Special Burger Sauce

The application of a superb homemade burger sauce is all that is required to turn a large, juicy burger from Yum territory to holy-crapola-this-is-amazing land. This transformation may be accomplished with its simple application. To add insult to injury, when a recipe for burger sauce is this straightforward and so much more excellent, there is no reason for anyone to utilize those squeeze bottles of highly sweet sauce that are sold in grocery stores.

I always turn to two different recipes for burger sauce: one that is comparable to tomato chutney and requires 25 minutes to cook on the stove, and another that is creamy and takes only 20 seconds to create. Both of these recipes are my go-to options. There is a good chance that you have worked out the reason why the latter thing is so well-liked among the people in my social circles. This burger sauce is an excellent alternative to the Heinz Secret Burger Sauce, from which it is a copycat version. The exception to this rule is that their product includes acidity regulators (260, 330), stabilizers (412, 415), and preservatives (202, 224), to name just a few of the more delectable components that are indicated on the label.

Special Burger Sauce
Special Burger Sauce

It is not the case with this particular recipe for burger sauce.

Even when I use mayonnaise that I bought from the store, which is exactly what I did in this particular instance, this sauce still manages to deliver better results than the Heinz ingredients! Have you come to the conclusion that it would be beneficial for me to offer a recipe for mayonnaise on my website?

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

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.

Special Burger Sauce
Special Burger Sauce

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.

Even though I am aware that you are already familiar with the process of combining a number of components, I decided to make a brief video tutorial for you nonetheless. This is primarily for the purpose of demonstrating how delicious hamburgers with homemade sauce can be.


Special Burger Sauce
Special Burger Sauce

The instinct to double up was something that I was born with. I would put sauce on the bottom lid and smear it over the top lid, or I would drizzle it over the stack of burger patties that were heaped up in the bun. What if I were to just spread it on the top or bottom of the bun? Is it anything I should be concerned about?


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


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jug and stir until smooth.
Use for burgers – browse my Burger collection or try the latest and greatest Cheeseburger! I generously slather on the base bun as well as the lid (or drizzle the stack).

Recipe Notes:

1. Mayo – whole egg has a smoother, more rounded flavour than non-whole-egg mayo. I like Hellmans and S&W. Ordinary mayo works fine too, kewpie is also great!

2. Mustard – not to be confused with hot English mustard which is the same colour but very, very spicy! Sub with any other smooth mustard.

3. Sweet gherkins are gherkins with a touch more sugar. Ordinary gherkins will work fine too.

4. Pickle juice – This is the juices from the pickle jar.

5. Vinegar – apple cider vinegar is the best substitute, otherwise any other clear vinegar. If using ordinary distilled white vinegar reduce by a touch (it’s a bit sharper).

6. Storage – Should keep for the shelf life of the mayonnaise.

7. Nutrition per serving assuming 5 servings.

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