Burgers are one of the most popular foodstuffs around, and for good reason. They go with all sorts of occasions and can either be a regular meal or a treat for the whole family. While you might be used to buying burgers from your local fast food store or even the frozen variety, did you know that it can be much more fun, affordable and tasty to create your own?
If you want to know a bit more about how to make burgers, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to look at a few key tips so that you can make the best burgers around. Making burgers can be more affordable than buying them, but most importantly you’ll have the creative freedom to create the exact burgers you’ve always wanted that suit your specific dietary needs and tastes. Homemade burgers can be the best burgers you’ve ever had.
How to make burgers
Let’s get started with all the best tips so that you can make the best burgers around…
Pick your meat
The meat you use is one of the most important first steps. You need meat that’s of good quality, but also matches what you can afford. Of course, most people start with beef burgers, as that’s the classic variety. But if you prefer other meats, you can do that too.
Try not to pick a meat that’s too lean. While leaner meat might be healthier, your burgers will require some fat content to stay juicy. Aim for around 20% fat. You might want to mix in pork or lamb with your beef burger, to give it some extra.
Mince if necessary
If you bought pre-minced meat, then you can skip this step. But if you have your own meat mincer you can mince meat yourself. This can be even cheaper, but remember to throw some fat in. Mincing without a proper mincer can be difficult, but you could get your butcher to do it.
This is where the fun start, you can really be as creative as you want when it comes to flavours. This is where you can start adding herbs and spices. You could try some chili powder and fresh parsley, along with eastern spices like cumin. Look up the recipes to some basic burger rubs or spice mixed. These can be the same as you buy in the store but are actually just a few herbs and spices that you might already have.
Use these ingredients so it doesn’t dry out
The problem a lot of people have when they try and make homemade burgers is that the burgers often dry out. To help fix this, you can add some cheese into the mix and also bacon or cooked onion. This not only helps bulk out the burgers, but adds something with a bit more liquid that makes them less likely to go dry.
While you might want a bit of cheese on top at the end, some grated cheddar into the mix is a nice touch. You could try feta, too.
Use this onion tip
As we’ve just touched on, it’s a good idea to include onion into your burger mix. The amount of onion is up to you depending on your taste preferences and how much you want to bulk it up. But you might want to use this tip when adding onions…
Cooked onion usually works better as they’ll be softer and more adaptable. You should cook the onion prior to adding to the burger mix. But make sure you’ve let the onion cool down before you add it to the mix. That’s because otherwise it could lightly cook the burger mix. So fry your sliced onion, allow to cool, and then add to the burger mixture. That’s how you get the best results.
Bind it together and make patties
Once you’ve got all the ingredients in the mix, you can start mixing. You can use your hands or machinery to do this. Mix it all together to get the desired effect. Then make patties of a similar size.
Put them in the fridge for a bit
If you try and cook the burgers straight away, especially by cooking them, you’ll often end up with bits falling off. If you put them in fridge for at least half an hour or maybe longer, they will firm up and become easier to cook.
After allowing the burgers to firm for a bit, you can start cooking them. Try frying them first to brown on both sides. Make sure you don’t flip them too often as homemade burgers can fall apart more often than regular burgers. Keep things steady and try about 8 minutes on each side. Obviously, this will depend on how hot the heat is AND how thick the burgers are, so there isn’t one specific time instruction. Just keep an eye on things.
Finish in the oven
Once you’ve fully browned your burgers on all sides it can be a good idea to finish in the oven for 10 minutes or more. This is easier if you have a pan that can be put straight into a hot oven (one you already pre-heated).
Think about toppings and buns
Some people like brioche buns, but this is something you can start choosing yourself. Obviously, you can top the burger with anything you like. Things like more sliced onion, tomato, cheese and ketchup are popular. You could also try chillis, gherkins or even bacon.
How to make burgers the easy way
That’s how you make real good burgers. But if you want to do it the easy way, you can always buy some frozen patties and cook them straight away. This might not be how to make a “real” burger and you won’t be able to be as creative, but you’ll still be free to top the burgers with anything you want, and it could also be cheaper and quicker.
How do you like your burgers?