August 25th marks the UK’s National Burger Day, on the Thursday just before the Summer Bank Holiday Weekend. Maybe you’ve booked the Friday off to give yourself a four-day weekend?
In any case, it’s perfect timing to fire up the barbecue, either Thursday evening or at the weekend, leaving you to spend the Monday recovering from a burger hangover.
If you’re planning on indulging that weekend, here are some burger ideas to get you going…
Why Burger Day?
National Burger Day was launched in 2013 by Mr Hyde, a daily email service aimed primarily at men that covered things like style tips, work out tips, culture, films and the best places to eat. Their aim was making life in London better.
After six years, Mr Hyde sadly closed their website, sending out their last ever email in the December of 2018, but their legacy lives on with Burger Day…
Originally created to help people find the best burger places in London and encourage them to offer money saving deals, Burger Day is now something that you can use as an excuse to enjoy burgers in your own home.
The origins of the hamburger are actually a bit of a mystery, with the country of origin being divided between Germany and the United States, specifically the city of Hamburg in Germany and its namesake, the town of Hamburg in New York.
Each location has a case for beginning the origin of the hamburger, with the first meat grinder being invented in the early 19th century by a German engineer, Karl Drais, who also invented many other things such as the earliest versions of the bicycle and a typewriter with a keyboard.
The Hamburg steak, a patty of ground beef was made popular worldwide by Germans who migrated to places like America. It became a mainstream dish at the start of the 19th century, similar to Salisbury steak. So you could argue from this that the hamburger does have German origins.
There are numerous debated stories of the hamburger’s invention in the US in the late 19th century. One of the most popular American origin stories has the Menches brothers using beef in their sandwiches when they ran out of sausages for their stall at the 1885 Erie County Fair. They then named the sandwiches after Hamburg, the town in New York that the fair took place in.
Hamburgers are something that is definitely associated with American culture, specifically cheeseburgers, which became popular in the 1920s. In fact, National Cheeseburger Day is celebrated in America on September 18th.
Thanks to restaurant chains, burgers gained popularity in the UK from the 1950s, and the popularity of the burger has spread worldwide today.
Burgers – Having it Your Way
Sure, there are a lot of chains and restaurants you can get a burger from – but why not make your own? Burgers are highly customisable foods, so by going homemade on a barbecue, you’ll have a lot more control.
You can have different types of bread for the buns, different meat, cheese, sauce and other toppings. So play around with what you like, or leave a variety of ingredients and sauces and let your barbecue guests create their own.
Before you start your shop for burger day essentials, here’s a list of ingredients and sauces you could try…
What You Can Use as Meat
- Vegan Meat
- American cheese slices
- Cheese sauce
- Blue Cheese
- Beef brisket
- Pulled pork
- Mushroom (can also be used as meat alternative)
- Cheese sauce
- Burger sauce
- Garlic and Herb
- White burger buns
- Sesame buns
- Cheese topped rolls
- Brioche buns
Other than the ingredient ideas listed above, there are plenty more combinations you can use. To help give you more of an idea of what you could create, let’s look at some recipes we already have on the website…
We have a few recipes for beef burgers on the site, which can be cooked to perfection on our Jupiter 4 Burner Hybird. First up is beef burgers with pimento cheese and grilled wedges, the leftover pimento cheese can be used as a spread for foods like crackers or celery.
For making monstrous burgers, we also have a recipe for loaded double cheeseburgers, though you may want to make single versions if you’re having a lot of guests… unless you buy a big batch of beef.
To enjoy beef burgers that are a little bit different, we also have this recipe for garlic mushroom beef burgers, with caramelised onions and thyme adding to a flavour explosion.
For even more of a change, try this black pudding burger with mustard mayo coleslaw.
Beef isn’t everyone’s thing, so make sure to give your guests more options. A burger is basically just a sandwich, so you don’t need to overthink it.
Grilled chicken makes a great alternative to beef for the meat eaters. We have a classic cheesy buffalo chicken sandwich or for extra flavour try our recipe for a chicken burger with spicy slaw and gochujang mayo.
For pescatarians you might want to make some fish burgers, we have a light and summery recipe for salmon burgers here. This grilled cod sandwich also makes a great alternative.
Halloumi is a popular option for those who don’t eat meat but still enjoy dairy. Romesco sauce is great for both fish and halloumi as you can see in this recipe for grilled halloumi sandwiches. If you want a halloumi burger with more packed into it, try this aubergine, halloumi and green sauce sandwich.
Besides buying a fake meat alternative such as Beyond meat patties, you can try this recipe for beetroot burgers. Beetroot is a superfood and popular in Australia, so give it a try some time.
Can you even have a barbecue without burgers? Whatever you decide to cook, have a great bank holiday. Remember to tag us using @outbackbbqs on Instagram, we can’t wait to see your creations.