23% of pub trips involve burgers

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Say cheese: Burgers are bought in almost a quarter of pub outings (Getty/ coldsnowstorm)
Say cheese: Burgers are bought in almost a quarter of pub outings (Getty/ coldsnowstorm)

Related tags Food Trends Lumina Intelligence Consumer spending Gastropub

Almost a quarter (23.15%) of times people ate out at pubs from November 2020 to January 2022 included burgers, data from Lumina Intelligence Eating and Drinking Out Panel has revealed.

The research was generated from a sample size of 3,693 occasions.

Director and executive chef at the Collab, Walthamstow, London, Paul Human, whose burgers are award winning, said the most important element was balance.

He said: “If you are using rich, salty beef then you must balance this heaviness with plenty of acid and sweetness. We use pickled red onion jam to achieve this in our signature burger ‘The Chairman’, along with plenty of pickled cucumbers, which we chop and mix through our burger sauce”.

James Duke-Evans, owner of the Beast of Brixton in London, said: "The chef's top tip is to use chicken thigh rather than breast as it's so much juicier so it holds its flavour and doesn't dry out when cooked. Marinating overnight in genuine Korean fry mix gives a much deeper flavour too."

The Beast of Brixton has recently launched a Funk & Seoul Korean Fried Chicken menu, on which there is a range of Korean fried chicken burgers.

The perfect burger

According to Heath Ball, operator of the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London, quality ingredients were key.

For Ball, whose pub placed 16th​ in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub list 2022, this included fresh buns. “There is nothing worse than stale buns. Toast the buns, as then they hold the relish and sauce better while also helps avoid soggy buns.

“Garnishes in the burger such as lettuce and onion need to be fresh, and you should also use quality fresh meat with a good fat to lean meat ratio.

“We use an 80% chuck steak with 20% fat ratio. Our butcher grinds our meat for us, and we make our own patties. We cook on a griddle so the fat caramelises on the meat and keeps it juicy”.

You should always season before cooking, and always cook to order, said Ball, and you should avoid using cold relishes that in turn make the burger cold.

Jumping on the burger bandwagon

Finally, Ball concluded, size matters. “It’s not a game of Jenga, ideally you want to be able to eat through the burger with one bite. This is so you can enjoy each component as the chef intended it”.

Jonathan McNeil, co-chef proprietors at the Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor, said: "At the Loch & the Tyne, we like to think fat is flavour. When making a burger, the fat content is key and picking the right fat content is the fun part. Personally, I like salted lardo as it adds seasoning too. A lot of chefs like to add wagyu fat but we like to be different.

"You need good quality beef - we use beef chuck, minced garlic, shallot and leftover sourdough from the restaurant, with an egg to bind. It’s super simple but, using good quality ingredients, it’s completely delicious.’

In recent news, St Austell Brewery has hopped onto the burger bandwagon with a £12 burger and beer deal at its west country pubs throughout the course of the Six Nations tournament.

The offer, which started on 5 February and will end on the tournament’s closing ‘Super Saturday’, 19 March, includes the brewery’s flagship beers Tribute, Korey and Guinness.

All burger meals, which are named after national competing teams, contain 40z beef burgers and lettuce inside a Baker Tom’s glazed bun, and arrive with a side of seasoned chips or fries.

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