The sun may only be beginning to flicker through the clouds but boy do we know how to make the most out of the weather when it's warm. With temperatures starting to creep up thanks to the coming of the African Plume, some of us may already be thinking about pulling our barbecues out of the shed and dusting them off ready for another grilling season.
But what's a good barbeque without the food to put on it? Flavourful kebabs, grilled chicken breasts, succulent veggie sticks or even the humble banger are all common features of a traditional barbie.
However, arguably the mother of them all is the classic beef burger - commonly found tucked in a roll, with a bit of salad and cheese on top and slathered in a sauce of your choosing. And if you're planning a barbecue in the coming week, you're likely to be making a beeline for the burger aisle at supermarkets such as Asda, Aldi, M&S and Tesco to before you fire up your grill.
To take the guess work out of the process, I picked up a pack of standard barbecue burgers from each of the supermarkets listed above to see which one came out top in my very humble opinion. To give the test the traditional barbecue experience (just without screaming kids and typical terrible weather), I also cooked them on a disposable 'BBQ' for that extra bit of authenticity.
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Thankfully, it was the taste of the food and not my cooking skills that were under the microscope on this occasion. Hopefully the below suggestions will help you find the perfect burger for whatever event your planning on hosting this summer. Read below to find out how each burger fared:
Starting with Asda find their burgers was the hardest part of the challenge, as it would appear everyone had already been stocking up. I had to settle for their Asda Succulent Reduced Fat range ultimately, while each of the other supermarkets had plenty of availability on their barbeque or grill ranges.
Fortunately it doesn't seem to have affected Asda too badly, while the burger itself wasn't the most exciting in terms of flavour, it did turn out tender, cooking well on the BBQ and of a decent size for a burger. Inside I only found one piece of gristle, which was pretty small so the quality of meat on offer was pretty good also.
The only downside was this burger was somewhat lifeless on its own, I had to slop a good helping tomato ketchup on to give it some flavour - thankfully I knew just which ketchup to pick. Ultimately Asda offered a solid, if unexciting burger.
Aldi readily had their own lean quarter pounders from their Ashfield Grill range, before cooking they easily looked the pinkest of all the ones I tired, the really issue though was getting them out. Attempting to transfer these burgers to the BBQ was a challenge in and of itself, as the burger readily fell apart.
I eventually successfully got most of one on to the BBQ and cooking, sadly though it didn't fare any better. While Aldi are best known for helping us save on price, without sacrificing too much quality, it this instance there was certainly a sacrifice, the burger was dry, falling apart and generally tasteless, its only merit being its slightly larger size than the other supermarket offerings.
What is your favourite food for the BBQ? Let us know in the comments.
Jumping from one extreme to the other, if you are willing to spend those few extras pounds for a step-up in quality you'd generally be heading to M&S. While the step-up is not always a sure fire thing, M&S Aberdeen Angus burgers from their Grill range look better right out of the pack, with a clear mix of herbs and spice mixed in with the meat.
They are the smallest of those we tried, though the size difference is negligible in this case. Once on the BBQ these burgers cooked the best, coming off fresh, juicy and full of flavour, with a very clear peppery taste throughout - the burgers had me rushing back to the grill for a second helping
Despite being the most expensive of the bunch as well, the difference between the most expensive and cheapest on this list is only £1.
Tesco offered the thickest burgers of the bunch, which promised well right off the bat, as thicker means more flavour left at the heart of the burger. This supermarket's burgers felt like right down the middle of the pack, being exactly what I'd expect from a BBQ burger, plenty of meat, little gristle and just enough flavour to hint that it isn't just meat inside.
Tesco also offered the most in terms of value, not offering a four pack but instead a six pack at a similar price range to its competitors, though both Tesco and Asda had bigger packs perfect for parties in the sun. Overall Tesco was the most reliable burger of the bunch, the idea bed from which to add your favourite toppings, in my case a dab of mustard and another burger.
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