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Make Your Own Epic Burger Adventure

Make Your Own Epic Burger Adventure

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A burger slideshow like you've never seen one before, where YOU become the epic burger-making hero.

If you grew up in the 80's and you were a big reader (and a big nerd) you remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure in the back of the car, the series of books where you made choices to determine how the story would go.

"Your best friend Ben has been in India for a short trip, working on an article about Kali worshippers" they'd start out. "Three days ago, he vanished. The only clues you have are scary dreams where Ben is killed in a ceremony presided over by aliens on the lost island of Atlantis. You must find him before the universe explodes! What should you do next?"

Ben wasn't very smart, was he? Shouldn't Ben have known better than to go spelunking with Kali aliens? Didn't he see Temple of Doom? There should have been an adventure about a world made out of food, or even just going down to the corner grocery store, or visiting Pat LaFrieda. Wait! Now there's an idea!

That's right folks, this marks a new era in burger slideshow formats on The Daily Meal. We love a good slideshow as much as anyone, but we're looking to do things a little differently. So come on kids, let's go on a choose your own amazing burger adventure! Where YOU become the epic burger-making hero. And there are recipes along the way!

"Your friend Chef Chuck Sirloin has an unlimited supply of the best beef in the world. He needs someone to help him figure out all the amazing burgers he can make with it. Toppings, bread choice, icons reinterpreted, extreme burger eating, these are the only limitations. What burger should you make next?! Choose fast, or the burger's gonna be overcooked!"

We hope for this first installment to just be the beginning. Check in regularly for new burger storylines!

To embark on your epic burger adventure, click here.

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's Eat/Dine editor. Read more articles by Arthur, reach him by email, or click here to follow Arthur on Twitter. Additional contributions by Yasmin Fahr.

This post was originally published in April 2015 – it has been retested, rephotographed, rewritten, and republished (to make it better for you!) in January 2019.

I do most of the cooking in our house but when it comes to homemade burgers I am given my marching orders.

I've made burger patties before, and they're ok I guess, but when Josh gets in the kitchen and makes a burger, I'm telling you, it's like no other burger you will ever eat.

This is a big call, but I'm making it. Josh makes the BEST burger patties around. And I've eaten a lot of burgers.

And guess what - he let me take photos and tell you about it! Today is the best day ever.

I'd never even watched him make the patties before. And I'll admit, even as I was watching I was thinking. hmmm, that is not how I would do it. I take it back. I take it all back. If I ever have to make a burger again (and I hope Josh always makes them for me) this is exactly how I will do them. And how you should too.

Click here to pin this post to your easy dinners recipes board on Pinterest to save it for later

There are a couple of little tricks that Josh uses when he makes burgers. One is to combine all the ingredients except for the mince first. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and whisk up. Add the breadcrumbs, mixed herbs, beef stock cube (don't leave this out. I'm pretty sure it's the secret ingredient) crushed garlic and a squeeze of BBQ sauce and mix that all up.

Then add your mince and get in there with your hands and mix it all together. Split the mixture into 4 and shape into patties. It's important to note that normal people might make 6 patties out of this much mince but Josh likes to make man patties so we get 4 jumbo patties out of it. Big is good! If you are making your own burger buns, use this recipe and make it into 6 buns instead of 8 - this will get you the right sized bun for the burger.

Coat them lightly in flour and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Josh tells me they hold together much better this way and apparently they stay juicier when you cook them! I would definitely agree with that.

Once they've been in the freezer, take them out and put em in the frypan. Fry for about 7-8 minutes on either side until they are cooked through. TIP. cover the pan with a lid and they will cook through better.

And make the most epic burger ever!

No other burger will ever compare.

Try making your own Hamburger Buns for an even better burger!

Made this? Tag me on Instagram @thekiwicountrygirl and hashtag it #thekiwicountrygirl.

We all had our favourite takeaway burgers growing up. There was a real magic to those early, exotic trips to the burger bar, and whether it was the Wimpy Burger, the Whopper, or the Big Mac, sauce was crucial. I reckon that the best burger sauce is nicely (but not too) thick, creamy, tangy and has just the right amount of heat. I love a slightly spicy burger sauce, just like they serve with a Big Mac and in the higher-end burger joints and gastro pubs.

They are all remarkably similar, and a copycat version can be made in just a few minutes from everyday ingredients, so forget about buying all those branded products. Just whip up your own homemade burger sauce, adjusted perfectly to suit to your own taste, and tuck in.

I like a smooth burger sauce with a little bit of heat, but if you want some texture and extra heat then you can have it, with a few simple additions.

Recreate Original McDonald's Menu Items at Home

We've shown you a few copycat McDonald's recipes over the years (from the McRib to those addictive french fries ) and even cooking videos from McDonald's itself . But if youɽ like to try out classic McDonald's foods from menus going back to the 50's to 70's, this 32-page recipe and cooking guide is for you.

Make Your Own McDonalds McRib, Avoid the Two Year Wait

If you're unhappy with the once-every-few-years availability of McDonalds' McRib sandwich, you can…

In it, you'll learn how to make the original hamburger from 1948, as well as Chicken McNuggets and the Filet-O-Fish (plus tartar sauce). The PDF guide is chock-full of great tips too, like how to use McDonald's "Q-ing" method to make flavors meld:

1. Place wrapped hamburger in your pre-heated oven. (remember. oven is just barely on warm) Keep them in there about 8-10 minutes. Hey! That's enough time to cook another batch. (if you do cook another batch while these are "aging properly", scrape the black stuff and burnt onions to the side before beginning)

Important note: Some ovens get too hot even on low, and this may dry out your burger. If they seem dry try the alternative "Q-ing" method below.

2. An alternate "Q-ing" method would be to wrap the sandwich tightly in wax paper, let sit for 5 minutes, andmicrowave on high for 15 seconds (while still wrapped) This will complete the "Q-ing" process without overmicrowaving them like they do now. In fact, they almost taste better this way. In fact, you can use this method on ALL of the burger recipes on this site, with the exception of the McD.L.T

The original source of this document appears to be a former Geocities user named XAM2001, who appears to be a McDonald's insider from back in the day, as the DIY guide includes sentences like "this is how we used to do it."

Download the PDF to wax nostalgic yourself or get your fast food fix at home.

10 burger sauces you can make in minutes

Bored of plain old mayo? Ketchup bottle unexpectedly empty? Don’t despair – dollop something deliciously different on your burger instead. All these recipes serve four and can be easily doubled if you’re feeding a crowd.

Watch our video for easiest ever burger sauces:

Our top 10 quick burger sauces

Stir together 3 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp ketchup, 25g finely chopped cornichons and 1 tbsp American mustard (we used French’s).

Try with our American-style cheeseburger recipe.

Fry 100g smoked bacon lardons until very crispy. Turn down the heat, then stir in 3 tbsp red onion marmalade and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Cook for another minute or until glossy and well combined. Leave to cool a little before serving.

Put 125ml beer (Belgian blonde style is best) in a pan with 1 tbsp flour and 10g butter. Whisk until the butter melts and the mixture starts bubbling. Whisk for a couple more mins until just thickened, then add 25g grated cheese and 1/4 tsp marmite. Stir well until the cheese has melted.

Put 125ml milk in a pan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp flour and 10g butter. Whisk until the butter melts and starts boiling. Whisk for a couple of mins, just until thickened then add 25g grated cheese and 25g chopped pickled jalapeno chillies.

Mix 1 crushed clove garlic with 2-3 tsp harissa paste, then fold through 150g yogurt to create a ripple effect.

Crumble 50g blue cheese in a bowl, then fold in 3 tbsp mayonnaise.

Crumble 100g feta cheese in a bowl then mix in 2 tbsp chipotle paste. Mash with a fork until well combined.

Combine 1/2 small bunch fresh tarragon, chopped, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 small finely chopped shallot and 75g mayonnaise.

Combine 2 tbsp Dijon mustard with 4 tbsp crème fraiche. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whizz up 2 egg yolks and 1 tsp Dijon mustard in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk. Keep the beaters running in the mixture while you drizzle in 160g sunflower oil and 2 tbsp truffle oil. Once smooth, stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1-2 tsp warm water. Stir in 1 sliced black summer truffle and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Still after inspiration? We’ve got plenty more to sink your teeth into…

What is your favourite sauce for burgers? Do you have a tried-and-tested recipe to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Why does the “reverse sear” work?

I know the whole process sounds bass ackwards, I know that Dad told you to sear the burgers at the beginning, but searing does not hold in moisture. In fact it squeezes out moisture, a fact that has been demonstrated in labs. Moreover, if you try to sear a cold burger the exterior has to go from 40°F fridge temp to about 300°F at which temp the Maillard reaction really kicks in and browning occurs rapidly. That’s a distance of 260°F. By the time the exterior is right, the interior is overcooked.

But if you cook the burger low and slow it will lose very little moisture, warm evenly from top to bottom, and then when you move it to high heat, you only need to bring the mass of meat from 120°F to 300°F, a distance of only 180°F. Searing happens faster, there is less moisture loss, less heat transmission to the center, and a much better burger. Click here to learn more about reverse sear and why it works for almost everything cooked on a grill.

Before you start, please take a few minutes and read these articles and watch the video:

A note about safety and proper cooking of burgers

Undercooked ground meat and sausage can kill. It can happen to you or a loved one. It is primarily a problem in ground meats, not steaks. I urge you to click this link to read more about dangerous pathogens in burgers and other ground meats and how to prevent food-borne illness. If you see pink ground meat on this website, it is meat I have pasteurized as described in the above link and the video.

Best chicken burger recipes

We have plenty of chicken burgers that take less than half an hour to cook, making them the perfect meal after a long day at work. From low calorie chicken burgers to spicy chicken burgers, take a look at our quick and easy ideas.


Curried chicken burgers

Turn a simple chicken burger into something far more exciting with madras-flavoured patties, mango chutney and crunchy red cabbage.

Low calorie chicken burgers with pickled red cabbage

Take a break from your American-style burger with this healthy Asian-inspired alternative. Serve the chicken burgers on lettuce leaves instead of buns to reduce calories. If you want to add an extra twist to this spicy chicken burger recipe, place some pickled red cabbage on the side for an extra kick.

Churrasco chicken burgers

These churrasco chicken burgers make the perfect midweek meal given they only take half an hour to prepare. Marinade the chicken breasts in orange, peri peri, sugar, oil and seasoning to ensure the meat is as flavour-packed as possible. To pack even more into this quick meal for two, stack coleslaw inside the burger buns.

Butchie's buttermilk fried chicken sandwich

This chicken sandwich recipe is perfect for a family of four looking for an easy weekend meal. Get the best results by marinating the chicken breasts overnight in buttermilk. To add a personal touch, place lettuce, gherkins and streaky bacon inside the burgers so that they suit the taste buds of everybody in the family.

Greek chicken burgers

Looking for something that takes only twenty minutes to make? This speedy Greek chicken burger recipe is the perfect meal for anyone trying to be healthier, as it comes to under 500 calories. All the ingredients needed to make this low calorie chicken burger can usually be found in your cupboard, making it a simple dish to try out.

Lime and chilli chicken sandwich with Greek yoghurt guacamole

This quick sandwich for one only takes twenty minutes to make once the chicken breasts are marinated for half an hour. After leaving the chicken in lime-chill marinate, cook the chicken in a griddle pan. Then pop the chicken in a bun along with guacamole, lettuce and tomato to pack in more flavour.

Olive fried chicken sandwich

Our own olive burger is sure to go down a treat with yourself or your family. Leave the chicken to marinate in buttermilk overnight, or at least for a few hours, before frying. Prepare the spice flour mix which can be used to fry the burger. Then add gherkins in the bun to give this unique and sumptuous burger a classic touch.

Tex-Mex chicken burgers with guacamole

This healthy Mexican chicken burger is a great way to wow family and friends in under thirty minutes. Add homemade fresh avocado, chilli and coriander to tickle the taste buds of your guests. For people that enjoy spice, be sure to serve Tabasco with the burger to pack extra heat.

Chicken parm burgers

If you love breaded chicken, then you'll love our chicken parmesan burgers. These simple delights take under an hour to make and can be filled with oozing mozeralla and fresh rocket. So, not only will they put a smile on your face because they are quick to cook, but also because they are full of flavour.

Simple buttermilk chicken burgers with slaw

This simple burger will go down a treat with family and friends and is the perfect weekend meal. Soak the chicken in buttermilk for a few hours to tenderise the meat. Then, make your own slaw before cooking the chicken. Put the chicken and slaw together in a bun for a guaranteed flavoursome meal.

25 Backyard Camping Ideas That'll Make You Feel Like You're in the Great Outdoors

We're all dreaming of an epic summer vacation right now. At the same time, you and your family may be feeling like it's an impossible time to get away. But don't despair&mdashif you can't hit the open road for your annual beach getaway or car camping trip, the next best option is to simply open your back door.

That's right&mdashturning your backyard into your own personal campsite is a fun and pretty easy way to experience the great outdoors without packing the car and the bags and (perhaps the best perk of all) no one will ask, "Are we there yet?" (Another bonus: indoor bathrooms. Are you sold yet?) Create a backyard camp by pitching a tent, setting up the best camping chairs around a fire or one of these best camping stoves, and cook up some delicious campfire recipes (s'mores are a must-have sweet treat while telling spooky stories!). And if bugs are a problem in your backyard, don't forget the best bug zappers that really work!

These 25 backyard camping ideas will make your summer staycation a fun family memory&mdashand maybe even a tradition&mdashfor years to come.

You can go two ways here: Grab your best camping tent from the garage and pop it open, or get crafty and create a teepee for the kids.

Camping&mdasheven in the backyard&mdashcalls for a fire (you can't have s'mores without it, right?). To keep it contained safely, a sturdy flagstone firepit will keep the family warm and on a sugar high all night long.

Next-level the regular s'mores trio of ingredients&mdashgraham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate square&mdashwith these exciting combinations. We'll have one of each! Try these campfire dessert treats for a change of pace.

For a fun camping activity, take the kids on a backyard scavenger hunt. Write the names of insects, flowers, and trees on paper bags, and let them make a run for it. Collect each specimen in the bags.

Add a sense of history to the campfire with a vintage thermos filled to the brim with delicious hot cocoa.

Sure, you could bring board games and cards outside, but if you're in your backyard anyway, why not break out some fun lawn games? All ages will enjoy a game of corn hole, washer toss, badminton, Frisbee, giant Jenga, croquet, and more.

Ketchup and mustard are classic, but if you have adventurous campers in your crew, add some creative toppings to those buns.

Simple string lights add a magical touch to backyard camping. Hang strands of lights from four poles&mdashmapping out your campsite&mdashor hang them inside your backyard tent. Check out backyard string light ideas for fun ways to light up your space all year long.

For a refreshing adult beverage, try the Bee's Knees Shandy, featuring lemon juice, gin, and beer. Use a lager, pilsner, or any other beer you like.

If the kids are old enough for some spooky fun, gather 'round the fire and see who can tell the best ghost story.

Save the bloodsuckers for scary campfire stories. Sage, mint, and lavender come together for an all-natural, non-toxic way to repel pesky mosquitoes&mdashmeaning no one will be itching to leave the backyard campsite.

Get the tutorial at Tilly's Nest.

For an elevated take on classic grilled burgers, try a crowd-pleasing sweet-and-savory pork burger with summer peaches and goat cheese.

We get it&mdashnot every family can be the von Trapps, but that's okay. Make a list of your family's favorite tunes, grab the guitar or ukulele, and use some spoons or pots and pans to keep the beat. Bonus points if there's a harmonica player in the fam!

So long, microwave. Your campfire is perfect for making popcorn the old-fashioned way.

Turn an old white bedsheet or a canvas drop cloth into the big screen for an outdoor movie night. Spread out blankets, throw pillows in front of the tent, and start the show with camp-themed movies like Troop Beverly Hills, The Parent Trap, or one of these classic kids' movies.

If you're in your backyard already, might as well cook up the best grilling recipes for dinner. Try these delicious bourbon BBQ glazed pork chops your family will love.

Become a firefly phenom with a simple keychain flashlight, a Mason jar, and some DIY catchers. But remember: Once the light show is over, it's time for the fireflies to return to the wild.

Get the tutorial at Positively Splendid.

We all love a traditional s'more, but if you're looking to mix it up, try this Cracker Jack and Pretzel Treats recipe. It makes for the ideal fireside snack&mdashespecially since your kitchen is only steps away.

When it comes to backyard camping ideas, why not play some family-friendly games like corn hole, washer toss, or a homemade ring toss game? If you don't have bowling pins handy, buy six small butternut squashes from the grocery store. Wrap them with washi tape in varying the colors. For the competitive crew, assign value and prizes.

One perk of backyard camping is that you can actually take advantage of the kitchen inside. Pack a plate and wrap it up with a bandana for safe passage to the yard. Bonus: The bandana also doubles as napkin.

What do you get when you combine chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallows, and Golden Grahams? One delicious trail mix variation (that can also double as dessert). These S'mores Muddy Buddies will be gone in no time, so make a double batch.

Get the recipe at Like Mother Like Daughter.

After you do a little research on stock tank pools, get your own for your backyard and fill 'er up. It's great to have a cool dip in before dinner, or create a fun experience for bath time.

End your backyard camping fun on a delicious note, and serve these BBQ pulled pork breakfast sandwiches that can be made right over the campfire.

Get the recipe at The Adventure Bite.

Yoga mats will guarantee a softer (and better!) sleep for everyone when spending the night in a backyard tent. Simply place a yoga mat beneath each sleeping bag, and everyone will feel less stiff in the morning.

Looking for a sneaky way to get the kids to gather leaves? Challenge them to bag a bunch, and then examine them for the prettiest ones, mount them on solar paper, and frame your leaf collection for a pretty and memorable display.

How to make tahini in minutes

Tahini is very, very simple to make. If you have ever made a nut butter like peanut butter before you’ll notice it is practically the same process: Grind sesame seeds in a food processor with a little oil until smooth.

The ingredients

You only need THREE ingredients to make tahini.

Sesame seeds — As I mentioned earlier, we prefer to use hulled sesame seeds. Most often, we will lightly toast the seeds to bring out some of their natural nuttiness, but you can skip this step all together if you’d like.

Oil — To help the tahini turn into a creamy smooth paste, we add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil. A variety of oils work, try avocado oil, light and fruity olive oil, vegetable oil, and grape seed oil.

Salt is an optional ingredient, but I always use it. It just makes the tahini taste better.

Our simple process for making it

Making tahini is easy and only requires a few simple steps.

Step 1, Toast the sesame seeds. I love toasting the sesame seeds before making the tahini. The flavor is far superior this way. If you plan to toast the seeds, we recommend doing so on the stovetop and not in the oven. Sesame seeds are tiny and so they burn very easily.

To toast the sesame seeds, I throw them into a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat then stir constantly with a spoon until the seeds darken ever so slightly in color and become fragrant.

Toasting sesame seeds in a dry pan makes tahini with incredible flavor.

Step 2, Process the sesame seeds until crumbly. When the sesame seeds have cooled, we throw them into the bowl of our food processor, shut the lid then process until a crumbly paste begins to form.

A food processor turns the seeds into a crumbly mixture.

Step 3, Add oil and process into a smooth cream. To help the tahini turn into an extra smooth paste, we add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil. You can eliminate some of the oil if you would like, but the tahini won’t be as smooth or pourable. To reach a similar consistency as store-bought, we’ve found 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil should do it.

After more processing, a few stops to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and a little more processing after that, the tahini is done. Extra smooth and ready to use in whatever recipe you like.

After adding oil and processing for a minute or two, the tahini is smooth and pourable.

FAQ: Can I use a blender?

Since posting the recipe, quite a few of our readers have asked whether or not a blender will work in place of a food processor when making tahini. I prefer using my food processor, but if you have a high powered blender (like a Vitamix), then you should be able to use it to make tahini. When you do, be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the blender often so that all the seeds are incorporated into the sauce.

Storing tips

You can keep tahini covered in the refrigerator for a month, maybe a bit more. You might find that after some time in the fridge it separates, like a natural peanut butter would. All you need to do to fix this is stir it well.

Burgers and fries are such a classic combination, but why not try something a little different. Serve this burger either with Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Garlic Potato Wedges.

We use this Cajun mix to put on salmon and then put it under the grill for 12 minutes. Add that to a salad with a sprinkling of goats cheese and pine nuts. It's one of our favourite quick and simple salads. See, burgers and salads - that's what I call a balanced diet!

If you want to eat these burgers but don't fancy getting the BBQ out to make them, then you don't have to! You can cook the chicken breasts under the grill or even fry them for a super quick burger.
That is a Friday night winning dinner to me! These Cajun Chicken Burgers would be ready quicker than it would take for a takeaway to arrive.

Yes, they are much lighter than the average burger. You don't even need to have these as a burger at all. You can just cook up the chicken breasts and slice them up for a light summer salad, or even put them in tacos. Have you tried our Grilled Chicken Tacos?
If you want to make these Cajun Chicken Burgers even lighter, swap out the bread bun for a giant lettuce leaf.