Gordon Ramsay's Unique Yet Genius Tip For Gooey Cheeseburgers

If there's one food that is quintessentially American, it's the cheeseburger. One cannot deny that the humble cheeseburger, a sandwich that at its most basic is simply beef and cheese between two buns, has instilled itself in the hearts, stomachs, and cholesterol levels of millions of Americans. According to a 2023 survey by Beef2Live, many Americans love cheeseburgers, with 39% enjoying a "large" cheeseburger and 13% of Americans being fans of bacon cheeseburgers. This is also to say nothing of the cheeseburger's impact on American culture, whether it's behind the rise of fast-food giant McDonald's or Jimmy Buffett's classic "Cheeseburger in Paradise."

As popular as the cheeseburger is, there's a certain skill in making the "best" cheeseburger that will live up to its name as being a perfect American meal. You have to know how much fat should be in your beef patty, how to properly "sculpt" your burger so you don't squish the juices out, and when to flip your patties so you don't burning them. Even the cheese itself is something that you need to pay close attention to. Whether it's a square of classic yellow American cheese, a piece of pepper jack, or even some smoked Gouda, you expect the cheese to be a gooey, melting mess that drips down the side of the burger the moment you take a bite.

Fortunately, Gordon Ramsay has a unique, but very simple trick to ensure that you really put the cheese back in a cheeseburger: a cheese skirt.

Gordon Ramsay recommends a cheese skirt

What exactly do we mean by a cheese skirt? It may sound like an unconventional piece of fashion attire, but as Gordon Ramsay demonstrates, it's a very easy way to get some extra texture on your burger alongside that classic gooey cheese pull.

While preparing a burger during a round of "Next Level Kitchen," Ramsay places a slice of cheese in a non-stick skillet before lightly salting it. As the cheese melts, the salt helps to caramelize the cheese by giving it a light golden-brown texture. The cheese doesn't so much as melt into a liquid or sauce so much as it "congeals" into a gooey, yet firm patty, outlined with golden crispy edges. Once this "cheese patty" is done, Ramsay takes the bottom bun (though you're free to use the top of the bun if you want) and "mops up" the cheese by pressing the bun down onto it to get it to stick. The end result should be a slice of cheese that's crisp and golden on the outside, but warm and gooey on the interior.

It's Ramsay's method that gives the burger a "cheese skirt," which is achieved by "grilling" or baking the cheese in a skillet or pan until golden-brown and set. This method not only helps to ensure that your cheese is already good and melted by the time you put it on your burger, but also gives a bit extra texture to an otherwise soft and squishy cheeseburger.

You can make a cheese skirt in other ways too

While Gordon Ramsay's trick for preparing a cheese skirt is an interesting one, to say that he's the only person to have thought of such a method wouldn't exactly be true. Other chefs have demonstrated how to prepare their own take on this crispy, melty version of the average cheese slice — and even a certain restaurant boasts a burger named after it.

Mark Anderson and Ryan Fey of The Grill Dads demonstrated their own cheese skirt-making method to Food Network. Unlike Ramsay's method, the Dads prepare their cheese skirt by combining shredded mozzarella, provolone, and Locatelli cheese on a griddle, forming the blend of cheeses into a circular shape before covering with a bowl. The bowl not only helps the skirt keep its shape, but also keeps heat from escaping and allowing the cheese to melt faster and more evenly. The Grill Dads then fold their cheese skirt twice to fit on their burger, but others may like to put the entire cheese skirt on the patty unfolded (thus resembling a flowing skirt).

If you were to visit ice cream parlor and restaurant Friendly's, you can order the Cheese Skirt Burger, which is a cheeseburger with an enormous cheese skirt. YouTube channel Respect the Chain details how the hamburger patty itself is encased in the melted cheese, which pools out to almost the same size of the plate. Now that's an impressively cheesy take on the popular American sandwich.