With Burger King being the main sponsor of the 2019 season of Jan Braai vir Erfenis on kykNET, I was allowed full access to their meat plant, restaurants and all other steps in the production process. Far from it being a secret, Burger King in South Africa is very proud of the process and ingredients that goes into making a Whopper (or any of their other products for that matter). After very close inspection and research, I followed my version of the exact recipe of the Whopper burger at Burger King, to make this burger at home on my own braai fire. You will agree, this tastes amazing.
- 500g beef (mince) from the front quarter with a little bit of fat, for example chuck
- 500g beef (mince) from the hind quarter with less fat, for example topside, rump or sirloin
- 4 burger rolls
- Hellmans mayonnaise
- Heinz ‘ketchup’ tomato sauce
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh lettuce
- Cheese slices or grated cheese
- gherkins, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- First prize is to have your own mincer at home and this will work best. Alternatively you can also use a meat cleaver and just chop the meat until it resembles mince meat. Option three is to ask your butcher for 1kg of fresh mince that is a blend of front quarter and hind quarter meat. At home cut the meat in blocks, mix the 2 types of meat and then put that through the mincer.
- Use a patty press or your hands to form eight patties with the 1kg of meat. For this recipe I use 1kg of mince to make eight patties. Do not overwork and press the patties too much, we need texture as it adds flavour due to the air pockets in between the meat catching and preserving juices as the meat will cook on the fire.
- Braai the meat over hot coals. Interestingly and importantly, for this recipe you do not need to add any salt. A Burger King Whopper does not have any additional salt added to the meat before or during the cooking process, hence I don’t add it here either. Just before you take the meat off the fire, add the cheese on top of the warm patty so it can melt a little bit. Also toast your buns on both sides so that they are golden brown.
- Build your burger the Burger King way: Start with the bottom toasted buns. Then the patty with the cheese. Repeat with a another patty and cheese (a Whopper only has one patty, but this is my interpretation so I use two. At the real Burger King I always take my Whopper with cheese so that’s why I do it like this here as well). Next place two slices of tomato on top of the patty. Now add the sliced gherkins, onion and drizzle tomato sauce on top of that. This is the exact order of proceedings in a Burger King kitchen and following this order will get you the closest to the authentic Burger King taste. Next you spread mayonnaise on the inside toasted side of the top bun, place lettuce on top of the mayo and close the burger. Art!
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