Recipe: How to make a burger, the Five Guys (or proper) way

With the recent news that Five Guys had opened in London on July 4th, I simply had to pay a visit this weekend and it was everything that I thought it would be. The burger was juicy, delicious and very moreish. The cheese was perfectly oozing out between the huge patties (I ordered a double) with the occasional drip of oily goodness onto the foil below.

I didn’t particularly like the fries because they left the skins on, and one wonders if this is something they did to test the waters on trying a new time/labour-saving method. I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t work with fast food. We don’t visit a burger joint for any “rustic” feel. They were well seasoned so that’s a plus point.

Kudos for providing a genuine American dining experience though with the big smiles, lovely staff and free drink refills. It’s the only restaurant I’ve been to in the UK which does this and it needs to be more common.

Want a video review of Five Guys? Check this out:

Anyway, let’s not get sidetracked for too long, here’s how you make a proper burger from scratch…

Serves 4-6 people.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • Peanut oil, rapeseed oil, grapeseed oil, or anything made from animal fat such as lard. Don’t use olive oil or butter because it will burn and make your burger taste horrible. Vegetable oil is fine.
  • 500G of steak/beef mince. If you can afford the “Tesco Finest” Scottish stuff you’re in for a treat. Tesco has this on offer this weekend – £3 for  500G of Scottish steak mince. Avoid anything that has the word “lean” on the packet though because fat is what gives meat it’s delicious flavour.
  • Burger buns – any regular white bread buns will do
  • Medium to mild strength cheddar. Anything too strong will be too mature and won’t melt properly.
  • 1 White onion (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper – I prefer course-ground black pepper.


  • Heat up a large frying pan/skillet to medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Bring it to smoking point but try not to set off the smoke alarm.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the mince with your hands with a large pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of pepper. 
  • Form the mince/salt/pepper mixture into patties with your hands. Be aware that they will expand during cooking so make them fairly thin.
  • Place into the heated pan and cook for 3 minutes each side. The ferociously hot oil will give you a lovely sear but with a juicy middle.
  • If you’ve chosen to include onions, just slice one up now but we’re gonna add it as is. We don’t need to cook it.
  • After you’ve flipped your patties and they’ve been in the pan for 6 minutes, take a slice of cheddar and place it on top of each pattie.
  • Turn your grill on to max – I prefer to use the setting marked “hotter than the sun”.
  • Place your burger buns under it for 30 seconds so they get lightly toasted.
  • The cheese should be melting by now, so put the patties onto your buns, add the onion slices and congratulate yourself on making a burger, the proper way.





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