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What Are Ranch Burgers?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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In the pursuit of better burgers, backyard grillers and restaurant chefs alike are constantly experimenting with seasoning and condiment combinations to improve on the classic hamburger. One of these varieties is the ranch burger. Ranch burgers are hamburgers prepared in some way with a ranch-type dressing or rub. The addition of ranch gives a new and unique taste to a plain hamburger and enhances the flavor.

Ranch is a common flavor of salad dressings, dipping sauce and crunch snack flavoring. What started as a dressing developed by Hidden Valley Ranch in 1954, ranch has become a staple condiment and is used to flavor a variety of recipes, including ranch burgers. Ranch is essentially a combination of buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise along with a seasoning combination of herbs and spices, the most consistent of which is garlic. It’s not hard to see the appeal of adding something both creamy and seasoned to meat used for making burgers.

The recipes for ranch burgers vary by ingredients and cooking methods, but they always contain a ranch dressing — usually a dry mix — in either a prepared or homemade version. The inclusion of ranch flavor may come in the form of a rub for formed patties or as a stir-in addition to the ground meat. In some cases, it is both. The most preferred method of cooking ranch burgers appears to be grilling, but broiling and frying are viable options as well. The seasoning from herbs and spices varies to include garlic, onion, and paprika, white and black pepper, and sometimes parsley.

The flavoring of ranch burgers is fairly distinct and as such, may warrant a change in usual condiments to compliment the flavor. Tomato and lettuce are good choices and if cheese is desired, a sharp flavor like cheddar may be best. By its very nature and composition, ranch dressing mix is made to attract liquid, usually resulting in a juicy burger. If the burger is dry, prepared ranch dressing can always be added as a condiment prior to eating, but cooking methods should be appropriately adjusted for subsequent burgers.

Experimenting with preparation methods can be rewarding, but no matter which recipe is used for making ranch burgers make certain to follow food safety and cooking guidelines for the meat used.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Jul 02, 2014

I like ranch dressing, but I don't like it as a condiment on burgers. Ranch has a very overpowering taste. Of course, it depends on the amount as well, but usually, a burger with ranch dressing mostly just tastes like ranch.

And as far as I know, ranch is not a low calorie dressing, so there isn't much difference between ranch dressing and mayo. So if anyone is thinking about replacing mayo with ranch to reduce the calories of the burger, it's probably not going to work.

By serenesurface — On Jul 02, 2014

@RocketLanch8-- That's a good idea.

I think when the ranch powder is mixed into the burger meat, the flavor is not noticeable enough. But sweeping the top of the burgers with the mix while they cook should make them more flavorful.

I will definitely try that next time. I will need to reduce the amount of salt in the meat too, because the ranch mix has salt too.

By candyquilt — On Jul 01, 2014

I love ranch dressing, and I'll eat it as a condiment or dressing on many different foods. I especially like it on hamburgers, salads and fries.

Of course, not all ranch dressing is good. The homemade style that restaurants usually use is the best. I dislike the commercially available variety at the grocery store. They don't taste as good.

So although I love ranch burgers, I won't eat them unless they're made with good ranch dressing.

By RocketLanch8 — On Jun 26, 2014

I rarely mix anything into the meat itself, but I have been known to use dry ranch dressing mix as a rub on hamburgers. I'll form the patties and then put them directly into a disposable plate containing powdered ranch dressing. There is definitely enough seasoning on those burgers for my family to notice. They usually like to add crispy bacon strips, mayonnaise and pickles later.

By mrwormy — On Jun 25, 2014

I've never tried mixing dry ranch dressing into my hamburger meat, but I can see where those flavors would mesh well with the beefy flavor of the meat. Other dry salad or soup mixes would probably work, too, but ranch is a good complement to beef or steak in general. I put prepared ranch dressing on my grilled ribeye steaks sometimes.

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