5 Easy Ways How to Make Hamburger Patties Stick Together

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Having trouble getting your hamburger patties to stick together? We’ll show you why your burgers are falling apart and how to fix it!

In this TheGrillingDad.com guide, you’ll discover:

  • How to make hamburger patties stick together
  • Tips for seasoning burger patties
  • And much more!
a raw beef patty on a plate with salt

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What You Need to Know About Making Hamburger Patties Stick Together

You may not realize it, but hamburger meat on its own isn’t that sticky. In fact, if you just shape the beef into a patty and place it on your grill, it will likely crumble apart. 

There are ways, however, to get your hamburger patties to stick together. Frequently these methods simply require adding an additional ingredient to your hamburger meat to fix the problem. 

The ingredients can vary, depending on what you have on hand, your personal tastes, and any dietary restrictions you may have in your home. Read on to learn more about how to make hamburger patties stick together. 

How to Make Hamburger Patties Stick Together (5 Methods)

There are several different methods for making your hamburger patties stick together. We recommend trying one or more to find the one which works best in your home. 

Method 1: Raw Egg

Raw egg is an amazing binding ingredient, and it’s simple to use. As you are preparing your ground beef for the hamburger press, simply add a raw egg (or two, depending on how many burgers you are making) into the bowl with the spices. 

Mix it with the hamburger meat (using your hands), and by the time it is mixed, you’ll find the hamburger meat sticking to itself as well as your hands!

Related >> How To Shape a Hamburger Patty

Method 2: Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs in another great binding agent, and many chefs even swear that they can make juicier burgers! The only problem with breadcrumbs is that they take a traditionally gluten-free food and add gluten. 

But if you don’t have anyone in your family with a gluten allergy, grab a container of regular or Italian bread crumbs and add half a cup to your raw beef and mix it with your hands. You can add more as needed. You can also use gluten-free breadcrumbs, but these won’t help much with the binding problem in our experience. 

Related >> Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Hamburger Recipe

Method 3: Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are also great at keeping foods together (most notably baked goods), but they can work in your burgers too. When you add flax seeds to your raw ground beef, ensure you add 3 teaspoons of warm water as well. 

If you are worried about changing the flavor of your ground beef, don’t worry too much, as you only need about one tablespoon of flax seeds (with the aforementioned water) to bind a pound of ground beef’s worth of burgers. 

Related >> How To Defrost Hamburger Meat

Method 4: 80/20 and Chill

We understand that you may not like the idea of adding ingredients to your hamburger meat. When this is the case, the only chance you have of getting the burgers to stay together is purchasing meat that has enough fat to keep the meat bound and chilling it before cooking it. 

If you purchase 80/20 ground beef, form it into burger patties, and chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes before putting them on the grill, these burgers should stay together as they cook. This isn’t a foolproof method, however, so we recommend using one of the other methods. 

Related >> How Long Does Ground Beef Last in the Fridge?

Method 5: Cheese

This last method is a bit unconventional, but it works. We recommend using shredded cheddar cheese for the best results. 

Meat relies on a source of protein and fat to bind. Adding a cup of cheddar cheese to your ground meat should help keep the burgers together, not to mention add a delicious cheese flavor to your burgers. 

This is one of the few methods we listed which will change the taste of your burgers, so we recommended experimenting with just a few of your burger batch to ensure you enjoy the flavor before you make a large amount of these cheesy burgers. We also recommend cooking these burgers on foil or another protectant sheet, as the cheese in these burgers can make your grill a bit messy! 

Related >> How Long To Grill Burgers

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01/27/2023 09:23 am GMT
juicy hamburgers with french fries and a beer in the background

Tips for Making Hamburger Patties Stick Together

Now that you know all the methods, let’s cover a few tips to help your hamburger patty-making to go smoothly! 

1. Don’t Salt Immediately

While we do recommend seasoning your burgers, salt can sometimes lower how well burger meat can bind, especially if it is lean. If you aren’t using an egg or breadcrumbs, then you might want to wait to salt your burgers until later. 

Related >> What Temp Should You Cook Your Burgers To

2. Form Burgers on Cold Equipment

This may seem a bit silly, but when your burgers are held together by cheese (or you are trying the non-additive method), then you want to make sure all your equipment is cold as you form the burgers. This will keep the natural fat from melting as you work. 

Form your burgers on a cold metal press or pan (you can even place it in the fridge before using) and avoid working directly over a stove or oven where the ambient heat may affect your burger-forming process. 

Related >> How To Use a Hamburger Press

3. Mix and Match Methods

Not sure what binding method to use? The favorite in our home is the cheese and the egg method. Not only do we toss in an egg, but also half a cup of cheddar or blue cheese. We love the taste, and it saves us from having to add cheese to the patties later. The egg keeps everything together and really gives the burgers a nice crust. We highly recommend you mix and match methods to find what you like! 

Related >> Why Is It Called a Hamburger?

4. Stack Burgers Using Butcher Paper

While you want your burgers to stick in their burger shape, the last thing you want them to do is to stick to one another! As you form your burgers, place them on butcher paper so you can place them in your fridge with ease. We don’t recommend staking your homemade burgers as you would frozen ones–this doesn’t usually have very good results.

Related >> How To Grill Frozen Burgers 

Tips for Seasoning Burgers

Ground beef is a bit boring when it is just ground beef. Even if you don’t use one of the binding methods, we recommend you at least put some seasonings in your burger to make them pop! Here are the burger seasoning combos we use every day in our home!

Basic: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder (our go-to!)

Southwest: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Cayenne (very little), or replace the cayenne with a southwest seasoning.

Savory: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and a small amount of Worcestershire sauce.

Sweet: (Think paired with BBQ sauce and pineapples) Salt, Pepper, a small amount of brown sugar, Onion Powder, and Paprika. 

Cheesy Burgers: Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder (we recommend cheddar cheese and the egg binding agent)

If making your own seasoning doesn’t sound like you, not to worry, as many different brands sell seasonings that can easily be tossed into your ground beef with an egg and made into amazing burgers! 

Hope Davis

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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