How to cook the perfect burger
Who doesn’t love a burger? A soft bun, packed with a hefty patty of meat and whichever toppings you’ve chosen, just waiting for you to take that first, delicious bite. We’ve heard that some people even eat them with knives and forks! Whichever you prefer, what makes the perfect burger?
It’s all about the meat
It might sound obvious, but you’ve got to start with the best meat you can find. A burger made with low quality ingredients will never taste great – full stop. The meat should be the star of the show. Make sure you’re not paying for cheap fillers. The most you want is a few breadcrumbs or rice flakes (this makes them gluten free) and maybe a little egg, onion or seasoning.
If you can find 100% meat burgers, grab them, but be careful not to overcook them – they can be firmer in texture than other ones. Season them after cooking for the best results.
Pure steak burgers are great – but don’t forget about other kinds! Pork, lamb, veal and even some wild game make fabulous burgers too. Whatever burgers you choose, make sure they are made by a skilled butcher, the more hand made the better. This Royal Warrant holding online butcher has a great selection to choose from, and is trusted by top chefs and the royal household.
Decide upon your cooking method
Treat your burger with respect to get the best out of it. Let it come to room temperature before you cook it, and let it rest afterwards. This keeps it tender and juicy.
- Pan-frying – gives a nicely caramelised outer surface. Make sure the pan’s really sizzling, so that you can brown the outside quickly, keeping the inside nice and juicy. Brush the burger with oil rather than pouring it in the pan, to keep it healthier.
- Grilling – a very healthy method, but be careful that the burgers, especially ones made from 100% meat, don’t dry out.
- BBQ – perfect for summer. Cook with charcoal for a nicer aroma. Be careful not to burn them and use a meat thermometer to check the middle is cooked.
Pure meat burgers:
- Beef or Lamb or Veal, medium – internal temperature of 55-60°C
- Beef, Lamb or Veal, well done – internal temperature of 64-70°C
- Pork – internal temperature of 70-72°C (and juices should run clear).
Burgers which include other ingredients:
- All - internal temperature of 70-72°C.
A clever chef’s tip…
Do your burgers end up looking like tennis balls? Try making a dent in the middle with the back of a spoon, or just with your thumb, before you cook them. That way, as they contract in the heat of the pan, they end up flatter rather than rounder – and much easier to eat!
Watch the expert at work
Stefan Kölsch, Head Chef with Royal Warrant holding butcher, Donald Russell, really knows how to cook the perfect burger. Let him show you how to get the best from yours, from preparation through to serving.
The perfect accompaniments
Everyone has their own favourite additions to their burger bun. Some of ours include:
- Mustard mayo: equal parts grainy mustard and creamy mayonnaise
- Sliced cheese: mature cheddar, soft, garlicky roulé or stilton
- Sliced raw onions: a classic on a burger – adds a real ‘bite’. Red onion has a less intense aftertaste than white onion
- Sliced gherkins: you’ll either love ‘em or hate ‘em – we love ‘em!
- Bacon: streaky is best for flavour – grill it until really crispy
- Coleslaw: try beetroot slaw for a change. Nice and sweet, and adds a splash of shocking pink colour to your burger bun.
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