/ Food & Drink

What makes the perfect burger?

They may not be especially sophisticated, but a great burger is a simple, delicious, pleasure. That’s probably why burger chains can be found on almost every high street in the country. But what’s the best way to enjoy your burger?

Like many people this bank holiday weekend, I plan to throw a few burgers on my barbecue (as long as the weather gods continue to smile on us). But getting it right for your guests can be tricky.

You obviously need to use good quality meat but a great burger is about far more than that. In fact the accompaniments – and the bun – can be just as important and can transform a simple offering in to a true burger king.

In an attempt to uncover the perfect combination we roped in some expert help. We’d already assembled a crack squad of top butchers and chefs for a blind food tasting to discover the best premium burgers available in Britain’s supermarkets (find out which came top in our guide to the best beef burgers).

And so, between mouthfuls, we grilled our experts and asked them for their top tips for pimping up your burger.

The bun

To enjoy your burger to the max you need to eat it in a bun. All of our experts agreed that this must be soft, so that it can soak up all the juices – French bread is a definite no-no.

But while some of our panel preferred traditional rolls, others swore by brioches. However avoid any that are over sweet and cake-like.

The toppings

Smoky bacon and oozing cheese are classics, much loved by our experts. Sharp goat’s cheese, brie and Stilton were popular for cutting through the beefy taste but, a touch surprisingly, all were fans of cheap, processed cheese slices.

Soft, hot onions and tangy gherkins complete the deal.

The crunch

To contrast the soft roll and tender, juicy burger (and as a polite nod towards healthiness), you should also add in iceberg lettuce.

To make it extra crunchy, soak it in icy water for 15 minutes before patting it dry. All that’s left is to add your favourite condiments. Our experts were fans of Heinz Tomato Ketchup and French’s Yellow Mustard.

More leftfield options

Cheese, lettuce and bacon – as suggested by our panel – are all classic burger accompaniments. And indeed, a Zagat poll of America’s favourite burger toppings showed they were among the most popular (jalapeno peppers and raw onions were voted the least favourite).

But many people prefer less traditional toppings when assembling their dream burger. A restaurant in Liverpool serves a burger covered with peanut butter and chilli jam while closer to home, one of the Which? editors swears by her homemade topping made of garlic, anchovy and caper mayonnaise.

So what makes the best burger? Is cheese a pre-requisite? And what condiments are a must? Whether cooking your own or eating out, let us know how you enjoy your burgers in the comments below.

What extras make the perfect burger?
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Comments
Member

I was in a hospital today waiting for the ambulance to take me home after tests , it was an hour wait so I was in their new wing with a large area at the reception holding a certain well known coffee dispensing company who had the contract for selling drinks /sandwiches, after looking at the extortionate prices -a small cup of tea- £2.10 – about a fiver for a sandwich I went to the other concessionaire -W.H.Smith who were slightly cheaper but did not sell hot drinks I got a packet of sandwiches, overpriced but still cheaper than the other concessionaire but I made a mistake in that the “bundle ” included limited cold drinks and I bought a packet of crisps all overpriced . The sandwiches were just about eatable but the drink-mango/orange flavored “spring water ” (bed-spring it turned out ) two sips and I felt ill , looking at the ingredients it was a “chemical factory ” , now you may say tough ! but this was IN a Hospital and many people were drinking the stuff in a “captive audience ” situation , one guy I got back in the ambulance had a kidney replaced and was on rejection drugs , due to cancer in the kidney .If this is the modern standard then bring back the WRVS canteen where you got a mug of tea and a bacon butty for a couple of ££ . The crisps were those terrible “oven roasted ” types giving cardboard a good name. The whole set up was as “UN-healthy as you could get. NHS ? Cured going out the operating theater – ill when you reach the cafe inside the place.

Member

I have sometimes wondered about this at our major hospital but came to the conclusion that selling no unhealthy products would probably be commercially unviable. The WRVS presumably did not have to pay minimum wages or have hefty overheads; nowadays the NHS has to make every square foot pay its way. At least its car parking charges are an incentive to using public transport or going by bike [not good for hernia or vasectomy cases though].

Member
DerekP says:
29 May 2018

I’ll be seeking perfection in more important matters before I worry to much about the perfect burger.

Member

Aussie kangaroo burgers

“Take away the guilt with this low-fat kangaroo meat version of a classic fast food favourite.
Featured in Mince recipes, Nutrition information
YOUR LOCAL PRICING
Looks like your closest store is Coles Margaret River 6285 Change location

Recipe: https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/aussie-kangaroo-burgers/a9525626-a402-4ed5-96f4-fae873e679c7

Member

ps – quite a way to go to my closest store, but helpful.

Member

Nice veeggie burger on the panini press, some deep fried onion rings, fresh lettuce in a toasted seed bun with fried chips! YUM!