A great homemade burger sauce is an easy win to shift a big juicy burger from yum territory to holy-crapola-this-is-amazing land! Besides, when a burger sauce recipe is this easy and so much better, nobody has an excuse to resort to those squeezy bottles of overly-sweet sauce sold at grocery stores…..
I have two go-to burger sauce recipes: a tomato chutney-like one (25 minutes on the stove) and this creamy one (a quick 20 second mix job). You probably figured why the latter is especially popular in my circles. 😂
Copycat Heinz Secret Burger Sauce
This burger sauce is a copycat of Heinz Secret Burger Sauce. Except theirs includes acidity regulators (260, 330), stabilisers (412, 415), and preservatives (202, 224), to name a few of the more tantalising ingredients on the label.
This burger sauce recipe does not. 🙂
Even using store-bought mayonnaise, which I have done so here, this sauce still leaves the Heinz stuff in the dust! (I really need to pop a mayo recipe on my website, don’t I??!)
Sauce talk: Different sauces for burgers
With the rise of gourmet burgers, you see all sorts of condiments, sauces and relishes on hamburgers these days! But here’s a core list of my favourite burger sauces I use:
Ketchup (or Aussie tomato sauce) – Straight out of the bottle, just as it is!
Mayonnaise – Plain, or flavoured like this Special Burger Sauce recipe (see below).
Yellow mustard – I’m talking the garish yellow stuff, sometimes labelled “American mustard”. (Caution: Don’t accidentally use the other bright yellow mustard, Hot English Mustard, which is spicy!)
Creamy burger sauce (this recipe) – A mayonnaise-based savoury burger sauce, usually with little bits of gherkins in it.
Tomato burger sauce (chutney/relish, recipe here) – A slightly chunky style sauce that’s similar to tomato chutney except not as sweet and with less earthy spices like cardamom, ginger etc.
Thousand Island sauce – A creamy pink sauce made with a mix of mayonnaise and ketchup that’s popular with seafood (Aussies’ favourite prawn dipping sauce!) Recipe here.
Barbecue sauce – See my Barbecue Pork Ribs recipe for a classic homemade Barbecue Sauce recipe.
Ingredients in homemade burger sauce
Here’s what you need to make this burger sauce.
Sweet gherkins – These are gherkins that are (as the name may give away!) sweet as well as tangy rather than just tangy. Substituting with any gherkin / pickled cucumber will work fine here, but one that leans sweet is best if you want to replicate the store bought burger sauces.
Juice from gherkin jar – We to use some of the pickling juices for tang and flavour in our sauce. A neat trick!
Mayonnaise – I like using whole egg mayonnaise for a smoother, more rounded flavour. Hellmans and S&W are two popular brands here in Australia. Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise is extra-creamy and also great, albeit more expensive. Substitute with any ordinary mayonnaise, but the flavour may be slightly sharper and sweeter.
American yellow mustard – We’re after that artificially bright yellow stuff here which adds flavour and colour warmth to the sauce. Not to be confused with hot English mustard which is a similar colour but very spicy! Substitute with any smooth mustard, like Dijon.
White wine vinegar – Brings the main sharpness to the sauce. Substitute with apple cider vinegar. If you’ve only got ordinary white vinegar, reduce by about 1/3.
White sugar – We need a little sweetness to balance the sauce. I just use white but brown will work fine too.
Spices – Paprika (which makes the sauce a bit pinky), onion powder and garlic granules (substitute with garlic powder). Onion and garlic powder can be substituted with more of the other.
How to make special burger sauce
It’s very technical … dump and mix. 😂 We need more recipes like this!!!
Using the burger sauce – double up!
I was born with the instinct to double up – sauce on the bottom lid and smeared on the top lid or drizzled over the burger patty stack piled up in the bun. I can’t imagine just smearing it on the lid or base of the bun – am I wrong??
I know you know how to mix together a bunch of ingredients but I made a quick little how-to video for you anyway. Mainly as an excuse to show off how good hamburgers are with homemade sauce.
I hope you give this a go one day! Let me know in the comments below if you do. – Nagi x
PS. And if you want a Cheeseburger to slather this on, just head right here.
Watch how to make it
Special Burger Sauce
- 3/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp American yellow mustard (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp sweet gherkins finely chopped (Note 3)
- 2 tsp gherkin juice (from the pickle jar) (Note 4)
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (Note 5)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
Life of Dozer
A typical early evening stroll – he disappears off into the distance then I have to use the maximum zoom on my phone to locate him (yup, he’s peeing). 😂