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Old 12-08-2008, 12:39 AM   #1
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Shrinking Burger

A problem I've had with burgers (my mom too) is whenever we BBQ burgers, they shrink. It starts the size of the bun and ends about 2/3 the size of the bun. Any suggestions?

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Old 12-08-2008, 01:26 AM   #2
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It could be the percentage of fat in the ground beef. The more fat the more the hamburger will shrink. The solution is to use a leaner ground beef or make the burgers larger to accomodate the shrinking.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:13 AM   #3
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Exactly what Sierra said, the loss of fat as it cooks causes it to shrink. You can use a leaner meat but I prefer to just make em larger than the bun to begin with. I also like to add in other bonding agents like an egg, some bread crumbs, and spices and seasonings.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbreit View Post
A problem I've had with burgers (my mom too) is whenever we BBQ burgers, they shrink. It starts the size of the bun and ends about 2/3 the size of the bun. Any suggestions?
I have a piece of 1/4" thick stainless steel plate with a handle welded to it as a weight. If you could find anything with a bit of weight in it such as a cast iron plate the problem will be solved
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:54 AM   #5
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i know that aussies are pretty tough, but i still prefer to eat hamburgers, not steel or cast iron.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i know that aussies are pretty tough, but i still prefer to eat hamburgers, not steel or cast iron.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:09 AM   #7
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It's the fat that's cooking out. Personally, I would go with making the patties over-sized and not using a lean ground beef. The lean ground does not make for a good hamburger.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:17 PM   #8
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The fat does melt out during cooking, along with water in the meat.

All meat fibers contract with the application of heat. This contraction forces juices out of the cells where it can be lost when you press a burger while it's cooking. This is why you rest cooked meat before eating or carving it. The rest period allows the meat to relax and reabsorb those juices.

All this to say it's the contracting muscle fibers that cause the burger to shrink.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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I make them a bit larger than I want and after shaping them, I make an indentation in the center. This prevents them from getting "puffed up" in the middle.
Lately, I've been eating turkey burgers. Not quite the same as a nice juicy 80% lean hamburger though.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Another vote here for 80 percent lean, nice ground chuck. Always make them a bit larger than the bun, they'll fit when you get done cooking them. Just don't cook em to death!
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