How To Keep Burgers From Falling Apart

How To Keep Burgers From Falling Apart: Full Guide

Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by Shari Mason

We understand that there’s nothing quite like the pleasure of sinking your teeth into a flawlessly cooked, flavorful burger. Nonetheless, even when you’ve crafted it meticulously, there are times when your burger might crumble during the cooking process on the grill or in the pan.

So how do you keep burgers from falling apart?

Don’t worry – I’ve been there and got some tips to help you keep your burgers intact and delicious.

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a newbie in the kitchen, these simple tricks will ensure your burgers stay together and taste amazing every time. 

So grab your spatula, and let’s get cooking.

How Can I Prevent My Burgers From Falling Apart During Cooking?

Image of a Burger
  1. Refrain from overworking the meat: Overhandling the meat when forming your patties can cause them to become too compact and tough. Instead, gently shape the meat into loose patties slightly larger than the bun you plan to use.
  2. Make an indentation: Use your thumb to create a slight indentation in the center of the patty. This will help it cook more evenly and prevent it from bulging up in the center.
  3. Avoid pressing down on the patties: When cooking your burgers, avoid pressing down on them with a spatula, as this can squeeze out the juices and cause them to break apart. Allow the burgers to cook on one side for a few minutes before flipping, and try not to handle them too much while cooking.
  4. Use a grill basket or foil: If you’re grilling your burgers [1], consider using a grill basket or wrapping them in foil to prevent them from falling apart and sticking to the grates.

What Kind Of Meat Should I Use To Make Burgers That Stay Together?

To make burgers that stay together, it’s recommended to use ground beef with a higher fat content, typically labeled as “80/20.”

This means the beef is 80% lean and 20% fat. The higher fat content helps the meat stay moist and hold together during cooking. 

“I go to the fanciest restaurants in the world and try them out. I like to see these chefs that are wizards do their thing. I like two types of food: cheap fast food – In-N-Out Burger, Taco Bell, stuff like that – or expensive food. Anything in between just bothers me.”

– Jim Jefferies, Australian Comedian

You can also use ground chuck or ground sirloin, which have a slightly lower fat content than 80/20 but still have enough fat to hold the burgers together. 

It’s important to note that using ground meat with less low-fat content, such as ground turkey or chicken, can result in dry, crumbly burgers that are more likely to fall apart.

So, if you want your burgers to stay together, stick with beef with a higher fat content.

But how can you tell an Impossible burger from regular meat?

What Are Some Ingredients I Can Add To My Burger Mixture To Help It Stay Together?

Burger on a White Plate
  1. Eggs: Adding one or two beaten eggs to the burger mixture helps bind the ingredients together, creating a cohesive mixture.
  2. Bread crumbs: Adding bread crumbs to the mixture can help absorb moisture and bind the ingredients together. Use plain or seasoned bread crumbs based on your preference.
  3. Rolled oats: Rolled oats work similarly to bread crumbs, absorbing moisture and binding the mixture together. Use old-fashioned rolled oats instead of instant oats.
  4. Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes can help bind the ingredients together and add flavor and moisture.
  5. Cheese: Cheese, especially the meltier varieties such as cheddar, can help to bind the ingredients together. Additionally, the cheese will melt and help the burger retain moisture while cooking.
  6. Worcestershire sauce: It adds flavor and moisture to the burger mixture while helping bind it together.
  7. Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard [2] acts as an emulsifier, helping to bind the mixture together while adding flavor.
  8. Soy sauce: Soy sauce can help bind the ingredients and add a savory umami flavor.

“A burger that falls apart is a tragedy, but a perfectly cooked patty is a masterpiece. The key is in the details – the right meat, the perfect binding agent, and a gentle touch when forming the patties.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

How Should I Assemble My Burger To Prevent It From Falling Apart?

  1. Toast the bun: Toasting it will make it more sturdy and help it hold together better.
  2. Use a thick patty: A thick patty will hold together better than a thin one. Make sure to create a slight indentation in the center of the patty to prevent it from puffing up in the middle.
  3. Let the burger rest: Allow the burger to rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to settle and hold the burger together.
  4. Layer carefully: Add the sauce or condiments to the bottom bun, then add lettuce or other leafy greens to create a barrier between the bun and the patty. Next, add the patty and any toppings you like, followed by the top bun.
  5. Use the right cheese: If you add cheese to your burger, use a cheese that melts well, such as cheddar or Swiss. This will help hold the burger together.
  6. Skewer it: Hold the burger together with a long toothpick or skewer. Insert the skewer through the center of the burger and secure it to the top bun.


u003cstrongu003eShould I add toppings before or after cooking the burgers?u003c/strongu003e

It is recommended to add toppings after cooking the burgers.

u003cstrongu003eDo homemade burgers need a binder?u003c/strongu003e

No, homemade burgers do not necessarily need a binder, but adding one can help the burger stay together better during cooking.

Final Thoughts

You can take several key steps to keep your burgers from falling apart while cooking. 

First, choose the right ground meat and handle it gently when forming the patties. Adding breadcrumbs, eggs, or other binding agents can help hold the burgers together. 

Additionally, refrigerating the patties before cooking and using a spatula to flip them gently can prevent them from falling apart. 

Following these tips, you can create delicious, perfectly formed burgers that hold together from grill to bun.


Shari Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *