Find out how to make the perfect hamburger with Tom Barton, co-founder of Honest Burgers. Tom shares his top tips as well as why you should always opt to use prime cuts of high-quality beef for the perfect taste and texture.
This classic hamburger step-by-step recipe is one of our favourite burger recipes (opens in new tab). This recipe serves seven people but can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many people you're feeding. Topped with Honest Burgers' amazing balsamic onion chutney, crunchy lettuce, and relish and served with mouth-watering homemade rosemary salted chips, this dish is a crowd pleaser.
In the video, Tom Barton (opens in new tab) explains that this recipe uses beef chuck and beef rib cap, and the ratios are around 80% to 20% rib. He recommends using these cuts of beef over mince meat, as when beef is minced it tends to squash a lot of the flavour and goodness out of your burgers. Whereas if you chop up your meat yourself, similar to steak tartare, it brings out more of the beef's natural flavours and has a fresher, less rubbery texture.
Preparation: Tom recommends finding the best quality beef of these particular cuts you could try heading to your local butchers. Equipment-wise, Tom uses a good cast iron frying pan with a flat bottom and smooth non-stick finish, to ensure that the burgers cook evenly and do not stick.
You will also need to make sure that you have a very sharp big knife to be able to cut up your steak into thin pieces to start and then you will have to dice them into small pieces so that you are able to mix the meat together easily in your mixing bowl and mold them into your burgers.
Tom Barton also uses a hamburger press (opens in new tab) in this recipe. However, if you don't have one of these, fear not, simply flatten your slider burgers (opens in new tab) down using your hands and use either a saucer or small bowl to create your perfect burger shapes. Once your burgers are made, it is essential that you leave them in the fridge for 4-6 hours, as if you cook them straight away your meat is not yet set together and will fall apart when cooked.
Another top tip from Tom is to try making your own homemade chips to go alongside these delicious burgers. Simply follow our easy chips recipe (opens in new tab) and leave the skin on to make them super crispy. It's up to you how you want to cook them, you can either put them into your deep-fat fryer or into your oven to cook. Once cooked, just top them with some crushed lemon zest, rosemary, and Maldon sea salt to elevate your chips and replicate the ultimate Honest Burger meal.
Watch how to make Honest Burgers signature hamburgers with Tom Barton
- 800g chuck steak
- 200g rib cap beef
- 7 glazed burger buns, sliced in half
- 1 little gem lettuce, shredded
- 4tbsp onion chutney
- Chips, to serve
How to make hamburgers
Finely chop the rib cap by slicing it into thin strips to begin with, about the width of a piece of bacon. Then dice each of these strips into small pieces. Finally go back over all of the meat with a sharp knife to get is finely chopped as you can.
Repeat the above process with the chuck steak, getting a nice fine dice on all of the meat.
With your hands mix both meats together in a large bowl, using the heat of your hands to melt the fat slightly.
Take a small ball of the meat and whack it between your hands to melt the fat further, and bring the burger together.
Put the ball of meat in between two pieces of greaseproof paper and press firmly with a burger press. Chill for a minimum of four hours.
Bring a heavy-based pan to a high heat and fry the burger on both sides for 3 minutes, for medium burgers. Season well before flipping, and then season the second side well too. Once ready leave to rest for five minutes.
Add lettuce to the bottom of each bun, top with the burger, then the onion relish. Serve with chips.
All you need to know about making hamburgers
How to make the perfect hamburgers
To make the best hamburgers, you have to make sure you have bought the highest quality beef and dice it as thin and small as you can. This is because when combined together, your patties should be an even mixture of lovely slow-cooking beef along with elements of juicy fatty parts of your rib cap too.
You also should make sure you season your burgers with salt and pepper on either side when on the frying pan. Tom suggests doing this while it is cooking, instead of seasoning your burgers whilst preparing them, as the salt will suck the moisture out of the meat and your burgers will then have a rubbery texture.
How to store cooked hamburgers
When storing cooked hamburgers, it is essential that your burgers are put into your fridge promptly after cooking and they should be left at room temperature for no more than 2 hours after cooking them.
As long as you follow this rule, you can store cooked hamburgers for up to 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer.
Simply just make sure to store your burgers in airtight containers or cover them well with cling film when keeping them in the fridge. If looking to freeze them, we suggest using freezer bags or airtight containers too.
How to reheat hamburgers
To reheat in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Put your hamburgers directly onto a baking tray.
- Heat the hamburgers on both sides-3 minutes each side.
To reheat in the air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer to 200°C.
- Add your hamburgers into your air fryer basket.
- Set your timer for three minutes to cook on one side.
- Flip the burger over and set for another two minutes.
- Using a spatula, remove the burgers from the air fryer and serve.
To reheat in the microwave:
- Place your hamburgers on a microwavable plate.
- Cover with a damp paper towel.
- On a medium/low setting, heat your hamburgers for two minutes.
- If you have a food thermometer, check that your hamburgers are around 75°C.
- If they are not quite done, return them to the microwave and do 60 seconds intervals until they reach the right temperature and are then ready to eat.
To reheat in the pan:
- Place a splash of water in a non-stick frying pan and heat the pan over medium heat for around sixty seconds.
- Add your hamburgers to a pan and make sure they are evenly spaced.
- Heat your hamburgers on 90 seconds each side.
- If you have a food thermometer, check that your hamburgers are 75°C.
- If they’re not quite done, return them to the pan for twenty seconds on either side and serve once ready.
Our best hamburger recipes
1. Blue cheese burger with rocket
These tasty hamburgers are topped tangy blue cheese and fresh rocket. The perfect burgers to impress family and friends.
Get the recipe: Blue cheese burger with rocket (opens in new tab)
2. Tom Kerridge's smoked pastrami burger
Packed full of flavour, these are great crowd pleasers and perfect to do on the BBQ.
Get the recipe: Smoked pastrami burger (opens in new tab)
3. Basil and mozzarella cheeseburger
These burgers are great alternative to your traditional burgers. With an Italian twist, we are sure all the family will love them.
Get the recipe: Basil and mozzarella cheeseburger (opens in new tab)
4. Slider burgers
These juicy mini cheeseburgers served in small buns are giving us ultimate McDonalds vibe right now. Perfect for kids parties.
Get the recipe: Slider burgers (opens in new tab)
5. Slimming World's burger and chips
These guilt-free burgers and homemade chips make the perfect midweek meal for all the family to enjoy.
Get the recipe: Slimming World's burger and chips (opens in new tab)
Tom Barton, co-founder of Honest Burgers founded the business with university friend Phillip Eeles. The pair found themselves not wanting to end up in 9-5 jobs in London and instead wanted to pave their way in the London restaurant industry. So, in 2011 they started off making burgers for events and festivals and grabbed at the opportunity to open their first restaurant in Brixton in 2011. Now with 22 branches across London and parts of the UK, Honest Burgers is a recognised restaurant chain that is known for serving its customers quality meat burgers along with delicious homemade chips, relish, pickles and much more.
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Christina Geggus is Junior Food Writer at Goodto.com and enjoys writing about lifestyle, food, and recipes. After completing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University and her undergraduate degree in Communication & Society and Global Studies alongside receiving an NCTJ diploma, Christina has always set her sights on a career in journalism.
- Rosie ConroyFood Writer