The Simple Secret to Better Burgers

Red Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Burger on a wooden board

What’s the secret to better grilling this summer? Homemade condiments, of course. From the holy trinity of ketchup, mustard, and relish, to mayo, pickled onions, hot sauce, and more!

I bet you didn’t know that so many of those bottles and jars that line the inside of your fridge door can actually be made right at home in your own kitchen. You don’t need a factory, a secret recipe, or an assembly line ~ just a few simple ingredients and a little know how.

Why make your own homemade condiments?

  • Control ~ when you make it, you’re the boss. Making your own condiments is the best way to keep things natural and fresh, or to modulate the amount of sugar, sodium, etc., in your food.
  • Customization This is my favorite one. When you’re making your own mayo, mustard, etc., you get to customize and experiment with flavors that you just won’t find on any supermarket shelf (grapefruit mayo or strawberry jalapeño salsa anyone??)
  • Fun! Seriously, don’t underestimate the sense of satisfaction you’ll get from making your very own condiments.
  • Secure supply chain ~ when you learn to make your own, you’ll avoid that empty-mustard-bottle-crisis just as you’re getting the grill fired up.
  • Zero waste ~ is your pantry full of 3/4 full jars that you bought for one meal and never used again until they went bad? When you diy, you can make as much or as little as you need. And don’t toss that empty mustard jar, we’re gonna re-use it!



Quick Pickles ~

I can’t think of a vegetable that wouldn’t benefit from quick pickling, and the result is a bright, tangy, crunchy condiment that perks up so many dishes. I’ve quick pickled everything from classic red onions and cucumbers, to blackberries and fennel, and I love them all!



Mayonnaise ~

Homemade mayo is so easy and takes summer staples like pasta salads, burgers, and seafood salads to the next level. Mayo is also the perfect medium for infusing other flavors like garlic, chile, herbs, lemon, and more. It’s the basis for so many sauces, dressings, and dips. Where would a deviled egg be without it?



Salsa ~

Salsa isn’t just for chips ~ try it on your hot dogs, grilled fish, or chicken this summer. Salsa, (Spanish for ‘sauce’) is a deliciously broad category, and I’ve never met one I didn’t crave.



Relish ~

If you’ve only ever had relish out of a jar, you owe it to yourself to make some fresh, vibrant relish from scratch. It’s a whole different ball game, and there are so many fun variations to try.



Ketchup ~

Where would summer be without ketchup? No cookout is complete without it, but the store-bought kind can be a little sugary and…predictable. Real ketchup is unexpectedly complex, and a fun project to whip up at home. Tip: this is a homeschooling opportunity…start from the store bought label and see what you can concoct from all natural ingredients.



Mustard ~

Whether you like it sweet, smokey, hot, or all three, you can make the mustard of your dreams!



Homemade Hot Sauce ~

DIY hot sauce is one of those really fun kitchen projects that makes you feel like a flavor alchemist. There are so many ways to change this up, and if you’re one of those people that puts hot sauce on just about everything, this has your name all over it.



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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Lila Wellman
    May 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    great food

  • Reply
    May 25, 2020 at 3:49 am

    That EXTRA but CORE for a delicious cookout, and what a wonderful collection of ideas. Thank you Sue!!

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