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Essential Components for Magnificent Burgers.

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January 17, 2017

Essential Components for Magnificent Burgers.

So what makes a good burger? It’s a combination of components.

The Protein

Firstly the protein. Meat, poultry or seafood. It has to have substance in the texture as well as flavour department. A soggy thin patty doesn’t cut the mustard. We use simply coarsely minced chuck steak in our beefburgers. This gives a super-beefy taste as well as a slightly chewy texture. And boy is it juicy. Fish fillets should be crispy fried and chicken breast medallions not overcooked. I had an amazing burger in a cafe once where the main star was golden crumbed cauliflower cheese!

The Bun.

None of this lacklustre commercial white bread with sesame seeds on! A soft fluffy brioche with a hint of sweetness balancing out the savoury meat is my fave. Others prefer a firmer bagel or perhaps a nutty brown number. Depending on the shape of the filling (think pork belly burger) a Turkish Bun may fit the bill, especially with its Nigella (Kolongi) seed topping sprinkle. Depending on the filling, match flavours for the best result. Toast the cut side of the buns brushed with a little olive oil on the BBQ for extra texture and smoky flavour.

The Sauce.

Mayonnaise, Ailoi or something creamy. That may do you. But a spiky component of perhaps a sweet chilli tomato relish or Indian style chilli chutney is a winner for me with the mayo. Try to go beyond Ketchup or HP….there’s plenty out there on the shelves if you don’t want to make your own.


Some like them. And some dislike them! Pickling is back in vogue though….so you may approve of some quick pickled vegetables that can be simply soaked in a vinegar / salt / sugar solution. Wafer thin sliced radish, carrot or cucumber ribbons all work beautifully.


Ideally you’d be looking for a crunch in this component. Iceberg lettuce causes construction issues for me. But if you are ok with this slippery blighter then go for it but shred it thinly and in short lengths! I love Goldilocks grated raw beetroot, not fine, not coarse but just right. It’s a touch more exciting than carrot but beware the colour change in coleslaw when mixing beetroot with cabbage and mayo. Unless you adore pink that is. Coleslaw is awesome in burgers as there are so many variants.

Raw vegetables rock. A combination such as green apple, white cabbage and fennel all finely sliced pulled together with a whole egg mayonnaise is a beautiful thing.

My family have disowned me at burger joints…..I have to sit on another table. I really get into eating burgers with my hands, but there is obviously a skill to this and I haven’t got it. The clothes I choose when I go out to eat burgers is of utmost importance. It’s essential I wear a short sleeved top, otherwise saucy bits run down my arms to my elbows and make my clothes sticky.

For me the fun of eating a burger is similar to a donut – no licking of lips until it’s finished! Oooohhhh messy!

2 Comment(s) Tracey's Musings

  1. Carolyn

    Thanks Tracey,,
    Your blurb of the best burgers is a big winner with the males in my house. When I say burgers for tea, they come running. We enjoy them made with lamb mince with a lemon mayo, add in a greek stlye salad with sqishy fetta that becomes saucey on top and definately good bread is essential. We go for good Italian Ciabatta buns but these aren’t always easy to find. Must have a go at making pickles this year.
    Buon anno!

    • Tracey

      My pleasure Carolyn. Burgers are such fun to make…and to eat. Your Greek version sounds delish.

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Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

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Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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