SUMMER SCHOOL: D’Arcy’s Guide to the Perfect Burger

Appetizing cheeseburger

For many people, the perfect companions on a hot summer day are a cool beverage and a grilled hamburger. It’s hard to argue: from ballparks to backyards– burgers are a fun way to liven up any meal with bold flavors, diverse tastes and so many variations you might never run out. Read on for D’Arcy’s guide to building a better burger!

LESSON #1: FAT IS GOOD
Yes, you read right: Fat. Is. Good. In fact, when it comes to burgers– fat is essential to creating a juicy, flavorful product. Overly lean ground meats become dry and flaky when prepared as burgers. Choose meats with at least 15-20% fat content to achieve a grill-worthy hamburger patty.
Tip: To produce burgers with varied, complex flavours– try blending different ground meats together or you can even attempt grinding your own meat! Want to try, but don’t know where to start? Ask a D’Arcy’s butcher for the best varieties and cuts.

LESSON #2: HANDS OFF
While many hamburger recipes suggest mixing thoroughly or even rolling the meat into perfect balls or patties– the true secret to a perfect burger is handling it as little as possible. When forming patties: keep your meat mixture cold, your hands slightly wet and shape your burgers quickly.
Tip: Forget about appearances… The prettiest burger isn’t always the most delicious!

LESSON #3: MORE THAN MEAT
Purists might consider it burger blasphemy, but adding ingredients or seasonings to your meat mixture is a great way to add fat, flavour and fun. A lot of recipes rarely vary from the standard meat patty (sometimes adding an egg, breadcrumbs or a dash of cracked pepper). The classic recipe is a delicious standard, but there are no rules when it comes to burgers! Diced onions, grated cheese, herbed butter, soya sauce, crushed chilis– these are only a tiny sample of the textures and flavours that will add a twist to your next hamburger patties.
Tip: Supplement a lean meat mixture with a mix-in that is higher in fat or bolder in flavour– adding diced anchovies to ground turkey patties, for example.

LESSON #4: MEAT MEETS HEAT
Start with a clean grill, oiled generously to prevent sticking and preheated (if you don’t have access to open flame, fry burgers gently in a wide, heavy pan). Salt your patties lightly on either side just before– salting the mixture too early can dry out your burgers– then space the burgers out generously on your cooking surface. Allow the heat to create a rich, well-browned crust on one side before flipping the patties. Cook to taste: medium should be springy to touch, whereas well-done will have very little give… When in doubt, use a meat thermometer!
Tip: There are two schools of thought on pressing your patties while cooking. Some say you lose precious, flavourful juices, while others maintain that a proper burger should be pressed down carefully to produce a caramelized crust on the “smashed” edges. Try both and discover your favourite!

At D’Arcy’s, our only rule about burgers is they have to taste good! Visit or contact us today— our friendly staff will work with you to build your perfect burger recipe. From crowd pleasing classics to gourmet gastronomics, D’Arcy’s has the freshest and most diverse meat available (we can even do special orders), so choose us for your next masterpiece between two buns!

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