As the barbecue season is almost upon us, it’s an excellent time to revise and update recipes to make al fresco dining a mouth-watering experience for everyone.
Our world is gradually shifting to accommodate vegans and vegetarians, offering all sorts of grilled vegetables, mushrooms and plant-based meat alternatives.
But there is always room for improvement regarding meat favourites, such as burgers. And what tastes better than a proper juicy meat burger with a side of fries or coleslaw?
The birthplace of burgers and its fast array of varieties
Ground meat patties, cooked and served over bread, were first recorded in 1891 in Hamburg, Germany – hence the name of this popular dish.
The relative ease with which burgers can be assembled allowed the recipe to be repeated and adapted to the customers’ preferences.
Burgers could come with cheese, lettuce, tomato and different condiments – from ketchup to ranch dressing. And when it comes to the choice of meat, beef is probably the most popular option, but veal, lamb and pork are used too.
What kind of meat will provide the juiciest meat burger?
Not every beef burger will taste the same, and often it has nothing to do with how you cook it but the ratio of fat in the mince used.
- The juiciest beef burgers are made with ground beef that contains 20 % fat. Ground chuck offers this ratio, so it is the most popular choice for burgers.
- A ground-round cut is leaner, with 15 % fat.
- The leanest option for burgers would be ground sirloin with just 10 % fat.
Therefore, the less fatty the meat you use, the less juicy your burgers will be.
You can mix and match meats to create your own lean-to-fat ratio.
If you feel adventurous, add 25 % sausage meat to the ground beef (especially if it is on the leaner side) before forming patties.
Pork mince has a higher percentage of fat, so mixing it with leaner beef cuts can benefit the burger patty’s flavour and texture.
A few easy steps to grind your meat at home
- Keep your meat grinder in a freezer and take it out just before you start grinding.
- Cut your meat into cubes, spread them on a tray and keep them in a fridge for half an hour before grinding.
- When preparing to mince the meat for your burgers, place a bowl on ice underneath the meat grinder to catch the mince. Use a coarse setting to give your patties a lighter and softer texture.
Now let’s prepare your mouthwatering meat burgers
Take great care forming patties, as using too many herbs and spices can make them fall apart. The best burgers are made without the use of fresh eggs, as the fat should be enough to bind the mince.
Grill your burgers at medium heat, as you don’t want them charred before the internal temperature rises to 65-70 °C / 150-160 °F.
If using cheese, melt it on the burger patty for the last few minutes of cooking.