Now, I’m a fan of burgers and you can’t beat a brilliantly made burger. But as much as I love them, I can neither afford nor handle the sheer number of calories on a frequent basis, (from favourites such as Patty & Bun and Honest Burgers.)
I often shy away from making them at home as they’re messy, drip fat everywhere, and make cleaning up a ridiculous chore. I’ll also refuse to buy them pre-made, as they’re always full of god-knows what, including most of the time, gluten.
However, since being sent this wonderful machine, also known as the Tefal OptiGrill, I’ve found just how simple they can be when you make them from scratch. With a huge array of settings for every type of meat, you can select the meat you’re cooking, and let the grill do all the work.
I prefer a medium cooked burger, but never seen to get it quite right. Sticking your head in a steaming grill every few minutes plays havoc with my contact lenses and is far from practical, leaving a layer of grease in the tray, that if you forget to clean, will leave a lovely burning smell every time you turn the grill on. Living in a shared house, you also can’t guarantee the person before has left the grill free of gluten; a necessity if you’re coeliac.
Once mixing the ingredients together in a bowl and moulding into burger shapes, you simply choose the burger setting on the grill, let it heat, add the burgers, close and wait. No need to keep checking, the grill will beep at each stage, telling you when your burger is rare, medium and well-done – something you can also follow on the dial to the side which changes colour. Simple.
When done, to clean, just let the grill cool, and remove the two plate, giving them a scrub in the sink (also dishwasher safe to save time).
I’ve loved using the machine, and can’t wait to try out all the different settings. Steak was particularly great. It’s almost impossible to get a steak to your liking when you fry it.
Anyway, here’s how to make those homemade burgers.
Homemade Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries & Grilled Corn
What you need:
500g lean mince meat
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp plain gluten free flour
2 medium sweet potatoes
3 x corn on the cob
Basil to serve
- To start, mix the lean mince with the finely chopped red onion, garlic, smoked paprika and gluten free flour. Whisk an egg in a cup, pour into the bowl, using your hands to mix thoroughly.
- Use your hands to create flat round burger shapes. The combination of the flour and egg will help the mixture to combine. Depending on how large you want your burgers choose a size that suits. I went for quite small, and the mixture made enough for roughly eight small burgers.
- Set the burgers aside and peel and slice the two sweet potatoes into thin chip shapes and add a dash of salt and smoked paprika. I used the chicken setting on the grill, as this would cook on a high temperature for longer. Check on your chips after 10-15 minutes, and grill with the lid shut until they start to crisp.
- Remove the fries from the OptiGrill, sprinkle with salt and then pop them into a low heated oven. This is more to keep them warm while you use the OptiGrill to cook your burgers. If you like your chips extra crispy, turn the oven up to around 200C.
- Spread your burgers across the OptiGrill and close the lid, making sure you choose the burger setting. Depending on how rare or well-cooked you like your burgers, listen out for the beeps and look at the colour on the dial to determine when you remove them, it’s very simple.
- Once cooked, add to a baking tray. Turn the oven off and add the burgers. Again, this is just to keep them warm while you grill your corn.
- Again I went for the chicken setting for the corn, turning every few minutes. This shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes to give the corn a nice grilled finish.
- Remove the fries and burgers from the oven, and the corn from the OptiGrill and serve.