burgers have lettuce and what type of lettuce is best for burgers?
Basically, it is to make burgers healthier but there is also another reason aside from that.
You probably have not thought of it, but do you know lettuce makes the bun dry and not wet or soggy.
If you will check on how the burger patties and other fillers where stack in the buns, you will notice that lettuce is usually placed after the tomato slice to serve as a barrier between the tomato and the bun. This prevents the bread bun to be soaked in the juicy tomato.
So, which variety of lettuce is best for burger? I go for the Iceberg. Iceberg lettuce is sturdy and crunchy soft. It is almost tasteless, and it takes on the taste of the meat patty and other fillings thus making the burger tastier.
Here is a lot of information about lettuce we wanted to share with you.
What Makes Lettuce Good For A Burger
Not everyone enjoy lettuce on their burgers and others do not simply care about whether burgers have lettuce or not. Some even thought that adding lettuce on burger is just a trick making people think burgers are healthy because it has very high calorie content.
Lettuce really add health benefits to burgers and apart from that, lettuce adds life and enhances the burger’s taste and texture.
Now, how should you choose which is the best lettuce for you? You should consider the characteristic of the lettuce you want to add to your burger like the crunch, taste and heat resistance or tolerance.
It is good to bite on a burger and hear that soft crunch or crisps. It gives a different experience eating a burger with lettuce and chew on that soft yet crunchy leaf.
Each lettuce has its distinct taste and others are almost tasteless. It is also why we have them prepared differently in salads. You need to choose which lettuce taste will go well your burger. For example, Butter Lettuce is a bit sweet but does not overpower the flavor of your burger. If you want a bit of spice, then you can choose Radicchio lettuce. Other variety of lettuce are mostly neutral in taste and others are a bit bitter.
Remember that burgers are always prepared while the patty is hot. Some lettuce will wrinkle and lost its crisps when warmed.
Having described those characteristics, we picked the Iceberg Lettuce as the best kind for burgers and here are your takeaways on it.
Iceberg Lettuce: The Best Lettuce for Burgers
Most burgers have the Iceberg lettuce in it. It is a crunchy pale green lettuce that others like to call the Crisphead.
The Iceberg lettuce looks like a head of cabbage, but it has a pale green color and it looks crispy and watery unlike cabbage. The watery leaves counter the heat when burger patty is hot thus it remains crunchy. It also has neutral taste that makes it go perfectly with burgers and salads.
We add lettuce to burgers not just to make it colorful or to add crisp but that also gives us health benefits.
What are the healthy benefits from Iceberg lettuce?
These green crunchy leaves are rich in vitamins like A, C, K, and they are also rich in minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and folate. It also contains traces of iron and calcium.
It has very low carbohydrate content thus it is good for those who prevents spikes in their blood sugar.
How to Pick Iceberg Lettuce
When buying your Iceberg lettuce, you need to be keen on how fresh it is. You need to choose well. Here are some tips for you.
Buy a Fresh Head of Iceberg Lettuce
Crisphead or Iceberg has pale green color and the leaves look watery. These are the first signs you should look for before buying the lettuce.
If you are buying from the vegetable market these are usually washed clean and it is easy to see if the leaves are still fresh or withering.
If you are buying from the supermarket, the lettuce is usually food-wrapped so it is a bit difficult to see how fresh the leaves are. However, you can still see if the leaves have dark spots or if they are damaged by looking carefully before buying them.
Choose Medium Green Leaves
Because this lettuce come in a head like cabbage, you can only check the outermost layers of leaves to know if its fresh or not.
Usually they have light or pale green color, but the bulb is slightly yellow or almost white. The leaves’ color become paler as you go to the innermost layer.
No Brown Spots and Damaged Leaves
Be sure to check the texture of the leaves before buying it. There should be no dark, brownish or grayish dots on the leaves. The bulb or core should no feel slimy too.
If the outer layer leaves are damaged, also check the next layer to ensure that not all the leaves are damaged before buying it. It is okay for the outermost leaves to be damaged if it is not food-wrapped. You can simply discard damage leaves when cleaning.
Pick the Heavy Ones
Lift the lettuce head in your hand and you can somehow weigh it. Choose the one that weighs heavier than others because it means that it is fresher or juicier. Fresh cabbages weigh heavier than dry ones.
Look at the Shape
Most lettuce head are symmetrical in shape when fresh. There are no loose leaves even in the outermost layer. Fresh Iceberg’s leaves are completely intact.
How to Prepare Iceberg Lettuce for Burgers
Follow these easy steps when preparing the lettuce for your burger or for storage in your fridge.
- Remove the damage outer leaves of the lettuce.
- Cut out the core or bulb of the lettuce head.
- Separate leaves as you clean it under running water.
- Spin the lettuce in the salad spinner for the easiest way of separating or loosening the leaves.
- Let it dry on the paper towel for a few minutes.
- Carefully place the lettuce in an airtight food container or resealable freezer bags if you want to refrigerate it.
If cleaned and packaged carefully, iceberg lettuce can be good for not more than eight days while refrigerated.
Iceberg Lettuce in a Burger: Where to Put It
Some people have not given much thought as to where or how to put the lettuce on the burger as long as it’s fresh and juicy.
If you tend to consume the burger right away, you need not really worry about where to place your lettuce but if you will have to wait a few minutes before eating your burger you might follow the barrier technique.
Place the lettuce between your sliced tomato and bun because the lettuce will block the bread bun from dousing in tomato juice. This prevents the bread bun from getting mushy.
Shredded or Not?
Usually you will see a whole lettuce leaf on a burger because it’s used to prevent the bread bun from getting soggy from the oil from the patty or tomato juice. However, some would like shredded lettuce and there is nothing wrong about it.
Here are just some tips for you on putting the Iceberg lettuce on your burger.
- Be sure the lettuce has no excess water. Let it dry a few minutes before using it.
- If you prefer to shred it, put some mayonnaise on the bun so the shredded leaves can stick together and prevent it from falling off the burger.
- If you want to place a whole leaf on the burger, cut it such that it fits the size of your burger and no leaves will be dangling around it.
Shredding lettuce means you will have to deal with tiny slices of leaves that may fall of the burger while eating. Other people like to put in a whole or a sliced leaf on their burgers while others choose shredded because it easier to cut through it while eating.
Other Options: Green Leaf, Butterhead, and Romaine Lettuce
There is a variety of lettuce that you can add on to your burgers, but we shared information about Iceberg lettuce in this article as we deem it the best choice.
However, you are not limited to choosing what you think is best for your delicate taste.
You can choose Butterhead or Bibb lettuce on your burger. It’s mildly sweet and enhances the taste of the burger. For a healthier choice, then Romaine is the lettuce for you. Though all lettuce has its health benefits, Romaine is considered the one with the highest nutritional content.