Homemade Beef Burgers
This recipe makes four quarter-pounders, six standard burgers or eight family burgers. It is tempting when making your own burgers to make them quite large. Bear in mind that the classic quarter-pounder contains about 112g. If you make the burgers much bigger than this they will be difficult to cook, particularly if barbecuing. You will likely end up with burgers that are charred to perfection on the outside but still raw in the middle. If you do make larger burgers, try to keep them no more than 1-1.5cm (1/2 inch) deep to ensure even cooking.
At their most basic, burgers contain just two ingredients – beef and a pinch of salt. I have also added some garlic powder as I think it adds a lovely depth to the flavour. I don’t recommend adding much more than this, though. You will likely be adding some toppings of your preference, so it’s best to let the burger itself just sing with the beautiful taste of beef.
I don’t recommend using chopped onion or garlic in burgers as they tend to make the burger fall apart in cooking. If you wish to add these flavours, use a powdered version. Make sure it’s a pure powder with no added salt or MSG.
450 g (1 lb) fresh minced beef (use organic if you can stretch to it)
1/2 tsp salt (my preference is for sea salt)
1 tsp garlic powder
- Mix the salt & garlic powder in a pestle and mortar to form a very fine powder. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, choose a very fine salt and mix together with the garlic powder. This just enables better distribution through the beef.
- Place the beef in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with one teaspoon of the seasoning powder, spreading as widely and finely as possible.
- Mix the seasoning well into the beef. Repeat the process spoon-by-spoon until all the seasoning has been used. Spend a few minutes doing this as it’s very easy for pockets of seasoning to collect in the mince – you want the flavours to be well distributed.
- Divide the mixture into 4, 6 or 8 even-sized pieces.
- Squeeze each piece tightly with your hands before flattening into a round. Squeezing helps to prevent the burger from falling apart in cooking. Regardless of the size of burger the round should be no more than 1-1.5cm (1/2 inch) high.
- Cook your burgers over a low-medium heat. Using higher temperatures may result in a burger that’s burnt on the outside but still raw in the middle. It will also result in a dry burger by the time the burger is fully cooked through. Using a low-medium heat will maximise the juiciness of your final burger. Allow your burgers to brown slowly on the outside to ensure they are thoroughly cooked in the middle. You can always add a little extra charring at the end of cooking if that’s what you fancy.
- Serve in a lightly toasted bun with your preferred adornments – lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, pickle, chillies, cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauce – the list is endless and bound only by your imagination!