The humble burger has been a barbecue tradition for year and there have been hundreds if not thousands of different variations. I have been trying to get my barbecue back to simple flavours and I wanted to apply this thinking to a burger.
So I asked myself “What is a classic burger to me?”
Preparing the Burgers
To answer that question you have to start with the Beef Patty. You can add all kinds of ingredients to the mince to add flavour but we are looking for a classic burger so we are keeping it simple. When I make up my burgers I use chuck mince as it has a high fat content. Try to stay away from lean mince as the lack of fat content will cause the burger to dry out. The only thing I add to the meat is a dash of Worcester sauce to add a little moisture. Form the mince into even round patty’s with your hands or use a burger press if you have one. Take care not to press the mince too tight as it can cause the burger to dry out whilst cooking.
That’s all the prep work you need to do; everything else is done at the grill. You want to cook your burgers over a direct high heat. The hotter the grill is the better the crust will be on the burger, sealing all those juices inside.
At The Grill
For these I am cooking on my Weber Spirit E310 Original and this is where the cast iron grates come into play. Cast iron will get 50 degrees hotter than a standard grill giving you a nice sear mark on the burgers. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes with the lid down.
While the burgers are on the grill, through a few slices of streaky bacon on there and cook them until crisp. You can also fry off some onion in a cast iron skillet. After a few minutes have past, flip the burgers over. You should be able to see clear sear marks and a crust starting to form on the burger. If you don’t see this, they are not ready to turn so close the lid and wait another minute or so.
Once the burgers have been flipped, it is time to start putting things together. First of all you will need to toast your bun. I always use a brioche bun for my burgers. They are slightly more dense than a white bread bun and don’t fall apart when filled. They also taste a lot better. Cut your bun and toast it for a few seconds being careful not to burn it. Set them to one side and let start to build the burger.
My Classic Burger is relatively simple but it is full of flavour. I stick to cheese, Onion, Pickle, Bacon and my home-made barbecue sauce. They are basic ingredients but put together they make up one tasty burger.
I almost always use square, plastic wrapped cheese for my burger (or Dirty Burger Cheese as I like to call it.) This is my preference and you can switch it out for your favourite cheese and it will work just as well but when it comes to a classic burger, you can’t beat the taste of dirty burger cheese.
This entire burger is built on the grill to allow the flavours to combine whilst they are still cooking. Start by placing a slice of cheese onto each burger so it will start to melt down over the patty. On one burger place a few slices of streaky bacon and leave it to sizzle away. On the second patty, place some onion and pickle on top of the cheese and top with more streaky bacon and the top half of the bun. Close the lid of the barbecue and let everything melt together.
You can then lift the top part of the burger onto the second burger. If the cheese hasn’t quite melted the way you like, you can close the lid down and give it a few more minutes. Before you lift the burger off, smother the bottom half of the bun with your favourite barbecue sauce. Lift the tower off the grill and place it on top of the bun.
And there you have it. My take on a Classic Burger. The flavours are simple but they taste awesome. You can play about with the fillings for the burger until you find a combination you like but this one works for me.
Let me know in the comments below what your favourite burger filling are.