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Burgers Falling Apart Everytime!

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    Burgers Falling Apart Everytime!

    Update:

    Success! I did pack the patties a little tighter and at first it looked like I was going to have the same problem. Then I decided to use a grill fork to flip the patties (idea sparked from the GrillGrate spatula). This allowed me to get under the patties and keep the meat intact.

    GrillGrates also ordered and on the way!

    Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated!

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]n109883[/ATTACH] I have been experimenting with burgers for the past few weeks. I am using my Weber spirit with cast iron grates, and two Maverick Et-732s. Used various coarse grinds, from 100% short rib to 50% short rib, 50% chuck. Sometimes I add fat scrap from the butcher. Grinding with a Kitchen-aid attachment.

    Primary issue is the burgers falling apart when I flip them. I follow the article in terms of prep. and cook. I leave them alone until they are ~100°F, flip them and leave until ~ 115°F. Then salt, oil, sear. Taste is amazing, I am just losing some delicious meat to the burners.

    I find that the horizontal grates/underside of the grate catch the meat when I try and get a spatula under them as the burger slides forward on the vertical grates/cooking surface (if that makes sense) The grates are seasoned/oiled before every cook and slick enough that the burgers slide with a spatula push and don’t stick. Grates not ideal? Spacing between grates is too far? Fat ratio off? Not packing the patties enough?

    Attached is a picture of the patties just before I put them on the grill.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by the5006; September 21, 2015, 02:42 PM.

    #2
    Add one or two egg yolks depending on how much meat you have. I find it helps bind, adds some richness and does not stand out at all, you never know its in there but it makes all the difference. Don't add the whites, they mess with texture too much and in my opinion they turn burgers more into small meatloaf patties.

    Comment


      #3
      Crack the eggs then suck up the yolks with an empty water bottle.

      Comment


      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        hahahaha "BIG SLAM" !!! Thats an old one. I remember those. Huskee

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Spinaker I don't buy much pop (as we call it) anymore, do they not make them anymore?

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Huskee Yeah we call it pop too. And no, they don't make those anymore. hahaha its been a while my friend.

      #4
      I'll take "The meat is not cold enough when ground" for $200 Alex. Or read this http://amazingribs.com/recipes/hambu...amburgers.html

      Comment


      • DJ DeSpain
        DJ DeSpain commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep, what Munch said..... click on the link to get the best shot at success. Further down you'll see my original response as to what works for me. Meathead has done it longer and more successfully, so I'd recommend his article first. But at least we're on the same wavelength on the burgers probably needs to be slightly cold before throwing on the grill.
        Last edited by DJ DeSpain; September 15, 2015, 06:25 PM.

      #5
      Basically, I'm successful using at least 80% ground chuck at least 3/4 inch thick, with no liquid like Worcestershire sauce or Moore's Marinade, or additional ingredients like eggs or onions, mixed in, just the beef. I make the patties fresh, but also put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to putting them on the grill. Your picture looks about the right thickness, and you're also right by just flipping once. Try that on your current setup, and see if you get better success. If still not to your liking, then I would recommend getting a GrillGrate for your Weber. Not only is it a great grate.... they also send you their specialized spatula. It's like a big, flat fork. The tines are just slightly less as wide than the grate grooves, and will allow to get up under the burgers, and lift up, instead of a regular spatula that you wedge between the burger and grill top to carefully pry up for the flip.
      Last edited by DJ DeSpain; September 15, 2015, 06:11 PM.

      Comment


      • Munch
        Munch commented
        Editing a comment
        I use a Lodge cast iron griddle preheated for 15-20 minutes over high heat. Then put a 1/3 lb ball of meat on for a minute or so then press to the desired thickness with my hand. Let it got another minute then flip it. Flip every 30-45 seconds or so until done.

      • the5006
        the5006 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah its time for me to get GrillGrates, I've been looking at them for a while now, time to pull the trigger.

        Any recommendations if I should get one to sit on top or replace my existing grates?

      • DJ DeSpain
        DJ DeSpain commented
        Editing a comment
        Just have them sit on top of the existing grates. The main reason is that the GrillGrates is not a single piece, but multiple panels that link together. The ones cut for the Weber are three separate panels, with the ones on the ends rounded at the corner to fit inside the kettle. If you have nothing underneath the panels for support, the panels will come apart.

      #6
      Hmmmm. I think you're doing it right. Maybe then need more packing? Oiling the meat and grill?

      Comment


      • the5006
        the5006 commented
        Editing a comment
        I get the grates hot, brush them, put a thin layer of vegetable oil on them then let the indirect side get down to 225 before every cook to keep the cast iron clean. They get cleaned after each cook as well. Probably overkill but it has kept the cast iron stick free and rust free for going on 8 years.

        I also oil the meat prior to searing.

        Tonight I am going to try a slightly tighter pack and leaving the meat in the fridge longer as well.

      #7
      Add egg smh, he said a burger not meatloaf. Your pic and process seem spot on, where are you losing the meat? Is the bottom sticker or is a chunk falling off the front or back?

      Comment


      • the5006
        the5006 commented
        Editing a comment
        As I try and get the spatula under the burger it slides forward and catches on the lower cross member of the grate and tears at the front and bottom of the burger. If you take a look at the third picture down on the left (Porcelain-Enameled, Cast-Iron Cooking Grates) at http://www.weber.com/grills/glossary these are the grates I have.

      • _John_
        _John_ commented
        Editing a comment
        Those can be tough, I would try a little hotter or pack a little tighter, or super duper fast at sliding that spatula. Sorry, no help other than the obvious.

      #8
      You might want to use a fish spatula. They are very thin and they will slide under your burger easier. Grill grates are a no brainer.

      I have made the Steakhouse Steakburgers many times and have never had one fall apart. I follow Meathead's instruction exactly. I do not add any other ingredients to hold it together.

      Comment


      • the5006
        the5006 commented
        Editing a comment
        Good call, thanks for the suggestion. A fish spatula will be added to the arsenal tonight.

      #9
      Your patties seems perfect.
      Use 2 spatulas, quicker flip motion?
      Alternatively, form a meat ball, get it on the grill (hopefully you're using a griddle) and gently press it into a patty then walk away.
      Last edited by Ernest; September 17, 2015, 08:21 AM.

      Comment


        #10
        I've been cooking 80% lean burgers on the grill for 30 years and I've never used anything but ground beef and never had a problem. I don't add any seasoning at all as I don't believe you need to do that for burgers. I've never heard of anyone adding egg to the ground beef, maybe that's a regional thing. I usually make 1/2 lb burgers and I handle them very gently when I form the patties.
        Last edited by Don Jr; May 4, 2016, 06:18 PM.

        Comment


          #11
          make sure not too much fat in the mix, happens to me as well if there is too much fat in. also make sure you have 1/2 lbs burgers at least, less makes them too thin which could also be a problem.

          Comment


            #12
            I have been grinding my hamburger the past 8 months. I started using 2 parts choice chuck (roll or clod), 1 part pork shoulder, and one part choice brisket point. Did a double grind first with the 3/8" plate then the 3/16" plate. It was a little grainy, hard to hold together. Had to be careful when flipping. This last time I used 2 parts choice chuck, 1 part choice top sirloin, and 1 part prime brisket point. Even added some of the cuttings off of my 28 day aged choice NY strip. It is still a bit grainy. I started looking into adding moisture to the meat before grilling. Still a work in progress. Next time might not use brisket at all or triple grind the brisket. Not sure yet.

            Comment


              #13
              Be sure and work the beef hard after grinding, like you are kneeding bread for a good 5 to 10mins, repeating as you add any seasoning \ ingredients. Ideally when cold, then refrigerate for at least two hours. I always add some tomatoe paste to help bind a little, but never needed eggs. I believe The kneading encourages enzymes to start breaking down the protein, which helps cohesion.

              Comment

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