Burgers are the ultimate comfort food whether you simply want a snack or a fulfilling meal.
However, if you’re preparing burgers at home, you may end up spending your entire time figuring out how to stop the patties from falling apart! Well, that’s extremely frustrating if you ask us.
But, now is the time to find the right answer to this. There are many things you may be doing wrong that cause your burgers to fall apart but there are also easy tricks to prevent that.
So, how do you make burgers stick together? Burgers require the right cooking temperature, fresh ground meat, proper patty preparation technique, and some binding agents to not fall apart.
If you want to know more about how to make burgers stick together instead of giving up on your amazing burger-making skills, then read on!
Why Do Burger Patties Fall Apart?
Before we talk about how to solve the problem, we need to know why you’re facing a problem with your burger patties.
Burger patties require the right recipe, ingredients, binding agents, and temperature conditions to stay intact. So, if your burger patties are constantly falling apart, check for these reasons:
Poor-Quality Ground Beef
The ingredients that you use in your dishes have an impact on the overall result. So, it’s essential to use only high-quality ground beef even while preparing burgers.
A lot of people make use of different cuts of beef in their hamburgers and this is where they go wrong.
This beef contains fat content and comes from different parts of the cow. So, it has varying cooking times and temperatures. This could lead to dry patties that may burn and fall apart too.
Apart from the ground beef issue, some people tend to add a lot of moisture in the ground beef in the form of marinades, sauces, etc. This makes the patty extremely moist and susceptible to falling apart.
Low Cooking Temperature
If you’re someone who takes too much care while cooking anything, this might be the culprit. Low cooking temperatures are suitable for some items but burger patties? They’re a big NO!
When you cook patties at low temperatures, you’re essentially sucking out the moisture from them. So, as there’s no proper moisture here, the burger patties fall apart.
Moreover, a proper cooking temperature is also needed for developing crust in your patties and for Maillard reaction too.
Overworking Burger Patties
Just like us, burger patties also seem to break apart when they’re pushed too hard! So, despite what recipes call for, make sure that you don’t overwork your burger patties.
Overworking burger patties can cause the juices to start evaporating in the center. These juices will then produce steam and well; as the steam tries to come out, it’ll cause the patties to fall apart.
Improper Burger Patty Temperature
Unlike ground chicken and pork, ground beef patties contain plenty of moisture which can cause them to fall apart.
In order to keep them from falling apart, you must chill them properly before you use them. This will help the ground beef stick together while retaining its juices as well.
Now, let’s take a look at the various methods to make homemade hamburgers stick together.
How To Make Homemade Hamburgers Stick Together
It’s extremely easy to make homemade hamburgers stick together if you know the right techniques for it. So, we’ve compiled a list of the best solutions for the above-mentioned problems. Be sure to follow them to get flawless hamburgers!
Choose The Right Type of Ground Meat
If you’ve realized that the problem with your hamburgers is the ground beef, here’s what you can do:
Instead of choosing any old ground beef for hamburgers, opt for fresh ground beef chuck or short ribs. Both of them can sear well without drying out and falling apart.
Also, look for 80% lean and 20% fat content in ground beef. If it’s too lean, it may crumble and fall apart. If it’s too fatty, it may become greasy and break.
Choose The Right Cooking Temperature
As soon as you start cooking your patties, you need to go for high temperatures. Then, cook one side on high heat for about 3–4 minutes. Flip and repeat the same for the other side of the patty.
This solution will help you get the crispy outer crust and achieve flavorful meat without causing the patty to fall apart.
Prepare The Patties Properly
As mentioned earlier, don’t overwork your burger patties. Instead, following the below-mentioned steps:
- Take around 4-6 ounces of meat using your palm. Then, create a ball gently.
- Press the ball lightly on the two opposite sides to get a disc-like shape.
- Let your patties rest for around 5-10 minutes. This will help in making the patties firmer and reducing the risk of them falling apart.
- Freeze the burger patties for about 20 minutes for the best results.
Chill The Patties Before Cooking
Yes, it’s almost impossible to not gulp down hamburgers right after preparing the patties. But if you want the crispy and full patties, you need to have a little bit of patience.
Before you cook your patties, you need to freeze them for around 20 minutes.
However, make sure you don’t freeze them to the point that they develop ice crystals.
This can again cause the patties to crumble and break apart. In case they’re frozen, let them thaw in the refrigerator for some time. This will keep them firm instead of soggy.
Use Binding Agents If Necessary
If your patties still keep falling apart, your safest bet is to make use of binding agents.
Binding agents are one of the best solutions if you’re preparing bulky patties with lots of veggies and ground meat.
As the name suggests, binding agents bind the ingredients together and prevent them from falling apart. They also help in moisture retention.
The egg is one of the best binding agents for patties and other meat items. You can add one egg to your ground beet and mix it with other ingredients.
However, make sure that you don’t add too many eggs. This may make the ground meat mixture slightly runny and hard to shape and cook.
How To Make Burgers Stick Together Without Eggs
Many recipes use eggs as binding agents but if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, eggs are out of the question. However, there are other vegetarian and vegan options for binding your veg patties.
If you want to replace one egg, you may use around 1 tablespoon of flax seeds with about 3 tablespoons of warm water. Then, incorporate this mixture into your patty mixture to bind the ingredients together.
Flax seeds aren’t the most common ingredient in the kitchen, so you can also go for breadcrumbs as the binding agent. All you need to do is tear some pieces of bread and grind them up in a food processor.
Then, you can add the prepared breadcrumbs into the patty mix. Mix them all together to bind them. If you want extra crunchy and crispy patties, you can add a handful of breadcrumbs with one egg too.
Tips To Make The Perfect Homemade Hamburgers
If you’re planning to make the best homemade hamburgers in the town, keep these three additional tips in mind:
Use Cold Equipment And Meat
Keep in mind that heat isn’t exactly good for burgers until they’re ready to cook.
It’s because when your ground meat is exposed to hot temperatures, the fat inside may melt and soften. Then, it gets transferred to your hands and counters which means that the actual patties have less fat than required.
So, to prevent the fat from melting, you need to use cold equipment such as cold grinding blades and even the plate. Moreover, make sure the meat that you’re using is also slightly chilled.
Don’t Add Salt From The Beginning
You may want to season your burger patties as soon as possible but try to avoid doing that.
When you add salt into the ground meat from the very beginning, it will dissolve the meat proteins and draw out moisture. This would make your patty’s texture more springy rather than tender and moist.
So, what you need to do is add salt to your patties just a few minutes before you’re cooking them!
Use a Thermometer
A thermometer sounds may sound a bit unnecessary, but trust us, it is a must-have tool for your kitchen collection. If you consider yourself an amateur cook, a thermometer can save you from many cooking mishaps.
For instance, you can simply put a thermometer inside the patty and check the temperature. This way you’ll be able to take out your patty just the way you like it, be it medium-rare (around 130°F) or medium-well (150°F).
Nobody can ever resist the goodness of perfectly cooked or grilled burgers. The blend of flavors, mouthwatering aroma, and lovely texture is simply overwhelming.
So, why let the patties fall apart and ruin the entire experience? Instead, go for the solutions we’ve suggested and let them work like magic!
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