A Guide to Making a Great Burger

August 29, 2023

If you have a craving for a juicy, delicious burger, then do drop by the Burger Pub in Orford. As our name suggests, burgers are our specialty! You won’t be disappointed…

Maybe you’d like to recreate one of our perfect burgers at home? If so, here are some tips from our chef, Pierre Nief.

1. Choose Quality Ingredients

That goes without saying! Whether you opt for a burger made from beef, chicken, or wild game (such as venison), a good quality meat, preferably sourced locally, is essential.

Next, choose the accompaniments that you really like: Quebec-made cheese, lettuce, seasonal tomatoes, squishy buns…

And why not get a bit more ambitious by choosing homemade marinades like pickles, onions or cabbage, as well as a creamy dressing—aioli instead of mayo, or barbecue sauce as a substitute for ketchup.

“Everyone has their own idea of what makes a perfect burger,” says Chef Nief.

His idea of the perfect burger? Toasted bread (always!), bacon and mushrooms flambéed with whisky, avocado, mustard… and that’s it!

2. Prepare the Patty Carefully

“It’s best not to add anything to the meat before cooking it,” explains Chef Nief.

Don’t mix breadcrumbs or eggs into the mix because it affects the texture of the meat. Just sprinkle in a few spices (to taste) and that’s all.

If you want to add onions, that’s fine, but fry them first. Once you’ve done that, you can mix them in with the meat, so that they will both cook at the same rate.

3. Cooking the Burger for the Best Results

A common mistake is to mishandle the meat when cooking it.

“You absolutely must not press down on the patty when you’re cooking it,” warns Chef Pierre. ”If you do, the juices will escape and dry out the meat.”

Cook the burger at a medium heat and it will remain moist.

4. Assembling the Burger

Pierre Nief suggests assembling a burger in the following order, to ensure the best texture and to retain the flavours and freshness of the ingredients: start with the flat bottom of the bun, then apply sauce (but not too runny. He personally uses only mustard), a slice of lettuce, the meat patty, all the garnishes and finally, the rounded top of the bun. 

So what about cheese?

Pierre explains that there are a couple of ways to add cheese to your burger. The type of cheese dictates how the burger can be cooked to perfection.

“If you opt for a brie, for example, then you must put the cheese onto the burger while it’s being grilled,” he explains. “With a cheddar, you place the cheese on top of the (already cooked and assembled) burger, which you briefly place under the broiler. Withdraw it when the cheese is slightly melted, then place the top of the bun over the burger.”

5. Let the Meat Rest Before Serving

The juices, which bubble to the surface of the meat during cooking, need to flow back into the burger. Let the meat “rest” before removing it from the grill and adding the toppings. That way, the meat will be juicier, more tender and tastier. (Chef Nief points out that this procedure works well for all grilled foods.)

Perhaps you don’t feel like cooking tonight? Well then, why not come to the Burger Pub where you can tuck into the best burgers in the region!

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