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Homemade hamburgers - secret?

OK - what's the secret to using homemade ground beef stay together when making burgers?

We have used a few varieties - usually chuck, brisket and either short ribs or pork.  The burgers are very tasty but they fall apart.  Am I missing a "Bonding agent" of some sort?

_______________________________________________________________
LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


Garnerville, NY

Comments

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 12,619
    You can put them on a tray and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,903
    Even when eating them they crumble and not a nice soft juicy patty.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 12,619
    How are you grinding?
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 567
    certainly could be the grind, also fat content
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 10,145
    You might check out Kenji's Burger Lab stuff at Serious Eats. Here are a couple of articles on grinding and different cuts. Sounds like it might have to do with the blend.



    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,269
    edited February 2014
    robnybbq said:
    Even when eating them they crumble and not a nice soft juicy patty.
    The crumbles are not soft and juicy? Seems I recall you saying your wife could not tolerate any pink in meat. If there's no pink, I'd have to say that they are over cooked.

    In the past few years, I've learned that good hamburger patties should almost fall apart. I've gone to a number of fancier restaurants where the burgers run $12 -$15, and they usually do fall apart once the bun collapses.

    However, I used to think the ground meat needed to be heavily massaged. That causes the proteins to tangle up. The patties do not fall apart. But most people consider that texture to be too heavy and tough. 

    What I did for awhile as an in-between was to get an adjustable patty press. That made it easy to form the patty without lots of kneading. It also had the advantage of making the burgers quite uniform, and so cook more evenly.

    A lot of times, if all I have is base level cheap ground beef, I make the patties as mini-meat loaves. Add egg, milk, bread crumbs. These form a binder, and hold some of the juices in.
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,489
    Don't over handle your meat. The heat from your hands will cause the fat to melt. Try dipping your hands in some cold water between forming each patty.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 8,730
    Griffin said:
    Don't over handle your meat. 
    ...or you could go blind.


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,577
    Griffin said:

    Don't over handle your meat. The heat from your hands will cause the fat to melt. Try dipping your hands in some cold water between forming each patty.

    I might revisit this when I've had a few..
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,577
    Had to
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 10,145
    God, I hate memes.


    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 8,730
    image


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • RRPRRP Posts: 19,326
    edited February 2014
    My solution won't appeal to the purists here, but maybe other interested readers might like my solution. I buy these big honkin tubes of 80/20 ground chuck from Sams. Then stick in the freezer for 90 minutes. Then using a wide blade chef's knife I cut it into patties, place on a cookie sheet and then freeze for 24 hours. After that I package them in Food Saver bags. Typical yield is 22 to 24 preformed delicious burgers.
    imageimage
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • bdub60bdub60 Posts: 31
    I use 80/20 beef and put in one egg for every pound of meat.  Never have a problem with them falling apart.
    Guns Up! Roll Tide!
  • Did some home ground with short rib a couple of weeks back.  Mainly followed the Recipe at the following link:

    http://amazingribs.com/recipes/hamburgers/steakhouse_burgers.html

    Only difference was that I diced meat in the morning, left it in the refrigerator all day, stuck it in the freezer for 20min and then ground in a food processor.  I let it warm up for about 20 mins after then formed into patties.  Hands down the best hamburgers I have ever produced on a grill and they had the perfect texture for me.  Held together well but still tender.  Wife loved em so much, she wanted burgers again the second night.  Reverse sear is also a beautiful thing.  Next time I want to sear on a cast Iron pan or griddle.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 12,619
    God, I hate memes.

    This one has a cat!

    image
  • stantrbstantrb Posts: 139
    If your burgers are falling apart and coming out dry, there's probably not enough at in them. 80/20's a good start 75/25ish will give you a juicer burger.

    If you've got to cook them well done for The Other, throw in some bread crumbs. You'll get a dryer patty that sticks together and hangs on to moisture while you nuke it.
    Minimax and a wood-fired oven.
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,449
    I always use 80/20 and add bacon bits.
  • jls9595jls9595 Posts: 1,519
    RRP said:
    My solution won't appeal to the purists here, but maybe other interested readers might like my solution. I buy these big honkin tubes of 80/20 ground chuck from Sams. Then stick in the freezer for 90 minutes. Then using a wide blade chef's knife I cut it into patties, place on a cookie sheet and then freeze for 24 hours. After that I package them in Food Saver bags. Typical yield is 22 to 24 preformed delicious burgers.
    imageimage
    I just did this, thanks for the idea.  I'd like to buy a meat grinder one day and make my own but this is just fine for me right now and economical. 
    In Manchester, TN
    Vol For Life!
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