My hamburger patties fall apart

Hello, me again! I've been trying to make hamburgers but the patties fall apart when I cook them. Someone said to put an egg in the mix, but one of my kids is allergic. Any suggestions, before it's mince on toast again? Thank you all out there!



Lori T. November 13, 2020
There are a couple things you can try. First, consider the fat content of your mince. Fat is what helps bind mince together, so too lean, and you get crumbles. Cold can also help a great deal, and you want to start cooking patties as cold as you can get them, near frozen. If you really want to stick with a lean ground meat, then the other option would be to add in a panade- a mix of stale bread soaked in water (or milk, or other liquid of choice) and squished together to make a paste. That helps bind your meat as well. You can also opt to use panko or cracker crumbs. The only thing about using a binder is that you walk a line between a burger patty and a meatloaf patty, if you add too much bread, it's meatloaf. Make sure your pan is nice and hot before your patty hits the heat, so you hear the sizzle. Then leave it cook in peace- it's a stare fry, so don't keep trying to lift edges to peek at the underside. Watch the edges, because they will brown and let you know it's time to flip. When your patty is nicely crusted brown on the bottom and is easy to slide a spatula beneath it, you do the flip, and flip it like you mean it. No slow and gentle roll over here. It should be in a quick go beneath and over, so there is less time to break apart. You could even support the top with another spatula, to stabilize during the flip.
Scottolotto November 13, 2020
Thanks for your reply. I was always told that you should take meat out of the fridge for a while before you are going to cook it to let it de-chill; I assumed that this was the same case here. Anyway. following your advice, they turned out much better than previously - no more mince on toast (and disappointed faces!) I'm no cook so I really appreciate the help you people pass on. Thanks!
Lori T. November 14, 2020
You're welcome, glad to be of help. Letting meat warm before roasting is fine, because the tissue is dense. It helps your meat cook through without the outer side becoming leather. But that doesn't apply to ground meat, which is not as thick or dense. And actually, while it's fine to let meat warm up some- you do NOT want to leave it out for hours to hit room temperature before cooking. That's an invite to food poisoning. Glad to hear the burgers turned out better, so there are no more little disappointed faces at the table.
Recommended by Food52