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How To Keep Burgers From Shrinking (5 Ways)

Ever cook a burger patty and wonder where most of it went? Learn How To Keep Burgers From Shrinking so you can enjoy maximum burger taste with no waste!

burgers on a bun with french fries

Grilling, frying, or broiling burgers can lead to a great shrinkage problem. With all that heat exposure, it’s no wonder our burger patties get smaller as they cook!

🤔Why do my burgers shrink when I cook them?

Shrinkage is caused by the loss of water and fat from the meat. When these juices hit the heat, they start to evaporate, which makes the burger patty shrink.

But there are ways to keep your burgers from losing their size and shape using these simple steps!

🍔5 Ways To Keep Burgers From Shrinking

1️⃣Avoid over-handling: Don’t over mix or knead the burger mixture, as this can make the burgers tough and more likely to shrink. Just mix the ingredients together until they’re combined, and then form into patties.

2️⃣Don’t compress: When forming burger patties, use a light touch so as not to compress the mixture too much. This will also help to keep them from shrinking during cooking.

3️⃣Make a dimple: Before cooking, use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make a small indentation or dimple in the center of each patty. This will help the burgers to cook evenly and prevent them from shrinking too much.

4️⃣Use a higher fat content: A higher fat content in your burger mix will help to keep the burgers moist and prevent them from shrinking too much. A mixture of 80% lean meat to 20% fat is best. Add some extra ground beef, or substitute in some ground pork or lamb for higher fat content.

5️⃣Start with a cold or frozen burger patty: If you start with a cold or frozen burger patty, it will help to keep the burger from shrinking as much during cooking because the heat will not penetrate the center of the patty as quickly.

📖Once cooked, learn how to keep your burger fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days!

❔FAQ

Why do my burgers puff up?

Puffing up is caused by the same evaporation of water and fat that leads to shrinkage. As the burger cooks and the juices start to evaporate, the burger will puff up. This is why it’s important to make a dimple in the center of the patty before cooking – it will help to prevent too much puffing.

How do I keep my smash burgers from shrinking?

Smash burgers are made by flattening the burger patty with a spatula or heavy utensil while it’s cooking. Start with a meat that is the correct fat content to make sure as little gets cooked off as possible.

How do you keep burgers from shrinking in an air fryer?

Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, so they can dry out burgers if you’re not careful. To prevent this, cook the burgers on a lower setting and don’t overcrowd the air fryer. You may also want to brush the burgers with oil before cooking to help keep them moist.

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burgers on a bun with french fries
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5 from 1 vote

How To Keep Burgers From Shrinking (5 Ways)

Ever cook a burger patty and wonder where most of it went? Learn How To Keep Burgers From Shrinking so you can enjoy maximum burger taste with no waste!
Prep Time10 mins
Course: BBQ, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to keep burgers from shrinking
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Hamburgers

Instructions

  • Avoid over-handling: Don't over mix or knead the burger mixture, as this can make the burgers tough and more likely to shrink. Just mix the ingredients together until they're combined, and then form into patties.
  • Don't compress: When forming burger patties, use a light touch so as not to compress the mixture too much. This will also help to keep them from shrinking during cooking.
  • Make a dimple: Before cooking, use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make a small indentation or dimple in the center of each patty. This will help the burgers to cook evenly and prevent them from shrinking too much.
  • Use a higher fat content: A higher fat content in your burger mix will help to keep the burgers moist and prevent them from shrinking too much. A mixture of 80% lean meat to 20% fat is best. Add some extra ground beef, or substitute in some ground pork or lamb for higher fat content.
  • Start with a cold or frozen burger patty: If you start with a cold or frozen burger patty, it will help to keep the burger from shrinking as much during cooking because the heat will not penetrate the center of the patty as quickly.

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