9 March 2018

Do You Know How Easy it is to Make Burgers & Why You Should?

I'm going through all my old posts and updating the images, SEO etc. and was reading an earlier post on Michael Pollan’s excellent book Food Rules.  In it I mention how strange it is that people would rather buy a burger from MacDonalds or similar than make one.  I thought I’d extrapolate on this (Madam!).

Do you know how easy it is to make a burger? 

If not this is what you do …

~   Get some fresh but not too lean minced beef – you want your burger to be juicy.
~   Divide it into portions the size you would like your burgers but treat the meat gently as overworking it will toughen them. I have always made 225g/8oz burgers both at home for my real man and when cooking professionally. Allow me to go off on a small tangent here ...

typical bought in burger

According to McDonalds themselves their cooked beef patties in a Big Mac weigh approximately 66g/2.3 ounces each so that’s a little under 4.6g/5oz. Even allowing for shrinkage you can do way better than that! Anyhoo …

~   Heat a frying pan and grease lightly. ~   Season your burgers on both sides with salt and black pepper. The salt is important because not only does make the burger tasty it helps form a good crust on the meat.
~   Cook your burger till perfect by browning over medium high heat according to the timings below on the first side without disturbing it. Flip onto the second side and finish cooking. Times may vary a little according to the thickness of the burgers.
Rare – 3 minutes per side, feels soft and juicy.
Medium – 4 minutes per side, feels springy.
Well Done –  5 minutes per side, feels firm.
~   If you top your burger with something eg. bacon, cheese etc. cover the pan briefly to heat and melt the topping or, better really if you can,  pop the topped burger into a hot oven or under a hot grill for just a minute to heat briefly.
~   Serve with a burger bun (toasted or not to your taste) with whatever you fancy eg. mayonnaise, bbq sauce etc. plus real cheese, bacon, onions and so on.

Do you want a dimple in the bottom?

~   They do say you should make a small depression in the burger on one side which, apparently, helps the burger cook evenly and stay flat.  I have never done this and always been happy with my burgers but you could give it a try.

6 important points when making burgers …

~   DON'T crowd the pan; if cooking more than one burger there must be space between them or they will steam rather than fry.
~   DON'T press or flatten burgers during cooking because this squeezes out the juices, compresses the meats and really irritates me!
~   If the meat seems stuck to the pan when you want to turn it wait a little while; once a good crust has formed it will release itself .
~   Only flip once.
~   Don't cut into the burger to see if it is done at this releases yummy juices.
~   As with all meat set aside to rest in a warm place for a few minutes before serving.

homemade cheeseburger

5 Reasons Why You Should Make your Own Burgers

pros and cons of making homemade burgers pinterest image
Please pin this and spread the word!
 You will save money

Big Mac (just an example - other burger suppliers are available!)
£.3.19  comprising 132g ground beef (possibly and possibly not with additives), one white bun, some lettuce, a slice of processed cheese (or cheese product to be exact i.e. not real cheese).
or ...
Homemade Burger
£1.80 approx comprising 225g ground beef, 2 rashers back bacon, a generous portion of lovely mature Cornish cheddar, a spoonful of freshly fried red onions, lettuce and baby plum tomatoes, white burger bun.

~   You will save time

As I mentioned above, if you have the ingredients, making a burger at home is so much quicker it takes about 10 minutes from taking the meat out of the packet (although longer if you also do chips).  The alternative is driving to, parking outside and queuing in a take away and then driving home. Not only that, your food is fresh from the stove so in prime condition

~   You can eat “cleanly”

Even if bought in foods don’t contain any chemicals, e-numbers,  etc. they may still be high in salt, sugar and/or fat.  When you make your own you know exactly what is in your food.

~   You can Personalise your Burger

Season to taste i.e. your taste or perfect for whoever you are making it for . Make your perfect burger with whatever seasonings or additions you fancy; spices, garlic, smoked salt, bits of crunchy bacon etc.

~   Be happy – I haven’t looked into it much but have read that eating fast food can make people depressed and not just because it is not quite what they wanted!

So ~ your choice …

This is just one example of why you should cook your own food – it is real and fresh, can be made exactly as you like it and is also cheaper. Go for it!

Speaking of books ...

A new edition of my leftovers cookbook, giving recipes, ideas, storage instructions, handy hints, food pairings and cook's treats for 450 different potential leftover foods is now out – Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers, read more here.

if you love your leftovers this is the book for you!

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