There are three secrets, in my opinion, to making tasty and moist burgers and I’m always more than happy to share.
The first is using a mixture of lean minced beef and minced pork, I use lean beef because of the flavour it adds to my burgers however, because of the low fat content, I mix it in with minced pork. As the minced pork cooks, its fat content keeps my burgers moist and tender. The difference is remarkable and I only ever cook burgers this way. Also by adding finely chopped onions, bacon and mushrooms, as these cook inside my burgers their natural juices also add moisture and flavour.
The second, most obviously for me, is to cook burgers on a BBQ. My ceramic BBQ , a Kamado Joe, is built to keep the moisture inside your food. Using lump charcoal adds a natural wood charcoal flavour and, by adding wood chips, you can intensify the wood flavour even more.
The third is the type of burger bun, I love to cook my own buns because burger buns in the shop are very dry and tasteless. My burger buns are more of a brioche which means they are sweeter, softer and more moist – it really makes a difference.
Finely chop the bacon, mushrooms and onion and mix thoroughly into the meat with the breadcrumbs, mustard and egg. Add seasoning at this point.
I typically make about 8 ¼lb burgers from this mix and I usually use a burger press to get approx the same size and thickness.
Not only does this look better but it means the cooking times are the same for all the burgers.
Using the direct method, once the Kamado Joe has reached approx 350/400F (always lightly oil your grill prevents the burgers from sticking), place the burgers on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes each side. This will give you a medium rare burger; you can cook it for longer just remember to cook each side evenly. Remember to leave your burgers to rest for a while and then build up your burger with your favorite condiments, I’m currently into my mayo/ketchup/finely chopped cornichon and chilli.
Recipe: Mix together and shape either by hand or with a burger press 450g minced lean beef; 450g minced pork; 3 finely chopped rashers smoky bacon; 2 finely chopped medium chestnut mushrooms; ½ red onion finely chopped; 2 slices worth of bread crumbed brioche ( normally my home made brioche, white bread will do) ;1 free range egg;1 tsp French Dijon mustard; salt & pepper.