The Dexam stuffed burger press (£7, Ocado) is a plastic clamshell with concave plate. Hollows one of two mince-filled hemispheres ready for stuffing, which are then pressed together and fried.
Pressed for time on your coronary bypass? Let’s speed that up for you.
I’ve been trying to give up meat, partly for ethical reasons and partly because I am, as one friend memorably put it, a walking hashtag. However, because I bloody love flesh, I have a few loopholes: I can have meat if I’m eating out, or if someone gives it to me, or if I want some. (You could argue this is more exception than rule, but what is a net except a collection of holes? #madeyouthink.)
The other circumstance in which it’s OK is for this column, so I’m excited about this moulded press, which lets you create bespoke filled burgers. It’s a rudimentary affair: two plastic bowls hinged together, filled with eggy seasoned mince. An indenting plate squashes on to one of these, creating a shallow meat basin which palatal conquistadors can fill with garlic mushroom, diced chorizo, wasabi mayonnaise, whatever. Because I am basic, I stuff my hole with cheese.
To be honest, there is something infantilised about all filled food, no matter how refined. We crave choccie lava cake, bubble tea, syrup-middled cough sweets, a penny in a pudding, anything with a liquid centre – it’s probably why Ebola was so popular. But burgers? Is a good piece of meat not enough? Must it have a surprise inside? Should the surprise have another surprise inside that? Maybe we can just skip from one peak experience to another with no comedown for ever?
No. I’m delighted to report my mangled patty of two halves split apart in the frying, and the centre dribbled out the sides, burning on to the pan. Hot off the press: a two-beefburger sandwich with no filling. A quarter-pounder without cheese.
The company behind this gadget, Dexam, sounds like a serial killer, and its tagline is “at the heart of your kitchen”. If this unnecessary gadget is at the heart of your kitchen, I shudder to think what’s at the back of your cupboard. Some decapitated legs being used as a shoehorn? Pass me the aubergine, I’m done.
Bespoke stuffed burgermeat? There can be too much freedom of the press, you know.
Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?
Tower of London, under custody of the yeomen. 1/5