How To Keep Burgers from Falling Apart On The Grill

It’s the warmest time of year, and you’re about to have a cookout. You make your burgers, put them on the grill – and they fall apart. It can be frustrating to see your hard work dissolve in a matter of seconds before the patty makes it to the bun. You might wonder – how can you keep burgers from falling apart on the grill?

If you’re interested in making the best burgers that stick together, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about how to keep burgers from falling apart on the grill. With the correct precautions, you’ll have a protein that will stay together every time. Let’s get started.

Pick the Correct Ground Meat

The most critical first step is to ensure you select the correct ground meat for your burgers. Most people invest in pure ground beef – that’s not the ideal selection. Ensure you find ground beef with a 20% fat content for the best results. Don’t go beyond that! Too much fat can turn your burgers into a greasy mess.

A coarse grind is an ideal selection for your ground meat. If the food is too fine, it won’t stick together. You want to provide a texture that will stick together on the grill without binders. 

Too little fat means crumbly burgers, too much fat means greasy food. If you mess up the base of the burger, it can lead to disaster for the entire meal!

Make Use of Heat

Many cooks leave their patties sitting out for too long before going on the grill. For the best shot at sticking together, keep the meal as cool as possible until it’s time for cooking. 

To keep them cool, you might:

  • Put the patties in the fridge until the right moment for removal
  • Place them in a cool area of the home until time to address the heat
  • Freeze ahead of time and let them thaw until it’s time to cook

These will keep them cold until the right moment for the cooking process.

Another item to note is the shaping process. Cover your hands with an item that doesn’t transfer heat, like wax paper. Warmth comes from your hands. It may cause the burger to fall apart as it cooks.

Don’t Mess Around with the Meat

It might be tempting to shape, reshape, and re-reshape the patties before cooking. If possible, avoid messing around with the meal more than is necessary. This issue includes messing with it in the mixing process – add the spices, mix, and let it be until shaping. 

The burger does not have to be a perfect circle! It will still taste the same even if there are some imperfections. It’s better to have a lopsided patty than one that has fallen into a million pieces. Keep the fiddling to a minimum.

Keep Flips to a Minimum

There are two secure points in the life of the burger – when it’s cold and when it’s cooked. When it’s warm and uncooked on the grill, it falls apart. Keep your flips to a minimum while the food cooks.

Here are a few signs that indicate it’s time to flip the burger on your grill:

  • There is a layer of brown visible on the button that is creeping its way up
  • There is steam from the bottom of the burger, indicating a cooked patty
  • It’s been a few moments, long enough for the food to cook

The longer you wait, the better for the stability of the burger.

There should only be two to three flips to cook the burger. This minimal interaction will improve the chance that the food will stick together during the cooking process.

Avoid the Grill

If you have trouble with the grill you can avoid this cooking device altogether. Many cooks are more confident cooking their burgers on a surface that isn’t made of metal bars. You can heat your burgers in a pan and get the same results at the end of the process.

To cook your burgers in a pan, you should:

  • Add a tiny bit of water or oil to a pan
  • Heat the pan to a searing degree
  • Add the burgers you want cooked 
  • Flip when necessary

The burgers will be done in a few minutes if you cook it right. 

A skillet is better at holding burgers together. If something happens to the texture of the food, the flat pan will hold the shape better than the metal rods of the grill. It’s an excellent way to get a similar result without the hassle of the grill.

Consider Eggs

Although you should avoid binders if necessary, you can add an egg to the ground beef mixture to help it stay together. The patties will be stickier than usual, but the cooked egg expands and works to hold everything together once the food goes on the grill.

Many chefs avoid binders because they feel that they are unnecessary. However, there’s little harm that can come from the addition. If you want to feel more confident in the cooking process, you should add an egg. It won’t hurt your burger, and the egg will make things easier to work with on the grill.

Pick Solids Instead of Liquids

Lastly, you should ensure that you add more solids to your burger patties than liquids. Many expert chefs put liquid flavors inside the food. While this tactic is tasty, it makes the burgers more likely to fall apart when heated. Beginner chefs should focus on solid flavors instead of liquid ones.

Here are a few liquid flavors:

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Honey

These add excellent tastes to a burger but make it more vulnerable in the cooking process.

If at all possible, select ingredients like onions or peppers to make up the foundation of your burger. Plenty of options will work well for your meal and some excellent substitutes for liquid ingredients.


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