2013 Burger Survey: Toppings, Cost, Men vs Women

By James Mulcahy  |  October 21, 2013

Over 2,000 people weighed in on this year’s burger survey, which cataloged patty-eating habits and trends surrounding burger consumption. And considering that survey takers eat an average of 4.4 burgers each month, that sure is a lot of beef (or bison, which turned out to be the second most popular meat) consumed. Click through the slides below to see which toppings are best and how much people are willing to spend when they need to satisfy that craving.

  • Guys Eat More Burgers

    When we look into that monthly average, one thing becomes clear: there is a gender disparity in Burgerville. While women report eating an average of 3.4 burgers a month, the gents who took our survey say they consume 5 per month.

  • $15 Is the Max for Most

    According to our results, diners are willing to dish out cash for their favorite thing between two buns - 48% of voters said that they would spend $10-$14.99, and 22% went even further, saying that they would spring for a burger that’s priced between $15 and $19.99. But 19% said that burgers should still be cheap, reporting that they’re unwilling to go over the $10 mark.

  • Beef Is the Best, But Bison Ain’t Too Shabby

    Most voters never deviate from beef, with 24% saying they only order bovine burgers. When looking for an alternative to cow, bison is the No. 1 choice, nabbing 20% of the vote. After that, it’s turkey in second place with 18%, and lamb in a close third with 15%.

    Vegetarians are skipping the burger in favor of other options, judging by the mere 6% of respondents who say they opt for a veggie burger in place of beef. Also of note is the gender difference highlighted in the beef-alternative breakdown. While 23% of men said that bison is their favorite, only 16% of women binged on buffalo. It was the opposite for turkey burgers, with 22% of females ranking this one first, and only 15% of guys choosing it when it’s on the menu.

  • Organic, House-Ground and Gourmet Blended Meat: Meh

    A lot of the buzzwords in the burger world didn’t really impress our voters. We’ll break it down below and let you decide if these options make a better meal or are just gimmicks:

    - Organic and grass-fed meat: only 21% of voters said these were very important, while 45% said they were somewhat important and 34% said they were not at all important.

    - House-ground meat: this one ranked higher on the must-have scale, with 31% saying it was very important, compared with 50% who thought it was sometimes important and 19% who didn’t give a house-ground damn.

    - Gourmet blends: having Kobe beef, brisket or short ribs ranked the highest on the “I don’t care” scale. Thirty-nine percent said that blends are not at all important, compared to 48% who said somewhat and 13% who deemed them essential.

  • Temperature and Top 10 Toppings

    Our survey results are still pink in the center, as 45% said that medium rare is the perfect temperature. While other folks were more conservative on the matter (31% said medium and 13% medium well), only a few preferred to chow down on something that was still mooing - only 6% said rare is the way to go. Even worse was overcooking, with a mere 5% saying they like their burger well done.

    And when it comes time for toppings, cheese was the out-and-out favorite, with 80% saying they load on a slice or two (more on that next). As far as the rest of them go, here’s the top 10:

    1. Cheese
    2. Tomato
    3. Lettuce
    4. Grilled onions
    5. Bacon
    6. Pickles
    7. Raw onions
    8. Mushrooms
    9. Avocado
    10. Jalapeño

  • Cheese, Please

    It’s cheddar vs. American for the top spot in our cheese smackdown, and cheddar takes the label of first fromage, nabbing 36% of the vote compared to 15% for American. After that, it’s a very close lineup for the next three slots: in order of rank, blue cheese with 11%, Monterey Jack with 10% and Swiss with 9%.

  • Sides and Drinks

    Do you want fries with that? Of course! The top three sides were regular fries (47%), onion rings (16%) and sweet potato fries (16%), followed by tater tots claiming a wee 4%.

    On the beverage side, a burger and a beer really hit the spot. Thirty-two percent wash burgers down with a brewski, while 26% prefer soda and 10% say iced tea’s where it’s at. Surprisingly, milkshakes barely ranked, garnering only 8% of the vote.

  • Burger Dos and Don'ts: Bun Edition

    When we polled you on dos and don'ts, one type of special bun ranked as A-ok, while another, well, you should probably stay away. While 59% of voters said they would get their burger on a pretzel bun, a whopping 84% would not eat a burger on a donut bun. A Cronut bun - well, we didn’t ask, but that’s definitely a question for next time.

  • Bugger Dos and Don'ts: Should You Cut It?

    If you want to slice into that burger, go ahead. Seventy-seven percent said that cutting the patty in half is totally ok. Delving into these numbers found another gender disparity: 89% of women reach for a knife, while only 69% of guys do.

  • Is $25 Worth It for a Mind-Blowing Burger?

    Short answer: no. There are a number of high-end patties that surpass the $25 mark at restaurants these days, and 57% say the extra price isn’t worth it and they wouldn’t pay it. Diners in the South and Northeast are a little more forgiving when it comes to climbing prices, with 43% saying they would fork over more than $25 for something mind-blowing.