Charcoal Bun Burger

015/18: Charcoal Bun Burgers

015/18 – Charcoal Bun Burgers:

I had bought some activated charcoal from Amazon to make some pizza dough and had the idea to use some to make burger buns too – Charcoal Bun Burgers:

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I cooked a few burgers last year trying to improve it each time, this has been my favourite one so far:

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The Buns:

The last one I cooked I used brioche buns and they just collapsed on me so I was keen to make my own buns this time. I adapted the burger bun recipe in the Byron book: Milk, water, yeast and sugar left for 5 minutes then added to Strong White Bread Flour, Plain Flour, Vitamin C Powder (Makes for a fluffier bun apparently!), salt, butter, a whisked egg and 2 teaspoons of the activated charcoal. Once mixed it was left to rest in a bowl for 3 hours then split into 8 balls and left to rise for 3 hours.

Before baking the rolls I added an egg wash then applied sesame seeds on top. 12 minutes in the oven at 200c:

Charcoal Bun Burger

They looked pretty cool when sliced open! The tops had taken some colour from the egg wash, I should have thought about that!Charcoal Bun Burger

The Meat:

As with the last few burger cooks I went for the BSR (Brisket Short Rib) burgers from Turner and George. They looked a little different this time, I ordered coarse ground but I think I got fine ground – no big deal. They smelt good, the aged beef was evident! Slight change with the salt this time – Isle of Skye Sea Salt rather than Maldon. It’s much finer than Maldon which I felt might affect the crust but I gave it a shot.Charcoal Bun Burger

The Cook:

A full chimney of Maple lumpwood from Oxford Charcoal spread into the centre of the grill with charcoal baskets to the side then inverted grill grates applied on top with the central bar meant to be the hottest cooking surface directly over the charcoal. After 10 minutes I put the burgers on – sizzle! Part way through I gave the buns a light toasting.

Charcoal Bun Burger

I also cooked a little burger for the kids, this was from the local butcher:Charcoal Bun Burger

Cheese on mine, the cheese squares work best when you want them to melt as they fold over the sides of the burger. Hard to achieve if you slice a block yourself. I took them to 60c internal then took them off.

Charcoal Bun Burger

Time to Eat:

The bacon was a belly I cured with Holy Fuck from the Rib Man which had been smoked over Hickory and Cherry for 60 hours. It’s great bacon but I managed to burn it so I chopped it up! I seem to struggle cooking bacon on the grill, I need to remember it doesn’t need long and add it right at the end. The cheese had melted well though.

The burger sauce is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Insanity Burger recipe: Mayo, Tomato Ketchup, Tabasco Chipotle and Worcestershire Sauce.

Charcoal Bun Burger

Cut through shot: Nice and pink burgers, love the black of the buns!Charcoal Bun Burger

Burgers were so juicy.Charcoal Bun Burger Charcoal Bun Burger


The burgers were really tasty, nice and juicy and I managed to cook them just right. The cheese square worked well and melted nicely. The bacon was good chopped but would have been better sliced, I need to cook it later and for less time next time. The crust on the burger wasn’t as good, I will go back to Maldon salt next time. I didn’t add any smoking chips this time, I would use some Maple chips again next time.

The buns? They were really good actually, not sure if the charcoal added anything other than colour but they worked better than the brioche buns as they kept their shape well and soaked up the juice from the burger. I didn’t add them back in the grill to warm up at the end which was a mistake as the buns had cooled down after being toasted. I will add them back in to warm next time. I will make this burger bun recipe again, might skip the charcoal until Halloween though!

Cook Difficulty: 2/5 (maybe a 3 for the buns)
Cook Duration: Short: 2/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Kettle
Cook Method: Grill Grates
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Maple
Smoking Wood: None
Cook temperature: 250c
Cook time: 5 minutes
Internal temperature: 60c
Notes: 1: Cook the bacon later and for less time.

2: Warm the built burger at the end.

3: Use Maldon Salt for a better crust.

4: Use Wood Chips for a bit of smoke.


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