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Our Best Burgers

When we put out a call for our staff's best burgers, we happily got more than we bargained for.

There are several things at which people often think they're the best. We're all the most skillful and courteous drivers; we can call a game better than any referee; our navigational prowess is unmatched; and the burgers we make are tops. That's how this story came about -- conversation among the staff one day turned to how each of us makes the best burgers. We decided to put these assertions to the test, and we're glad we did. When we asked our staff to submit their favorite burger recipes, we got a great mix of recipes -- from beef patties to chicken, Asian to Middle Eastern.

The Guadalajara: "I was in Guadalajara and had a burger similar to this one," Assistant Food Stylist Kathleen Kanen reports. The salsa that topped the burger was a welcome change from the usual tomato and onion slices, and Kathleen added tequila to her version.

Smothered Burgers: Food Editor Krista Montgomery finds many sandwiches too big to eat comfortably. "So I rip them apart, take off the top and end up eating them with a knife and fork." Krista has introduced her husband, John, to these open-faced burgers at home, turning his meal into a knife-and-fork adventure, too.

Ham and Swiss-Stuffed Burgers: Food Stylist Kellie Kelley says her creation is a variation of the classic bacon cheeseburger, "but all the fun stuff's inside." Kellie's tips: Buy the thinnest slices of ham and cheese you can find, then press the patties between two pieces of plastic wrap. Make sure the edges are pinched together well so the cheese can't excape in the cooking process.