Patty Melt vs. Burger

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Patty Melt vs. Burger

What is the challenge behind a patty melt vs. a burger? I mean, you’d think they’re pretty much the same, right? So, patty melt vs burger: what's the truth? There are similarities, but the difference is what hungry eaters crave. 

The Patty Melt Structure

Let’s answer the question of what is a patty melt first. The classic patty melt consists of cheese, ground meat, and caramelized onion. Patty melts go on toasted rye or sourdough (no bun allowed). Because of the bread selection, patty melts are typically square. You want to make the burger just large enough so there’s a sultry peek of patty coming out the sides of the “roll.”

Compared to a burger, Patty is a simple gal. You don’t have to dress her up for a delicious, finished product. You might add a few mushrooms or bell peppers, but those are rare. At the end of the day, Patty looks a lot like her brother, a grilled cheese.

Both patty metals and burgers have relatively the same calorie count, depending on the type of meat and condiment selection. 

Grills love patty melts.

Patty Melt Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 slices of rye, sourdough, or garlic bread
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper
  • 1.5 lb ground round
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red or white onion, sliced
  • 4 slices Swiss, American, Provolone, or pepper jack 


  1. Take your ground beef and mix it with desired seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Using a cast-iron skillet or griddle, melt the butter
  3. Toast the bread slices in the butter on both sides
  4. Take your ground beef and mix it with desired seasonings.
  5. Add olive oil to your pan
  6. Toss in the onions, cooking until caramelized
  7. Fry the burgers, putting your cheese on top just prior to serving, along with the onions. 
  8. Assemble (toast, burger, onions, toast)

PitMaster’s Memo I’m #1!

So, what about the burger vs. a patty melt? By far, burgers continuously outsell as a popular food, with pizza sliding in at a close second. It’s easy to mistake a patty melt for a burger, but this guy wants all the bravado, including a hardy shake of Cuso's Gravel Spice. Give him bacon, avocado, barbecue sauce, pickles, onions, mustard, various types of cheese, and hot peppers, just to name a few. If you want to get a little messy, turn your burger into a smash burger.

Burgers go together easily. You can cook it indoors or out. For the best burger, look for ground beef that’s 80% lean. Season the meat before you shape it. Do not over-handle the ground meat. If you plan to add cheese at the last minute before pulling off the heat. 


Beer Battered Onion Rings

Green Goddess Potato Salad

Husk-on Corn

Spicy Sweet Potato Steak Fries

Vegetable Platter


Chocolate Chip Brownies

Old Fashioned Sundae

Caramel Pear Pie

French Pastry

Peanut Butter Cake

From the Bar

Ginger Beer

Maker’s Mark

Milk Shake


Wine Punch

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published