| Inspiration | Top tips for Burger Thursday, with Chef MacLean Fraser
Top tips for Burger Thursday, with Chef MacLean Fraser
We lift the lid and get all the best chef tips on how to make the best burger at home. We chatted to 2023 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chef and judge from Wellington on a Plate Burger competition, MacLean Fraser about what he looks for in a burger to ensure they’re top notch at home!
- What makes a great burger patty – is it the grind, fat content, flavourings or keeping it simple?
What makes a good burger patty is starting with good quality ingredients and keeping it simple and letting the meat be the hero. I prefer a coarse grind so that when you eat the burger you can feel some texture and know you're eating meat. Fat is flavour so having a good fat content is important for both flavour and moisture retention, my preference is for a 15-20% fat to meat ratio.
- Is it better to use beef or lamb mince?
Both are good, I love both beef and lamb burgers and have their own flavour so depending on which one you use would also dictate what accompaniments go best in each burger.
- How important is the bun? i.e. brioche or standard – toasted or untoasted
My preference is for a soft bun so that it is easy to eat, you don't want to be fighting with the bun and have the fillings all falling out. Definitely warmed and toasted so that you can have lots of sauce without the bun going soggy.
- Pickle or no pickle
A burger doesn't have to have pickles but I love some sort of pickle in my burger. It's a nice way of adding texture with a bit of crunch and having something acidic also helps cut through and balance out any delicious fattiness.
- Spicy or herbed
I'd probably go spicy but totally personal preference.
- If cheese is involved where do you stack the cheese?
I like cheese in my burgers and you've got to have it melted. To ensure you get a nice melted cheese place it on top of the burger patty for the last minute or two of cooking.
- Anything else you can think of that would make a burger stand out to you.
I tried some exceptional burgers when judging the finalists for WOAP burger welly and they ranged from the very simple but executed perfectly to the elaborate. Yet all had a consistent theme with consistency, well thought-out flavour profiles and used high quality ingredients.
You can't beat good classic Kiwi Beef or Lamb Burger with some pickled beetroot and a fried egg and that's what I'll most likely be cooking when I fire up the barbecue this summer.
For all your burger inspiration, head to Burger Thursday.
Posted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand