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Help! My hamburgers shriveling up!

  1. Jul 18, 2006 #1
    Hi. I have this problem every time I cook burgers. I always flatten them into nice, perfectly round patties, usually 2 or 3 ounces each, for regular hamburger buns. The problem is, when I fry them (in a pan on the stove) they shrivel up to be way smaller smaller and fatter. I squish them to be about 4" round, then they shrivel to about 3" and get fat in the middle!

    How do I fix this? I really just want to make some nice burger patties like mcdonald's and everyone else seems to be able to make.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2006 #2

    Danger

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    I can't believe that I saw those in the same sentence. :yuck:
     
  4. Jul 18, 2006 #3
    I meant the shape;)
     
  5. Jul 18, 2006 #4

    arildno

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    Some of this might be due to the meat you are using.
    If it is too fatty to begin with (to reduce its price when sold), then much of that fat will "evaporate" when frying the burger.
    Also remember that chains like McDonald's have added starches and such to their low meat/high fat percentage burgers just to prevent this from happening.

    So, you might consider buying the meat from a high-quality butcher's store.
     
  6. Jul 18, 2006 #5
    I recommend adding some Lipton Onion Soup Mix to the meat mix as well as an egg (optional). This gives the burgers more flavor and will help with the consistency. As said earlier, you can never go wrong spending a few more shekels on good lean beef.
     
  7. Jul 18, 2006 #6
    You should stick to ground round, for makeing burgers. I make nice little balls then press them between two plates that have been lined with wax paper. Useing a hamburger press works well too, you can get them at most kitchen stores or on line.
    Heres a good link for them. The plastic ones work as well as the fancy ones....which all work as well as my waxpaper and plates.
    http://www.nextag.com/hamburger-patty-press/search-html
     
  8. Jul 18, 2006 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Wow, we must buy some pretty good meat because ours really don't shrivel up unless you cook them for a good long time. Even then they are bigger then the buns.
     
  9. Jul 18, 2006 #8

    arildno

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    Or it has starches or such added to it.
    I merely reported one possible reason for it, from disappointed experience. :frown:
     
  10. Jul 18, 2006 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Whats with everyone wanting me to not be happy. :biggrin:
     
  11. Jul 18, 2006 #10

    arildno

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    We just don't want you to fly into euphoria; you simply lack the equipment to avoid a rough landing..:smile:
     
  12. Jul 18, 2006 #11

    Pengwuino

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    I can fly you know...

    someday :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
     
  13. Jul 18, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

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    If you want perfectly shaped patties, use Hypatia's suggestion. They'll usually shrink a bit, so just make them start out bigger than the bun. Also, the more you cook them, the more they shrink. Mine hardly shrink, even if I use only 80% lean ground beef, because I like them very rare, so very little of the fat gets melted out. If you cook yours to well done, they'll shrivel up before becoming the hockey pucks you like :tongue:, so just start out with larger patties. You can get leaner meat too, but if you're really cooking it to medium well or well, it won't matter a lot.
     
  14. Jul 19, 2006 #13
    I cook them to 165F internal, usually that means being done and not pink. I'm going to try some higher quality stuff from a meat market later.
     
  15. Jul 19, 2006 #14
    Check these out.

    --------------
    Burger of the Gods

    from: Good Eats
    --------------
    8 ounces chuck, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
    8 ounces sirloin, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    In separate batches, pulse the chuck and the sirloin in a food processor 10 times. Combine the chuck, sirloin, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Form the meat into 5-ounce patties.
    Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the hamburger patties in the pan. For medium-rare burgers, cook the patties for 4 minutes on each side. For medium burgers, cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side. Flip the burgers only once during cooking.
    --------------

    His recipes are close to exact, follow it like a religion... actually follow it like you are baking a cake.

    Also as a side note. Do not press on them while they cook, you need those juices to keep your burger from being dry! Check one with a thermometer if you are worried about doneness (looks like you do this). Don't cut into them either. Let them sit for a couple minutes on an upside down bowl, juices will flow out, which is fine... this will help lock in the flavor.

    The mayonaise on the bun is an important step. It keeps the bun from getting soggy from the runing juices.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2006
  16. Jul 19, 2006 #15

    Pengwuino

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    haha he said his hamburger shriveled up :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
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