Top 5 Ways To Change Your Burger Game Forever

Our nation’s birthday is upon us. What better way to celebrate then with some burgers? Seeing as it is a special occasion and all why not try something different? Below I list a few things you can do to that will change your burger game forever.

Top 5 Ways To Change Your Burger Game Forever

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1. Consider The Bun – There is a lot to consider when choosing the right bun for your burger. Crispy, soft, seeds or no seeds, any of the thousands of kinds such as kaiser, ciabatta, sour dough, etc. What bun you choose really will make or break your burger. If your bun is too soft it will absorb to much fat and condiments and it will just fall apart. If your bun is too tough the innards of your burger might fly out the back when you go to take a bite. Buns should be toasted. This isn’t a question. To up your bun level a bit butter it with regular butter, garlic butter, or another flavoured butter. If you can, make the buns yourself. The real point is to choose a bun that you like that is neither to soft or to hard. Something that will compliment your burger, not take away from it. The final thing to consider when choosing the right bun is the size. You do not want to have a massive bun and a tiny burger. The bun to burger ratio really is important. You want a bun the will be about the same size of your burger after it is cooked.

2. Meat – What you do with your meat is your own business. But, I do have a few pointers that might help you decide what to do with it. If you have good quality meat (you ground it yourself) you really don’t have to do anything to it other than a little salt and pepper. If you are buying ground beef from the grocery store you are usually going to want to bulk up the flavours a bit. I like to add chopped bacon or ground pork to my meat mix as it adds a nice flavor, and a little more fat. Mustard powder, garlic, onion, Worcestershire (hard to say, easy to use), these all make a nice addition to your burger patty. Some people will add a binder to their meat like bread crumbs, oat meal, cracker crumbs, and eggs. Most of the time this isn’t necessary unless you have really fatty meat. One other thing I would recommend is that when you think you are done seasoning your meat take a little piece and cook it. This way you can taste it and adjust your seasoning as needed.

wpid-dsc_0029.jpg3. Cheese – Cheese is a great addition to any burger. The kind of cheese you choose can of course change the whole flavor of your burger. In all honesty this simply comes down to personal taste. I will say though, if you are using a strongly flavoured cheese like a blue, avoid strongly flavoured condiments like mustard or ketchup. The flavours will clash leaving you with a burger that really doesn’t taste good. One thing you can do is stuff the burger with cheese. Simply take a piece of cheese, preferably something that will melt fairly easily and form your burger around it. When you take a bite out of your burger you will be surprised with a gooey melted centre. 

4. Vegetables – Pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion are obviously pretty standard burger toppings. For the standards all I can really say is slice them as thin as possible. They will stay on your burger better which will make your burger much easier to eat. As for other vegetables you can put on your burger… I guess, how many vegetables can you name? You can put just about any vegetable on a burger. Really, you can. Try adding coleslaw to your burger. Sliced green bell pepper will add a pleasant sweet crispness. Like anything, it all comes down to personal preference. Simply experiment, try new things and see what you like.

5. Condiments – Make your own condiments. It’s easy, it will blow peoples minds, and you have complete control over what goes in it and therefore how it tastes. Check the recipes section of this site for a few different condiment recipes. You can make ketchup out of almost anything. Mushrooms, bananas, red pepper, obviously tomatoes. You can also make relish out of almost anything. Corn relish, zucchini relish, fennel relish, onion relish, cucumber relish, etc. And mustard can be made in a million different ways using different liquids like beer, champagne, wine, bourbon, whatever. You can make mustard smooth or chunky. You can flavor it with fruit such as raspberries, or blueberries. You can even make it a bright yellow to dark brown. Mayonnaise can be flavoured with anything. Don’t believe me? Roasted tomato, roasted garlic, roasted pepper, roasted onion, sun dried tomato, bacon, lemon, lime, orange, chipolata, sriracha, Tabasco, ancho, wasabi, anchovy, dill, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, capers, green pepper corns, worchestershire, cumin, coriander, chili powder, saffron, horseradish, or even coffee make good flavourings for mayonnaise.

The over all point is to make something that looks good and tastes good. Play with textures, having a crisp vegetable on top of your burger will give it that nice crunch. Play with different flavours be it in the ground meat, the cheese, the vegetables, or the condiments. Have fun, play with your food, and get excited.

Come back next week  for my answers to..

Top 10 Food Questions From The Internet

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About Chef Benjamin Kelly

I have spent the last fifteen years cooking professionally and gaining an education in kitchens all across the country culminating in achieving my "Red Seal Cook" status. I have cooked for the governor general, a lieutenant governor, heads of major political parties, actors, musicians, professional athletes, and countless satisfied customers. Through all this the most important lessons I have learned are to be prepared and to keep it simple. My love of food comes from my mother. Some of the first and fondest memories I have are of cooking at my mothers side. She and I, would spend snowy winter days making tea biscuits and corn chowder, shepherd's pie, goulash, baked beans and oatmeal bread, or any number of other things. In the fall we would make pickles and preserves and forage for wild berries and mushrooms in the woods around our house. Our little farm supplied us with vegetables, herbs and meat in the form of chicken and turkey as well as their eggs. Most of the food we ate that we didn't grow came from other farms in our area, farmers who we knew by name. Growing up so close to where my food was coming from I gained a deep respect for the things we eat. That respect is something that I still carry with me. The lessons I learned at my mothers side, and on our little farm have stayed with me. I hold on to the memories, beliefs, and values. It is those things that have made me who I am today.
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2 Responses to Top 5 Ways To Change Your Burger Game Forever

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Things I Love To Cook on My Days Off | Chef's Notes

  2. Pingback: Salad Dressings 101 | Chef's Notes

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