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National Burger Day: 8 best burgers to celebrate with, from meat to veggie patties

Choose from lamb, beef, pork and vegan options and find the perfect main course for your next barbecue

Stacey Smith
Tuesday 25 August 2020 09:11 BST
All are suitable for cooking on the BBQ next time the sun makes an appearance, under the grill or in a pan
All are suitable for cooking on the BBQ next time the sun makes an appearance, under the grill or in a pan (iStock/The Independent)

To celebrate this year’s National Burger Day, which takes place on 26 August, we’ve scoured the supermarkets and worked our way through the best online butchers to bring you this definitive list of the best burgers to cook at home.

Originally a day dreamt up by the now-defunct Mr Hyde magazine, where you could get a generous discount on your favourite burger joint, we thought it best to bring the burgers to you (or at least your fridge). Whether you’re in the market for a classic beef burger, something more adventurous, or would prefer to keep things plant-based, we’ve found the perfect patty for you to sink your teeth into.

When considering the best choice for you, do consider what else you’ll be serving with it. The classic beef burger is excellent with mature cheese, whereas we found lamb varieties worked better with minted yoghurt. If feeding kids, a quarter pounder will probably be plenty, whereas hungry punters might prefer a hefty half-pounder.

Don’t overlook the bun either. Although we found brioche to be best, we’d recommend something robust enough to at least attempt to support the juicy contents until the last bite. Think of it as edible scaffolding.

Before cooking your burger, check the ingredients. Some will have already been seasoned for you while others will benefit from a pinch of salt. Although you want to make sure your burger is cooked properly, be careful not to overdo it. Generally, you’re looking for a perfectly seared crust and a juicy inner. We don’t want to witness any dry patties, please!

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How we tested

Suitable for cooking on the barbecue, under the grill or in a pan, we put our burgers to the test, looking for texture, flavour and that all-important high-fat content.

Carefully following cooking guidelines, we kept a close eye on shrinkage – trying each burger with and without condiments, in a bun and naked. Having worked our way through plenty of patties, we’re confident this selection will impress even the hardest to please.

So, without further ado, these are the best burgers to put in your basket this National Burger Day and beyond.

The best burgers for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – The Dorset Meat Company beef burger 500g: £5.95 for pack of four,
  • Best ethically produced patties – Brown Cow Organics Guernsey beef burgers 360g: £5.50 for pack of two,
  • Best lamb burger – Riverford lamb burgers 400g: £6.50 for pack of four,
  • Best for barbecues – Edwards of Conwy Welsh beef quarter pounders 454g: £3.49 for pack of four,
  • Best gourmet burger – Marks & Spencer best ever burgers 340g: £4.50 for pack of two:
  • Best for variety – Farmison the burger collection box: £11.25 for pack of 12,
  • Best veggie burger – Veggie Moving Mountains plant-based 1/4lb burgers 227g: £4 for pack of two,
  • Best budget veggie option – No Bull quarter pounders burgers 226g: £2 for pack of two,

The Dorset Meat Company beef burger, 500g, pack of four


Best: Overall

Championing small-scale farming, The Dorset Meat Company only use grass-fed native breeds such as red rubies and Aberdeen angus’ for their handmade beef burgers. The cows are left to feed on a natural diet and the meat is dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days by their team of master butchers.

Beautifully rich, these patties are seasoned to perfection, with just a touch of salt, pepper and garlic powder. There’s also a gluten-free version available.

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Brown Cow Organics Guernsey beef burgers, 360g, pack of two


Best: Ethically produced patties

Coming in a pack of two, you’ll need a mighty big bap to be in with a chance of containing these generous patties. Proof that ethical systems produce superior results, the Brown Cow Organics team raise the male calves (sadly often a by-product of the dairy industry) from their Guernsey herd to make these patties, while the females are milked to produce their delicious yoghurt.

They smelt delicious while cooking and contained a pleasing amount of seasoning, including onion which caramelises like a dream. Although, be aware of the looser texture which may need a little reshaping to help it stay in one piece on the grill.

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Riverford lamb burgers, 400g, pack of four


Best: Lamb burger

Made from 100 per cent organic, high-welfare lamb mince and absolutely nothing else, these patties are a great alternative to the classic beef burger (although Riverford does sell those too). Forgoing the classic brioche bun, we gave these a good sear on the barbecue and stuffed them into warm pittas with a dollop of tzatziki. As they contain nothing but lamb, you’ll find these are perfectly safe for those following a gluten-free diet, however, they will need a little seasoning as you cook them.

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Edwards of Conwy Welsh beef quarter pounders, 454g, pack of four


Best: For barbecues

Widely considered one of the best butchers in Wales, Edwards of Conway add a little dried onion and garlic to help season its patties which are made from Welsh beef – what else? With a delicious soft mouthfeel, these juicy burgers came out brilliantly when cooked on the barbecue, with no shrinkage, a gorgeous crust and plenty of beefy flavour. Great value.

  1. £3 from
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Marks & Spencer best ever burgers, 340g, pack of two

Marks & Spencer best ever burgers  indybest.jpeg

Best: Gourmet burger

M&S doesn’t put its “best ever” label on just anything. In fact, to ensure this burger really deserved the title, the M&S development team travelled the world, trying a whopping 300 burgers in the process. Taking into consideration the meat, grind and seasoning, the result was this premium patty, made with British beef steak and a touch of very decadent bone marrow.

  1. £4 from
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Farmison the burger bundle box, pack of 12


Best: For variety

We’re tempted to turn our next barbecue into a burger tasting bonanza with this 12-pack of heritage breed burgers from online butcher Farmison. Containing the classic beef burger, as well as lamb and pork versions, they all require slightly different cooking times but come with detailed recipe cards so you get the most out of them. Lightly seasoned, with the addition of herbs, we enjoyed playing around with different toppings. A fun option for the more adventurous.

  1. £11 from
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Veggie Moving Mountains plant-based 1/4lb burgers, 227g, pack of two


Best: Veggie burger

Until recently, fans could only get their hands on the UK’s first “bleeding” plant-based burger (don’t worry, it’s beetroot juice) in a selection of restaurants. However, they’re now available in a frozen format for home cooking too. Despite being made up of a mixture of oyster mushrooms and pea protein, they taste of neither and are so remarkably meaty, we had to double-check we’d not mixed it up for the real deal.

We cooked ours from frozen in the pan and found a fair amount of “grease” was released which we think is down to the coconut oil. All in all a very clever, tasty patty for those avoiding meat or cutting down.

  1. £4 from
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No Bull quarter pounders burgers, 226g, pack of two


Best: Budget veggie option

Long gone are the days when a veggie burger meant a dry, tasteless disc. With a similarly convincing meaty texture to the above, Iceland has managed to deliver on price too. Cooked from frozen and made using soya protein, this pack of two is a very handy option to have on standby for mid-week meals.

  1. £2 from
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The verdict: Burgers

We’ve awarded our Best Buy to The Dorset Meat Company beef burger. This pack of four represents great value and needed little further seasoning. A fantastic all-rounder that came up trumps with our team of taste testers.

Looking for a plant-based alternative? Moving Mountains won us over with their very convincing meat-free version.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on burgers and other food and drinks offers, try the links below:

To support British farmers and environmentally friendly practices, check out the best meat boxes from ethical farms

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