What would your perfect burger be? Are you a fan of keeping it classic like founder of Tommi's Burger Joint, Tomas Tómasson? “My ultimate burger would have to be a classic cheeseburger, perfectly cooked medium rare, perfectly seasoned, with melted cheese, crispy lettuce, tomato and onion."
Or do you go for pure indulgence like our food editor, Gregor McMaster, "I love to top my burger with blue cheese and a piece of crispy streaky bacon, and don't hold back on the gherkins."
Whatever your preference, here's our breakdown of everything you need to consider to create a really brilliant burger...
Although you could opt for chicken, pork or lamb, we think the uncontested best option for your patty is beef.
Tommi is a beef fan; “I like a well marbled piece of meat, coarsely ground with enough added fat to make it around 20% minimum. Fat carries flavour and juice so a lean burger will be a dry and tasteless affair.”
For lovely marbled meat just how Tommi likes it, try our Extra Special Wagyu beef burgers. Wagyu is melt in the mouth and works perfectly in burger form.
When it comes to cooking your burger, Gregor has a few top tips to ensure you get the best results from your burger: "Make sure your BBQ is very hot before adding the meat, this will stop it from sticking or falling apart. Cook evenly on both sides and try to only flip once. Then rest the burgers for 5 mins before serving to let the meat relax, giving a softer, juicier texture."
THE VEGGIE OPTION
There are countless veggie burger options. You could opt for a whole barbecued giant mushroom topped with pesto or blue cheese, grill some delicious squeaky halloumi and sweet peppers, or get creative with making your own bean burgers, which is Gregor's preferred option.
He says, "A good bean burger should have some fresh vegetables for crunch. They also work well with spicy flavours like cumin, chilli and even BBQ sauce to give it a real savoury flavour. My top tip is to always toast the bun - bean burgers can be soft so you'll need a bit of texture from the bread."
Our spicy baked bean burgers are made from tinned baked beans, sweetcorn and sundried tomatoes, and topped with spicy BBQ sauce. Delicious!
Melting cheese on a burger is one of life’s pure pleasures. For Tommi, fancy cheese just doesn’t cut it: “I prefer the American-style burger cheese. It melts perfectly and complements the beef.”
But for Gregor, a burger needs a strong cheese. "Try using Cheddar or Gorgonzola - they really stand up against the flavour of the meat. Just make sure you slice your cheese so it melts easily with the warmth of the burger and doesn't overwhelm the other flavours."
The thing that holds it all together. The unsung hero of the burger. The bread.
Many burger joints are opting for sweet brioche to complement the very savoury burger but Tommi prefers a plain soft bun. He says, "I feel the brioche is too rich and steals the attention from the main star, which should be the patty itself.”
Gregor's top tip: "If your burger buns have lost some freshness sprinkle them with water and place in a warm oven (180C) for 3-4mins and they’ll be as good as when you first bought them."
Don't skimp on the condiments, not just because of their added flavour, but for their adhesive quality! Gregor says, "A sauce helps to keep all the elements of your burger in place. You don't want your salad falling on the floor."
There's no right or wrong when it comes to condiments, it's all about balance. Gregor says, "If your burger is topped with strong cheese, gherkins and lettuce then you might want the sweetness of ketchup, but if you've skimped on the cheese, a nice hit of garlic mayo would go down a treat."