I’m going to say it. This was the best burger I’ve ever made at home. Period.
OK, we minced our own meat, we’re boujee like that. But really, it makes a difference. Like night and day difference. Like chalk and cheese. Ever noticed why the burgers you cook from the supermarket always shrink? It’s because they’re pumped full of water and all sorts of rubbish. Home-mincing is the way forward, but anyways we will cover that in another post. This is all about the toppings.
We have some jammy onions at play here, and some crispy shallots too. We have a ridiculously easy and tasty homemade burger sauce slathered on as well as some crispy bacon and tangy pickles. Coupled with an incredible patty and some applewood smoked cheese and you have Fork and Twist’s ULTIMATE homemade Cheeseburger.
What Goes into The Best Burger?
This is really personal preference. But, after eating some of the best burgers in London for nearly 6 years I’ve had some experience, and for me the best burger has the following:
- Cheese, without a doubt. Personal preference which you have. In ours, we’ve gone for applewood smoked cheddar. It adds a refined touch, and some smokiness.
- Bacon – it adds not only saltiness but texture, with crunch.
- Sweetness – jammy onions are key in my opinion. Sweet, but salty, soft and jammy. It cuts through the savouriness of the burger.
- Sharpness – often added by pickled red onions or Gherkins. We opted for Gherkins.
- Sauce. For us, this has to be creamy but tangy as well to cut through the richness of the cheese, beef, bacon and onions. Ours is a mixture of mayo, ketchup and mustard. Classic.
- A soft, melt in the mouth patty. This can only be achieved with some top quality beef. By the best burgers you can, or better yet mince it yourself (or at the butchers/meat counter). Freshly minced meat is a game changer. We will do a post on this soon, but we recommend equal parts minced sirloin steak, brisket and short rib which are then salted and formed into patties. We allow them to sit for a few hours in the fridge for the salt to bind them together. No need for eggs or breadcrumbs.
How Do You Make A Cheeseburger Step By Step?
It’s easy when you break it down. Each component needs some love and attention, and it will take you about an hour to get everything done. So, step by step, a cheeseburger is made by:
- Making a patty (if you are making them yourself and not buying)
- Caramelising the onions
- Frying the crispy onions
- Making the burger sauce
- Grilling the bacon until crisp
- Frying the patties
- Melting the cheese
- Resting the patties
- Toasting the bun
- Constructing the burger
- EATING THE BEST BURGER EVER!
What Is The Best Way To Cook Burgers At home?
In our experience, the best way to cook a burger at home is simply to fry them using a frying pan / skillet. A cast iron pan will always conduct the heat better and provide a better crust on the patty, but a non-stick every day frying pan will work perfectly fine.
The best way to cook them in the pan is to simply get the pan smoking hot on a high heat. When the pan is smoking hot add some oil. Immediately after, add the patties to the pan. It’s worth noting the patties will cook more evenly if they have been left out of the fridge 3o minutes prior to cooking them. Once the patties are dark and crisp on the bottom, flip them and cook until dark and crisp on the other side. Keep flipping every 30 seconds or so after this until they are cooked to your desired taste. For pre-made patties cook well done, which is roughly to 60C. For freshly minced patties, cook like a steak, until medium / medium-rare (about 45-50C).
ULTIMATE Cheeseburger Video Tutorial
uLTIMATE Cheeseburger Recipe
Fork and Twists ULTIMATE Cheeseburgers
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Chopping Board
- Sharp Knife
- Wooden Spoon
- Mixing Bowl
- Couple Mason Jars (optional for storage)
- Baking Tray
- 4 4-6oz Good Quality Beef Patties buy the best you can, or make your own (see our blog for how to do that)
- 4 Slices Applewood Smoked Cheddar use any you want, but this stuff is awesome.
- 16 Slices Pickled Gherkins (4 slices per burger) slices, as in round discs.
- 3 Medium Sweet / White Onions any onions will work
- 1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 20 g Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Cooking Oil i.e. rapeseed, groundnut
- 3-4 Echelon Shallots
- 1 tbsp Cornflour / Cornstrach
- 1 tsp Custard Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- Frying oil (not olive oil) enough to coat the pan in a full layer at least 1cm deep.
The Best Burger Sauce
- 75 g Mayo
- 25 g Ketchup
- 1 tbsp American Mustard
- 50 g Diced pickles
- 1 tsp Honey
- 8 Rashers Streaky Bacon
- 4 Brioche Burger Buns
- Peel and slice the onions into strips, roughly 6mm wide.
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat. Add butter and oil and melt.
- Add onions to the metled butter/oil in the pan.
- Add the sugar and salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally at first and then frequently towards the end. Top Tip - Ensure the pan is not too hot so the onions do not catch and brown. This will prevent them tasting bitter.
- Once soft and very jammy, remove from the pan and place in a bowl/jar ready for use. Top Tip - These can be kept in the the fridge until needed for 5 days.
- Slice the top and bottom off the shallots and cut in half lengthways. Then peel the shallots of one layer.
- Slice the shallots lengthways about 2/3mm thick strips.
- Place the shallots into a big bowl and using your fingertips pull the shallot strands apart so they are no longer connected.
- Dust with cornflour and custard powder and mix well.
- Add the oil to a frying pan and bring to temperature on a medium heat until very hot (160c if you have a probe).
- Test one shallot in the oil to ensure it sizzles. If it does, carefully add the rest of the shallots. Fry in batches if needed and cook until starting to turn golden.
- Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Once drained, salt them and then place in a jar ready for use. Top Tip - We keep ours in the fridge and use them in salads, on pasta etc.. throughout the week.
- Chop the pickles into small diced chunks.
- Add the pickles to a bowl with mayo, ketchup, mustard and honey.
- Mix well, then add to a jar ready to serve. Keep in the fridge until needed.
- Line a baking tray with foil
- Add the bacon rashers
- Place under a hot grill (roughly 200C) and cook for about 7-8 mintues turning halfway through until the fat starts to turn golden.
- Drain on kitchen paper, cut into chunks and reserve until needed
- Put a frying pan on a high heat until it beings to smoke.
- Add a couple tbsp of cooking oil.
- Immediately after add the burger patties to the pan.
- Cook on one side until crisp and dark brown (roughly 3 mins)
- Cook on the other side until just turning crisp and dark brown (roughly 3 mins)
- NOTE - cooking times depend on the thickness of the burger. Freshly minced steak burgers can be cooked medium/medium rare. Supermarket burgers cannot, and hence will need longer to be cooked well done. If in doubt the temp should be 60C. Or, cut into one to check it's no longer pink. Rough timing for our 4oz Sirloin Steak burgers were 3 mins on one side, 2 mins on the other - roughly 1.25cm thick.
- Once cooked, add the cheese and cover the pan with foil to steam the cheese so it melts quicker.
- Once melted, remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
- Whilst the burgers are resting use the frying pan to toast the buns.
- Cut the buns in half and place bread cut side down in the pan. Toast until golden and crisp.
- Place the bottom bun down, add burger sauce - be generous, add jammy onions, add the cheesy patty, add sliced pickles, and crispy shallots, more burger sauce on the top bun and close it off. Perfection.
- The jammy onions, crispy shallots and burger sauce can be made well in advance. Just keep them in jars, in the fridge ready to go.
- Burgers from home can be stressful. Make it less stressful by being organised and getting everything done before cooking the patties.
- The burger patties. Buy the best you can, better yet make your own. Buy some mince from the butcher or supermarket add a good amount of salt and form some patties. The salt will act as "glue" and bond the meat if left long enough (i.e. 3-4 hours). We will be doing a post on how to make the patty yourself. It is a GAME CHANGER.
- Cooking the burger patties can be difficult. The rule of thumb is, crisp in up on one side, flip it, crisp in up on that side, add cheese and steam for a minute, allow to rest for 3-5 mins. To be cooked through, it should be 60C roughly.
- Just have fun!