There is something special about alfresco dining in the UK - we all get so excited about some warm sunshine and dusting off our garden furniture or rusty BBQ. But how often are your burgers bang on? Here we explore how to cook the perfect burger to avoid tough, overdone burgers and ensure they are juicy and tender. Making beef burgers at home is very easy and you can add your own flair with finely chopped onions, herbs or a dash of heat with fresh chillies.
1. Use good quality, freshly minced meat with a high fat content.
Freshly ground meat ensures flavoursome and tender burgers, whilst the fat keeps the burgers juicy! Cooking the perfect burger starts with top class ingredients!
2. Keep the mixing to a minimum
The more you handle the meat, the tougher the burger will be. Ensure your hands are wet when forming the burgers - they will come together more quickly, helping to avoid over-handling.
3. Size and shape
Make the burgers the same size and thickness (weigh the mix if you want to be bang on) and then press a dimple into the centre of the burger. This will even out whilst cooking as burgers shrink whilst cooking.
4. No need to bring to room temperature
Unlike other meats, keep the burgers in the fridge until it's burger grill time. Keeping them cold will help keep the patties stay together and keep them juicy.
5. Grilling burgers
Make sure your BBQ is clean and hot! Grilling burgers on a dirty grill or one that is not hot enough will result in your burgers sticking and therefore more likely to fall apart when you try and turn them. You shouldn't be able to hold your hand about the cooking grate for longer than 2-3 seconds. You want the heat high and steady.
6. Fiddling / flipping / pressing
Avoid fiddling with the burgers! You should flip burgers once and only once! And, we know it's tempting, but don't press down on the burgers whilst they are cooking as this just releases all the lovely moisture. Test before flipping - if they are stuck to the grill, they are not ready to turn.
7. How to rest meat
Resting meat after cooking allows the meat to finish cooking and allows the juices to redistribute for maximum tenderness. Rest your burgers for 5-10 minutes, on a rack if possible (so moisture doesn't collect underneath) and tented with foil to keep them warm.
Check out these recipes to elevate your BBQ creations to the next level:
Lamb Bhuna Burgers (or use beef instead)