Food & Recipes

Royal Chef Reveals How to Grill Up a ‘Perfect Burger’ Fit for a Queen

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The upcoming Fourth of July celebrations might be in honor of our country gaining independence from England, but it’s safe to say our relationship with the royals has softened over the years. And if there’s one thing we can all agree on from either side of the pond, it’s that burgers are a summer grilling staple.  

Former royal chef Darren McGrady is living proof of that. The Brit moved to Texas since 2001 and has clearly picked up on plenty of American food habits. In one of his most recent videos, McGrady walks us through his version of the “perfect burger” — and you’ll definitely want to take a bite out of it when you see the results.  

“A really good burger is 80 percent meat, 20 percent fat,” McGrady explains. He uses a mixture of sirloin and chuck. On its own, sirloin tends to be too dry, but the chuck adds “just the right amount” of fat. He also warns against mashing your seasoning all throughout the beef — that can make it cook up “claggy,” with a lumpy, sticky texture. 

Instead, he brushes a little oil on the surface of the flattened patties, then seasons with salt, pepper, English mustard powder, and his “secret ingredient,” celery seeds. The then brushes that with a bit more oil, places that side down on the grill, and seasons the other side as it starts to cook. Each side gets about three and a half to four minutes of cooking time. 

“Don’t be tempted to keep pressing on [the patties],” McGrady advises. “If you press down on them, you press out all the juices and fat and cause a flare up.” Not exactly the kind of fireworks you want to see while grilling! 

As for toppings, he caramalizes some onions, melts a little English stilton (similar to blue cheese) while the patties finish cooking, and layers them on toasted buns with mayonnaise, butter letuce, and heirloom tomatoes.  

Of course, McGrady couldn’t leave us hanging without spilling at least one story about his time with the royal family. Apparently, Prince Philip was quite the grillmaster! “He’d come into the kitchen and say, ‘Yeah, let’s take burgers out…’ He’d come up with new ideas and he loved to cook on the grill — he was an expert.” We can totally see that. 

Take a look below for McGrady’s full step-by-step guide to achieving the “perfect burger” and you might find yourself copying him while at the grill this weekend!

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