The Secrets of a Perfect Burger From Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Other Top Chefs

Sometimes, all it takes is a major cupboard raid.

The quest to cook the perfect burger is something that preoccupies any self-respecting BBQ-er come summertime.

Whether you like crispy bacon on top or love-loathe pickles is all a matter of preference, of course. But blue cheese and brioche bun aside, how can you experiment with the basic components of a classic beef burger to find exactly what you like?

There's always room for improvement, and who better to help you than some of the world's top chefs.

Mark Hix on championing meat

Former Esquire columnist Mark Hix has made a name for himself running some of London's best restaurants, where a hallmark has always been using the best quality meat. As such it's no surprise that his perfect burger recipe focuses on an excellent standard of beef. He recommends "1.4-kg good-quality minced rib or chuck steak, with 20 to 30 percent fat." That way you really taste the quality of the meat while the fat content keeps the burger succulent rather than dry.


Gordon Ramsay says raid your condiments cupboard.

The sweariest chef on TV surprised Kitchen Nightmares contestants when he revealed the stars of perfect burger recipe were condiments you've probably already got lying around. To make the patty mixture, add 1 tablespoon ketchup and 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, tabasco, and Worcester sauce to the beef mince and seasoning. A simple way to add spice and depth of flavor to your meat without complicated ingredients.

Richard Turner dials up the extras.

As the executive chef behind meaty marvels like Meatopia, Hawksmoor, Blacklock, and Pitt Cue Co, Richard turner knows a thing or to about meat. We all fell for his Hawksmoor burger back in 2009 and have been eating it since. The secret to it? "At Hawksmoor we use 40g to 90g of bone marrow, which helps to create a rich, unctuous texture" he says. "If you can't bear using bone marrow, then you need to select cuts that naturally have about 20 percent fat, such as chuck or short rib."

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Jamie Oliver keeps it together.

The naked chef is a stickler when it comes to practical recipes that work every time. His classic burger recipe is no exception, and as such he advises you to add one beaten raw egg to the patty mixture. The egg binds the mixture together nicely when cooking so your burgers retain a good shape. Easy to eat, and the yolk gives a nice rich flavor.

Heston Blumenthal gets scientific.

Leave it to food forensic Heston to get uptight about the science of how you cook a burger. The British gastronomist even dedicated an entire show to searching America for the perfect patty. His conclusion? Grinding cubes of sirloin steak, refrigerating and grinding again while "trying to keep the grain of the individual strands running lengthwise in the same direction without getting tangled together." The full guide is here, if you're up to the challenge.


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* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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