Saturday, 3 September 2011

Burger Burger...

I’ve had so many awful burgers recently, which is part of the reason I’ve been so quiet of late. A bad burger is so truly uninspiring I’ve barely been bothered to write up my last few forays out.

So rather than give up on the burger I’ve decided to only eat good ones and this starts with cooking my own at home!

For me a good burger is all about the meat. If you ask around people have quite different views of what meat makes a good burger…

One cut comes up more than any other though. Chuck, from the shoulder, has an amazing ratio of meat to fat lending itself incredibly well to mincing and makes an amazing burger.

Sadly I don’t have space for a dedicated grinder at the moment. Luckily the guys over at the ElsCo agreed to do some mincing for me and made some burgers up from my specifications.

My choice was pure and simple Chuck with 7% Bone Marrow for that extra intense beefy kick. I also wanted to try a mix Richard Turner, the man behind Hawksmoor and ElsCo, did for a turn behind the helm at Burger Monday a while back.

His mix was 31% Chuck, 31% Short Rib and 31% Fillet also with 7% Marrow. In short it sounded amazing and he knows his meat…

If you want tips for how to cook the perfect burger you’ll need to check out A Hamburger Today. A truly encyclopaedic blog all about burgers and a great research source for geeks like me!

For a burger that weighs approx 180 grams you’ll need no longer than 3 minutes each side on hot griddle pan. It doesn’t need any oil, only a little seasoning.

If the pan is hot enough it won’t stick at all! After 3 minutes on each side place it on a warm plate with the cheese on and let it rest for 2 minutes covered with a bowl allowing the steam and heat of the burger melt the cheese fully.

American cheese is perfect for burgers purely because it’s already mixed with emulsifiers. These help it melt without the fats separating from the cheese.

This is why you get a greasy mess when you put cheddar where it shouldn’t go! Its science people now stop fucking around!

The rest is up to you! I love the texture of chopped sweet onion and gherkins in my burger. Sauce should be simple and I just go for Ketchup and Mustard. French’s and Heinz Fiery Chilli for me…

Bread has to be bread though, no fancy Brioche in my household!

Which burger did I prefer? The Chuck; texturally it was far superior and I was beaming after I’d wolfed it down. So juicy, sweet and just fucking sexy it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.

And with that I do include the meatwagon…


  1. Couldn't agree more on the burger front! Why go out and have a rubbish one when I can indeed make better at home! And having just purchased a brand new griddle this morning, what better thing to put on it!

    I even made my own bread rolls last weekend for our bbq, all our friends left all their crappy shop bought soapy textured bread rolls and ate all of mine instead!

  2. Haven't quite got to the home bread making stage yet but admire the sentiment! These store bought ones held up though and lightly toasted sucked up all the juices without falling apart. Hovis should be proud.

  3. I've found minced skirt steak to be really good for burger flavour and texture, with a bit of French's mustard and Creamed Horseradish in the mix. I mince my own using the mincer attachment on my Kenwood. Skirt was recommended by the Ginger Pig for burgers when my ex did the beef course there last year.

  4. I was with you until I got to 'no fancy brioche...' I think brioche makes the perfect bun; a lovely sweetness to bring out the savoury in the meat.

  5. @Sarah getting a bit avant garde for me there adding mustard and horseradish into the mix! I'll give skirt a go if you think it's good cheers for the tip!

    @Lizzie I've not yet had a brioche bun that has impressed me, love brioche as a rule just not with meat in! Any places you can recommend to change my mind?

  6. "Its science people now stop fucking around!" Yes.

  7. You really can't beat a good burger but they are so hard to come by! Its the substandard patty and the half stale bread. I have also found that a lump of cheese in the middle of the patty is fantastic!

  8. Priceless, and near perfect (apart from the bowl over the burger encouraging a steam melt...!!) But that aside, good job, well done

  9. @Gary - try it! It let's the burger rest perfectly and the cheese just flows gently round the meat. Beautiful in my opinion but each to their own, burgers are highly personal after all!

  10. Look at that marbling on the burger - awesome stuff. I'm excited that ELSCo are planning to let you mix your own burgers - that is a brilliant idea!

    Next up you need to try a Burger Rub - chilli, salt, pepper, muscavado or brown sugar and paprika - all ground up and rubbed onto each surface just before sticking them in the pan...mmm.

  11. Top home-burger action - congratulations!

  12. Loving the memento style reverse burger eating shots... death to birth. Yummy. Loving the sound of the short-rib mix, mainly because i love short ribs. Mind you, i think the meat, with all that glutinous tendony goodness would probably suit slow cooking better, The chuck steak one sounds divine.

    And, just for the record, I am with you on the brioche issue all the way, they always toast too crispy on the outside and cut your mouth up.

    The only other think i would add is that i'd out gruyere on there, Byron sold me on that one. Yum.

  13. @Grub don't get me wrong the short rib, fillet and chuck was beautiful just wasn't as nice as the plain Chuck. Not tried Gruyerre at Byron yet. Think I should though, you know, just for completeness!

  14. Making your own burgers is immensely satisfying, but I haven't made them with bone marrow yet. You're right about not using cheddar too - the whole thing ends up a greasy mess!

  15. Just saw this blog recently and reminded me of my griddle. Haven't had home-made burgers for while now.

    I think the steam melt tip is awesome as the cheese slowly creeps into the meat. Let's try this and find it out myself!