This is how to create perfect burger for summer barbecue

PUBLISHED: 16:33 26 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:33 26 June 2015

Andrew Webb with the perfect burger.

Andrew Webb with the perfect burger.

Archant

Summer's here! And as far as I'm concerned that means cooking outside as much as possible. But what to cook? Well, you can't go wrong with a proper burger. Both butchers in town sell burgers they make themselves, but have you ever tried making your own? It's not that hard, here's my top tips for bashing out banging burgers all summer long. Right, let's do this.

Andrew Webb with the perfect burger.Andrew Webb with the perfect burger.

The meat

Chuck steak is what you want. Other cuts you can add are short rib, or rump. You need a little fat in there to flavour it and help the meat bind together. Both Humpreys and Burtons can help you out here. If you fancy something a little more exotic, Thunderley Hall Farm in Wimbish sells buffalo meat, mince and burgers.

Extra seasonings

I tend to add nothing but a little salt and pepper, but if you want to, there’s a host of other flavourings you can add. Chilli flakes, cumin, garlic, Worcestershire sauce. If you use good beef and a press, you won’t need to add any egg to hold it together. If you do want to add egg, only add the yolk. I don’t think you need to add onion either, but if you want to, fry it gently first to remove any water.

The perfect burger recipe for four burgers

Buy two chuck or rump steaks and either mince at home or ask the butcher to do it. Put the mince in a bowl and season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, combine fully. This is the time to add any extra flavourings if using.

Scoop out a handful and place in the burger press, press down gently to form your burger.

Remove and repeat until you’ve used up all the mince.

You can chill or even freeze them now until needed.

Prepare your lettuce, tomato and gherkin toppings, and slice the buns in half

Lightly toast the buns for a few seconds then get your griddle pan or barbecue as hot as it can go.

Place on the pan and cook for about six minutes a side.

Let them rest for one minute, before sliding onto the bun and applying the toppings.

Best served with some chips or onion rings.

The grind

It might seem daft, but grinding your own meat means you can control the how course the meat is (the courser the better), as well as the seasoning. Grinders are also great for mincing up leftovers from Sunday lunch for cottage pie, as well as making your own sausages and meatballs. If you all ready own a food processor, you can quickly blitz your burger meat in this. Short bursts mind, you’re not making pate. If you’re a baker and own a stand mixer like a Kenwood or Kitchen Aid, there are meat grinding attachments available, Steamer Trading on Market Square can order these in for you. They also stock a range of hand-turned meat grinders you clamp to your work surface with suction (£22.95). Finally, if money’s no object, Lakeland sell a bespoke meat grinder for £99.

The press

Even if you don’t grind your own mince, I’d recommend buying a burger press from Steamer Trader, they’re between £6 and £15 and ensure you’re lovely homemade burgers are the right size, shape, and most importantly, stay together when cooking. You place the mince in the press, and apply a little pressure, and that’s it. Many come with paper disks to stop your burgers sticking together. But if you’re cooking them straight away, you won’t really need these.

The bun

So long sesame seed bun, the smart money’s on brioche buns now. They have a slight sweetness, that works with the tangy sauces all burgers need, and are richer and less floury than standard buns. With their golden colour they also look better too. Brown Bread Online (www.brownbreadonline.co.uk) bread stall in the market make really good ones for 80p each. Tesco sell them too.

Toppings and extras

A leaf of round lettuce, thin slice of tomato, and a few slices of gerkin are all you need veg wise. Extras like cheese or bacon can be added too.

Afterwards

Finally you should always clean down your barbecue as soon as it’s cool enough to do so. Few of us do however. If you’d rather get some help in, Fantastic Oven Cleaners offer a barbecue cleaning service, check www.ovencleaningsaffronwalden.co.uk for details.

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