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Hamburger vs. Cheeseburger: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 18, 2023
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground beef placed inside a sliced bun, while a cheeseburger is a hamburger with an added slice of cheese.

Key Differences

The hamburger is a classic American sandwich with a ground beef patty, often served with various toppings and condiments. A cheeseburger is essentially a hamburger that includes a slice of cheese, usually placed on top of the meat patty.
Originating in the United States, the hamburger has become a staple in fast food and casual dining. The cheeseburger adds a dairy element to the hamburger, enhancing flavor and texture with the cheese.
A typical hamburger can include lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and condiments like ketchup and mustard. In a cheeseburger, the cheese (such as American, cheddar, or Swiss) often complements these same ingredients.
The cooking style of the beef patty in a hamburger can vary from grilling to pan-frying. In a cheeseburger, the cooking method is similar, but the cheese is usually added to the patty near the end of cooking to allow it to melt.
Variations of the hamburger include different bun types and toppings. The cheeseburger offers additional variations with the type of cheese used, adding to the diversity of flavor profiles.

Comparison Chart

Basic Composition

Ground beef patty, bun
Ground beef patty, cheese, bun


United States
United States (variation of hamburger)

Additional Ingredients

Lettuce, tomato, onions, condiments
Same as hamburger, plus cheese

Cooking Method

Grilled or pan-fried
Similar, with cheese melted on patty


Different buns, toppings
Various types of cheese, additional toppings

Hamburger and Cheeseburger Definitions


A sandwich featuring a ground beef patty in a bun.
I ordered a hamburger with extra pickles.


A hamburger with a slice of cheese.
I'll have a cheeseburger with cheddar, please.


A staple in fast food and American cuisine.
Hamburgers are a popular choice at barbecues.


Retains all elements of a hamburger, plus cheese.
His cheeseburger had all the fixings of a regular hamburger.


The patty can be cooked to different levels of doneness.
He prefers his hamburger patty well-done.


The cheese is melted onto the beef patty.
The cheese was perfectly melted on the cheeseburger.


Can be customized with various condiments.
She added mustard and ketchup to her hamburger.


Common cheese options include American and Swiss.
She chose Swiss cheese for her cheeseburger.


Often served with lettuce, tomato, and onion.
He enjoyed his hamburger with all the classic toppings.


Popular in fast food and diners.
They ordered cheeseburgers at the retro diner.


Ground meat, usually beef.


A hamburger topped with melted cheese.


A patty of such meat.


A hamburger containing cheese (usually one or more slices of processed cheese).


A sandwich made with a patty of ground meat usually in a roll or bun.


The BLU-82 bomb.


A hot sandwich consisting of a patty of cooked ground beef or a meat substitute, in a sliced bun, sometimes also containing salad vegetables, condiments, or both.


A hamburger with melted cheese on it.


The patty used in such a sandwich.


A hamburger with melted cheese on it


(uncountable) Ground beef, especially that intended to be made into hamburgers.


An animal or human, or the flesh thereof, that has been badly injured as a result of an accident or conflict.
The truck hit the deer and turned it into hamburger.
I'm going to make you into hamburger if you do that again.


(GUI) hamburger button


A fried cake of minced beef served on a bun


Beef that has been ground


Can any cheese be used in a cheeseburger?

Most types of cheese can be used, depending on preference.

What are common toppings for a hamburger?

Lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard.

How is the beef patty cooked in a hamburger?

It can be grilled, broiled, or pan-fried.

Are hamburgers always made with beef?

Traditionally, yes, but there are variations like turkey burgers.

What makes a cheeseburger different from a hamburger?

The addition of a cheese slice.

What type of cheese is most popular on cheeseburgers?

American and cheddar are among the most popular.

How do you ensure a juicy hamburger patty?

By not overcooking and using higher-fat content beef.

What is a hamburger?

A sandwich with a ground beef patty in a bun.

Can you add condiments inside a cheeseburger?

Yes, condiments can be added both inside and on top.

Are hamburgers served in other cuisines?

Yes, they have been adapted into various international cuisines.

Can hamburgers be part of a balanced diet?

In moderation, they can be included in a balanced diet.

What kind of buns are used for hamburgers?

Various types, including sesame, brioche, and whole wheat.

Are there vegetarian versions of cheeseburgers?

Yes, with plant-based patties and vegetarian cheese.

Is a cheeseburger considered less healthy?

It can be higher in calories due to the cheese.

What's the origin of the hamburger?

It originated in the United States.

Is a cheeseburger an American invention?

Yes, it's an American variation of the hamburger.

Can hamburgers be grilled on a barbecue?

Yes, they are popularly cooked on barbecues.

What's the best cheese for melting on a cheeseburger?

Cheeses that melt well include American, cheddar, and provolone.

Can cheeseburgers have multiple cheese slices?

Yes, some variations include multiple types or slices of cheese.

Do cheeseburgers come in different sizes?

Yes, from small fast-food burgers to larger gourmet versions.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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