Binding beef to keep burger patties from falling apart. Using egg is one solution but not always necessary. Save the egg for making meatloaf and try this instead.
What if you either dislike or are unable to use egg? I personally haven’t used eggs in my hamburger beef for a long time.
The one common problem when making hamburgers. Patties which start to crumble halfway through grilling.
Cracking an egg into the raw ground beef and forming the patty together does work. The problem is eggs aren’t for everyone. People can be allergic or have intolerance to eggs, or just generally dislike them.
How To Bind Burger Patties Without Egg? Start with fresh ground beef at 80% lean. Break apart enough beef for each patty and form gently. Chill formed patties in refrigerator for 15 mins before cooking.
Doing this without adding any egg and your patties should stay together.
Here are more tips for making the best hamburgers without using eggs as a binder. Including alternative binding substitutes you can try next time.
Do You Need Egg To Bind Burgers?
Making homemade hamburger patties does not require egg to bind the meat. Egg has been used as a way to get beef to stick together better. While this does work if your beef is extra lean.
A hamburger patties you properly handle and form shouldn’t need egg. It shouldn’t need any binders or fillers.
One reason binders and even special fillers like oats have been used. Is to spread out the meat and get more out of it. This was a trick to do if you need to feed a big family.
Now fillers are used because they can add unique flavor. Breadcrumbs is one used with beef. Although this is more for making meatloaf or meatballs.
Hamburger patty beef should be different than those. Really it only needs a few spices and salt and pepper.
If you start out with good quality beef the meat will form together much better. Fresh ground beef is always the best to use, grocery store beef isn’t always fresh.
The kind you may buy in a tube could be older than you want to know. This kind of meat is going to be more susceptible to breaking apart.
Ground beef cut from a butcher is going to be the freshest. This kind of meat will stick together without the need of any binder.
One common mistake is when people make hamburger patties. Is they over handle the beef, when trying to form the patties they pack them too tight.
Instead of squeezing the beef together. Pat the beef into balls and then flatten then gently by pressing them down. Again patting instead of mashing and squeezing.
You can wet your hands before touching the beef as well. This prevents it from sticking too much and keeping the beef together.
One reason this is bad is because it can heat up the beef. The heat from your hands transfers to the meat. Keeping the ground beef cooled is critical to retaining the bond.
Also the juices will start to be absorbed by your hands. Leading to a tough and dry hamburger patty.
If you want to make hamburgers even better. Read my post about grilling burgers Really Unique Tools for Making Burgers on the Grill.
What Can I Use Instead Of Eggs To Bind Burgers?
In case you want to use a binder for your burgers. You can use breadcrumbs. Similar to meatloaf again breadcrumbs and a little milk will help to bind the beef.
Breadcrumbs themselves are not a great binder though. You will need some extra liquid to create a binder. Olive oil, milk or bacon grease can work.
Breadcrumbs do work to help retain moisture in the hamburger. Since they at first absorb the moisture and then hold it in the beef. Helping to make a juicer burger.
You can use bacon grease to bind beef for patties. The grease will add a significant amount of fat. This is why it will work to help bind the meats together.
If you are going to use bacon grease in your hamburger. Start with a leaner beef in this case. Usually you do not want a lean beef, as it is more dry and will crumble easier.
Since bacon grease is fat using lean beef to start is a good idea. It will help to achieve a better ratio more close to 80/20.
A hamburger press can help form patties which will not break apart. Pressing the burgers will form a perfect uniform shape. Also hamburger presses can be used for measuring out each one.