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Eight best barbecue burger recipes

8 of the best barbecue burger recipes

by Great British Chefs 13 July 2018

Burgers are a firm favourite at any time of year, but there’s nothing quite like a good burger that has gone straight into a bun from a raging hot barbecue. Here are our favourite burger recipes to take your barbecue game to the next level.


Rich, fatty beef, a slab of melted cheese, a sharp pickle to cut through and a toasted bun to wrap things up – burgers might just be the ultimate crowd pleaser. Although we tend to default to a beef burger as described above, burgers are actually incredibly versatile – you can make a burger patty out of almost anything, from fish and meat to vegetables, pulses and even tofu.

Burgers are perfectly acceptable when cooked in the oven or under a grill, but like most things, they really come into their own when cooked over a barbecue, as the smoke mingles with the fat, infusing the patty with extra flavour. So, what are the keys to a good barbecued burger? First of all, make sure your patties have been well chilled in the fridge before you cook – this will help them keep their shape on the barbecue and stop them from falling apart. Secondly, try not to press down on the burger at all during cooking! We know it’s tempting, but the barbecue should be more than hot enough to create those all-important bar marks, and as you press down you will squeeze moisture out of the burger, making it dry.

You can check out our whole collection of burger recipes by clicking on the link, or scroll down for a few ideas specially chosen for the barbecue.

1. Homemade beef burger with Stilton rarebit, burger sauce and chunky chips

Burgers are versatile little things, sure, but sometimes there’s no need to mess with a classic. Matthew Tomkinson’s beef burger has lots of nice little touches – a homemade stilton rarebit, burger sauce and chunky chips on the side – but his beef patty is the crown jewel of this recipe. He mixes his beef mince with Worcestershire sauce, anchovy sauce, garlic, onion and parsley before shaping his patties and chilling them to firm up. Get them onto a raging hot barbecue to get some colour on either side, and finish them over indirect heat for a bit of extra smoke. The perfect beef burger.

2. Lamb burger with courgette fries

Francesco Mazzei’s gorgeous lamb burger is perfect for a hot day around the barbecue. His patty is a mixture of lamb and pork mince, mixed with parsley, shallot, mint and seasoning, before being barbecued and adorned with slices of pancetta and Caciocavallo cheese. You can use the hot coals to roast your aubergine too, before blending into an aubergine purée which you can slather over your toasted burger bun. The result is rich, fatty and luxurious – exactly as a lamb burger should be.

3. Venison burger with homemade chips

Venison’s rich, gamey flavour holds up really well alongside a whole host of different flavours, and makes it a good, lean alternative to beef. Josh Eggleton makes his burger with coriander, parsley, cumin, garlic and onion, quick-pickling cucumber slices as garnish. His double-cooked chips are straightforward and delicious, and easy to make whilst your patties are chilling in the fridge. Finish your burgers on the barbecue, and serve in a nice toasted bun.

4. Green lentil, potato and mushroom burgers

Veggie burgers can be very hit or miss, so why not make your own instead? Jacqueline Meldrum’s vegan burgers eschew eggs in favour of potatoes, lentils and oats to help bind the patty together. They’re simple to make too; just cook your lentils and mushrooms, then blitz, mash all the ingredients together and shape into patties in the fridge before charring them on the barbecue. Because the filling doesn’t need to be cooked, you can have these as raw or cooked through as you like, before popping them in a toasted brioche bun and serving with your choice of condiments.

5. Hand-chopped rump steak burger with peppered bone marrow

Richard Corrigan’s rump steak and peppered bone marrow recipe is about as decadent a burger as you’ll find anywhere. Chopping the steak by hand gives your burger a little more texture, and you can mix in any leftover bone marrow as well as onion and marjoram before chilling in the fridge. As for the bone marrow itself, this is a very simple and delicious way of preparing it – just chill it in the fridge, then slice it into rounds and dust each one with cracked black pepper before caramelising quickly in a hot pan. Richard toasts his burger bun in the pan too, before filling with the rump steak, bone marrow and a lick of mayonnaise.

6. Mini teriyaki pork burgers

Nisha Thomas makes her pork burgers with a decidedly Asian influence – making the patties with a base of garlic, ginger and spring onion, and pairing them with a teriyaki glaze and sriracha mayonnaise – but this recipe is a great blueprint for you to make whatever pork burger you fancy. She mixes her mince with the rest of her ingredients and leaves the whole lot to marinate for an hour, before shaping, chilling and finishing on a hot barbecue. It really is as simple as that.

7. Grilled mushrooms with rosemary, garlic and soy butter

Not strictly a burger, but certainly more than welcome inside a bap, Ben Tish’s grilled mushrooms are a super-simple vegetarian barbecue alternative. He takes meaty mushrooms – king oyster, portobello or porcini – and leaves them in a marinade of dark soy sauce, garlic and rosemary before patting them dry and sticking them on the barbecue. After five minutes of direct cooking the mushrooms should be nearly cooked through – Ben finishes them on the indirect side of the barbecue with extra butter before serving.

8. Barbecued ox heart sandwich

It might seem intimidating, but ox heart is delicious, cheap and not all that difficult to deal with on a barbecue. Yes, you’ll need to order in in advance from your butcher, and it’ll need some trimming up to get rid of any bits of fat or gristle, but you’re left with a beautiful piece of meat that’s almost indistinguishable from steak. Helen Graves cooks her ox heart hot and fast over coals, and stuffs the slices in a sandwich with a punchy salsa verde for maximum impact.

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