It's never too early for a burger, especially not when the burger in question is a Byron burger.

Gourmet burger chain Byron launched in 2007 in London, and now, just shy of a decade later, there are more than 60 restaurants - and counting - nationwide.

The brainwave of burger-obsessed entrepreneur, Tom Byng, in 2011 he brought on board head chef Fred Smith, who was knocking about at The Admiral Codrington pub in Chelsea, creating innovative burgers of his own.

Smith now spends most of his time in the test kitchen concocting new Byron specials - he's the man behind the much-loved Chilli Queen burger - but I dragged him out to show me behind the scenes, and teach me how to make Byron-style burgers from scratch, all in honour of their debut recipe collection, Byron: The Cookbook.

Byron head chef Fred Smith was previously creating innovative burgers of his own at The Admiral Codrington pub in Chelsea

"There is no secret to cooking; it's just lots of simple things done well," says Smith, explaining how he sees this book as a chance for home cooks to have some fun. "I always see recipes as a guideline."

So he's not worried about letting people in on his inventions?

"I like to share. A lot of chefs are like, 'Ooh, secret recipes!' but it's like, 'Come on guys!'"

And so, we begin...

It turns out, the first thing you need to get your hands on is a meat grinder, because the only way to make a proper hamburger pattie is with pure chuck steak.

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Step away from the packets of mince, at all costs avoid mixing in an egg, breadcrumbs and crunchy chunks of onion: hamburgers should be pure, freshly-ground beef. And, Smith tells me, you shouldn't even season it until it hits the grill, or the meat will dry out.

"I've always loved burgers, I lived in America for a year when I was about eight and that's possibly where it started, but we are the McDonald's generation," he muses, recalling summer spent in New York with a chef friend eating nothing but hamburgers that really caught his imagination. "We spent a couple of days going from place to place, hitting about 10 or 11 joints, and I was just like, 'Gosh, what's going on over here? How are we not doing this in London?'"

Between finely shredding lettuce and slicing perfect rings of red onion, the most extravagant burger he's made to date was a gold one

Between finely shredding lettuce and slicing perfect rings of red onion (no more than five rings to a burger is the rule), Smith explains that the most extravagant burger he's made to date was a gold one.

"I was invited to cook backstage for Spandau Ballet. I got some edible gold food colouring spray and sprayed all the burgers gold, which was great fun. They thought I was joking when I said, 'I'll cook you guys some gold burgers!'"

While there are no gold burgers in the cookbook, all the Byron favourites are in there, alongside courgette fries and big sharing platters of Buffalo wings and nachos.

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We frazzled some streaky bacon, slathered on some of Byron's signature sauce, and grilled a perfect, medium cooked pattie, and squashed it all between a softly-toasted bun.

It was delicious, even if I do say so myself. You just can't beat a burger, especially when it's this unnervingly simple.

"Get some good meat, get your fat content about right, and you'll be fine," Smith promises.

What's the top secret ingredient to your homemade burgers? Tell us in the Comments below.