Bad barbecue bites? – burger off!

Barbecue season will soon be upon us, and we’ll all be tucking into the traditional British burger – burnt and crispy on the outside and raw and freezing on the inside … or will we?

According to a survey conducted by Red Tractor, who are the UK’s leading quality assurance scheme, Brits are becoming a little more choosy when it comes to their burgers.

A part of a promotional campaign, Red Tractor asked consumers to build their perfect burger for the chance to win an invitation to a VIP barbecue party hosted by ex-Blur bassist, journalist and cheesemaker Alex James. James also happens to be an ambassador for Red Tractor.

Once the results were in, the findings contained a few unexpected ingredients.

There was no surprise that beef came out as the UK’s number one burger filling, but its score of 27 percent was perhaps not as dominant as had been expected.

Grilled chicken finished proudly wearing a silver medal with an impressive score of 17 percent, just a single percentage point ahead of pulled pork in third. Grilled chicken was expected to face a battle with its traditional nemesis of fried chicken, but ended up out-scoring its fat-soaked cousin seven-to-one. Pulled pork (where the pork is cooked slowly so that it becomes tender and ends up with a ‘shredded’ appearance) is thought to have arrived in the UK via the US, and has now completed a meat-eoric rise up the burger charts.

The top five was completed by veggie-tastic mushrooms (11%) and lamb (7%).

When it comes to extras, Brits still favour the traditional salad-heavy contributions made by lettuce and tomato, although red onion now seems to have kicked white/yellow onion into touch.

The transformation of a run-of-the-mill burger into a cheeseburger is usually enabled by – as comes with zero surprise – the addition of a slice of cheddar. The UK’s favourite cheese is favoured by 44 percent of cheeseburger lovers, but there’s a real shocker in second place as the Greek usurper halloumi (27%) takes the number two spot over established UK favourites stilton (16%) and Red Leicester (13%).

Finally, if you host a barbecue this summer and only offer tomato sauce and mustard as your condiments of choice, then you’ll probably find your guests surreptitiously nipping to the shops. Garlic mayo (11%) is now the nation’s favoured sauce, followed by mayonnaise (10%), barbecue sauce (9%) and burger relish (8%).

The marketing manager at Red Tractor Assurance, Andy Thompson, said: “As pubs and restaurants strive to offer the best burger combinations this barbecue season, it’s interesting to see what really tickles the nation’s taste buds. What is important, however, is to consider the quality of ingredients in order to provide diners with confidence in the food they are eating, particularly when it comes to meat and poultry. The Red Tractor Assurance scheme is one of the best means of showing that the food you serve originates from a trusted source.”

So, if you end up at a barbecue this summer and you find you can’t tell whether you’ve been handed a burger or a coaster for your drink, then don’t be afraid to tell the ‘hostess with the least-est’ to burger off!