The Perfect Way To Hold A Hamburger, Proven By Science

The Perfect Way To Hold A Hamburger, Proven By Science
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We’ve all been there: You’re holding a big ol’ hamburger with both hands, you bring it to your mouth to take a bite, and the whole burger falls out all over the place. But guess what, there’s an “ideal” way to hold a burger. This is it.

A while back, Japanese television show Honma Dekka!? had three researchers — experts in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry — try to figure out the best way to hold and eat a large hamburger. Apparently, they spent four months researching this. For science.

The researchers did a 3D scan of a hamburger, trying to figure out how the particles interacted while holding a large hamburger. Using the data, they showed that the typical way to hold a burger — thumbs on the bottom and fingers on top — results in pushing the contents of the burger out of the buns.

So, the researchers ran numerous different ways of burger holding and found one, they say, avoids spillage:

As you can see, the thumbs and the pinkies are on the bottom. The middle three fingers on each hand are on the top. As you can see the burger is divided visually into equal parts.

If the burger is held uniformly, then its contents shouldn’t spill out of the burger’s backside.

Note that it’s important not to hold the burger too tight. Doing so could cause the buns to be crushed, and the contents to spill out. Also, the dental expert recommended warming up the muscles in your mouth before eating a big hamburger by opening and closing it a few times.

Here, we can see comedian Ryuichi Kosugi giving the “ideal” way of holding a burger a try.

He didn’t spill a drop, did he? One drawback: If you use the “ideal” way to hold a burger, you probably should eat your fries before or after you finish it. Otherwise, it might be difficult to hold the burger like this and eat fries at the same time.

ホンマでっか!?TV [FujiTV]


  • Cool, that’s how i’ve been holding them for years. Still get a bit of sliding out depending on the burger sometimes. Authors comment about eating fries before/after was probably just a throwaway line, cuz it’s not as if you can’t let go of the burger once you’ve started eating it this way. At least I never had an issue.

  • There’s a burger shop called Fergburger in Queenstown, New Zealand, that I’m willing to put forward as the greatest burger joint known to man. You need to good technique to eat one of their beasts properly. From memory there’s a line up 21 hours a day (they close between 5am and 8am I think). One day I will head back to NZ just to get fat on those burgers (again).

    Edit: damn they have a cool site!

  • Dang. You mean I missed out being able to go on TV when I figured this out years ago? I seem to do a lot of Science without even realising it. Of course, there are a bunch of other factors such as the burger construction quality (components need to be centralised or equally distributed otherwise the force vectors are uneven) and food softness (overcooked steak is just gonna rip out the guts of your burger, as are tomato ends) that play into it as well. I’m a scientist man, you can trust me on this.

  • The “trick” is not to eat from one side only. Eat it like an ice-cream on a hot day. Keep your eye out for the stuff that’s sliding around and eat it from the “side” that’s losing it. Also, turn the burger upside down occasionally and move your fingers and thumbs to different positions and tip it up and away from you as you chow down to utilize the wonderful aspects of gravity. At some point you might also like to open the burger and rearrange the contents. At this point you can remove any offending ingredients and engage with them singly (eat them). You won’t have many friends but you will be very pleased with yourself.

    While I’m at it turn tacos side-on when you bite.

    You’re welcome!

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