Helpful ReplyHot!Substitute binder for hamburger

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BackRhodes
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2014/04/28 01:35:42 (permalink)

Substitute binder for hamburger

I know for large batches of hamburger an egg if often used, but what about for a half pound ..?
 
I often mix my seasoning INSIDE the burger before pressing, but when I press it out to 6" patties, it seems a little crumbly and like it needs some kind of binder, and 1 egg to just a half pound of burger seems like too much egg to burger ratio...
 
Along with dry seasonings, I sometimes also add a few drops of tabasco & a few drops of liquid smoke...
 
Any ideas..??
#1
felix4067
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 02:15:05 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
I've only ever used a binder when I'm making meatloaf. For burgers, I just work the meat a little more, almost knead it like bread dough, especially if I'm adding spices to the meat. I make patties that are almost an inch thick, too, which might be why I don't need a binder.
 
Maybe a little olive oil?
#2
leethebard
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 04:58:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
I never use a binder...but if you feel an egg is too much for a small amount of meat, we always have a little carton of egg whites in the frig...you could pour the small amount you feel you'd need.
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jman
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 09:18:38 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
Since you use the term, "hamburger", I assume that you're using 70-30 which should give you enough glueyness that you shouldn't need a binder.  You mention using dry seasonings as part of your recipe.  Are they seasonings that could absorb moisture? A few drops of cold water could help the binding process.
 
"Real hamburger experts", whatever that means, suggest that you work your hamburg as little as possible. Overworking results in a dense burger that may be a little dry. If the crumbly parts are around the edges during the pattying process, just use your fingertips to kind of tuck the lose pieces into the patty. You should be able to transfer them to the griddle without much problem. Once on the griddle, use your thumb to put a big indentation in the center of the patty. Don't try to squish the patty to make it cook faster and flip it only once.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#4
felix4067
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 12:20:10 (permalink)
jman

"Real hamburger experts", whatever that means, suggest that you work your hamburg as little as possible. Overworking results in a dense burger that may be a little dry. 

Interesting! I use 80/20, and I've always worked it a lot. Of course, we prefer a dense burger, but they've never been dry.
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BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 15:35:12 (permalink)
I get 80/20...
 
Can you buy a carton of egg whites..??  Never heard of that...
 
Yes, I know about tucking in the split edges, and the dimple in the middle
 
Maybe next time I'll try adding a splash of cold water, or canola oil (I don't buy or use olive oil)... I thought the tabasco & liquid smoke would add enough moisture to help act as a binder...maybe it adds too much moisture..?
 
I mix by hand in a stainless steel bowl with a wire potato masher. (I tried in the past mixing the mean & seasonings in a mini food processor, but didn't like the texture)...roll into a ball & then flatten into a patty...
 
98% of  the time these are grilled, not cooked in a pan or griddle...
 
post edited by BackRhodes - 2014/04/28 15:37:03
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MellowRoast
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 16:05:31 (permalink)
I don't think I've ever used a binder.  I just use the George Motz (Hamburger America, Burger Land) method of rolling an ice cream scoop full of 80/20 ground chuck into a ball, and then mashing it forcefully one time -- and only one time --  on the griddle or skillet with a solid spatula (or smash it on a counter and transfer it to the patio grill).  While cooking, I turn the burger only once.  Makes a beautiful, professional style burger with zero hassle.  In my opinion, of course.
post edited by MellowRoast - 2014/04/28 16:54:16
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bartl
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 16:44:29 (permalink)
80/20 for me, too. Never needed a binder.
 
Bart
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 17:27:26 (permalink)
Yep. I use 80/20 chuck and never use any binders, other than for use in a meatloaf or meatball. Hit it with salt and pepper and then it hits the grill. Flip once and add cheese for those who might want it. I never overwork the meat, tho, (with the exception of bison, which usually gets more working than beef). 
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chewingthefat
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 17:35:53 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
A pinch of Oatmeal.
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felix4067
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 18:44:31 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
BackRhodes
Can you buy a carton of egg whites..??  Never heard of that...


They're in the cooler with the cartons of egg substitute. Which you could also use, if you wanted.
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Michael Hoffman
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 19:06:06 (permalink)
Mix with your (bare) hands. Not only is it best for mixing ground meat, but it gives you the opportunity to lick your fingers when you're through.
#12
lleechef
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 19:22:25 (permalink)
bartl

80/20 for me, too. Never needed a binder.

Bart

Same here.  I make 10 oz. burgers, lightly flatten with the palm of my hand (I like them thick), S&P, onto a hot charcoal grill and flip once. 
#13
Foodbme
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 21:33:26 (permalink)
I use 50/50 meat.
They start out as Quarter Pounders and wind up as Sliders!!!!!
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MellowRoast
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 23:15:03 (permalink)
lleechef -- Just curious, before you flatten it with the palm of your hand, do you simply begin with a 10 oz. chunk of beef or is it already formed into a ball, patty, or something else?
 
(Michael Hoffman and Foodbme are acting mighty strange today.)
post edited by MellowRoast - 2014/04/28 23:19:56
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lleechef
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 09:25:37 (permalink)
MellowRoast

lleechef -- Just curious, before you flatten it with the palm of your hand, do you simply begin with a 10 oz. chunk of beef or is it already formed into a ball, patty, or something else?

(Michael Hoffman and Foodbme are acting mighty strange today.)

I go to the counter and ask for 1 1/2 lbs. of ground chuck.  I split it in half, make two balls then flatten them.
(MH and Foodbme act a little strange every day.)
post edited by lleechef - 2014/04/29 09:27:43
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MellowRoast
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 09:31:15 (permalink)
lleechef, thank you, those would definitely be thick burgers.  I'll try it.
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lleechef
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 09:45:31 (permalink)
MellowRoast

lleechef, thank you, those would definitely be thick burgers.  I'll try it.

We like our burgers MR and it's hard to do that and get a nice char with thin burgers.........these come out about 1" thick.
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edwmax
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 10:00:00 (permalink)
lleechef

MellowRoast

lleechef -- Just curious, before you flatten it with the palm of your hand, do you simply begin with a 10 oz. chunk of beef or is it already formed into a ball, patty, or something else?

(Michael Hoffman and Foodbme are acting mighty strange today.)

I go to the counter and ask for 1 1/2 lbs. of ground chuck.  I split it in half, make two balls then flatten them.
(MH and Foodbme act a little strange every day.)

 
That makes 2 patties about 12 oz each.   ... Unless, you pick off an oz or two, 3 to taste and check for seasoning like i would.
(this forum is a strange bunch)
#19
lleechef
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 10:28:35 (permalink)
MH likes to get his paws in there........
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BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/05 19:22:43 (permalink)
edwmax
(this forum is a strange bunch)


Yes, considering that MANY folks here completely missed the point of my post, that I'm putting the seasoning INSIDE the hamburger by mixing it, before making into a patty, hence the need for a binder of some sort...
 
Who cares about simply squashing meat into a patty and then "hitting it" on the outside with seasoning..? That takes minimal talent, and while interesting, does not move the topic along...
 
Thanks to Felix  & Leethebard for the egg white stuff in the cooler section of the market suggestion, and also to Chewingthefat who suggested a pinch of oatmeal, and Jman for the water suggestion...
 
I did add a little canola oil last time I grilled up a "super burger" and that seemed to help, which I'll try again today...it's 14 miles each way down a steep mtn road to get to town, where I'll look in the cooler section for the egg substitute stuff (If I remember tomorrow)
 
Again, thanks to folks with real suggestions...
post edited by BackRhodes - 2014/05/05 19:46:01
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BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/05 19:34:11 (permalink)
Something else I might try is more than the half pound I usually use....probably crumble less with a thicker patty. To fit the large sized buns I press the 80/20 out to 6.5 inches...which in thinking about it probably contributes to the problem as the patty shrinks while cooking...
 
I'll have to wait for the intermittent rain drops to stop before I can fire up the grill...
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BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/05 19:45:12 (permalink)
jman 
A few drops of cold water could help the binding process.

"Real hamburger experts", whatever that means, suggest that you work your hamburg as little as possible. Overworking results in a dense burger that may be a little dry. 
 
 You should be able to transfer them to the griddle without much problem.

Thanks...I'll also at some point also trying to add a little water
 
I've "overworked" the burger in the past using a mini food processor but it was a dense burger and the texture was not pleasing...
 
Grill, not griddle...with 5/8" gap between grill rungs...
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pnwchef
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/06 12:36:29 (permalink)
The only filler in my ground beef is Cow. It's not meatloaf, it's a hamburger. Oil your grill so they don't stick, make your patties smaller. I wouldn't let the spatula do all the work, don't touch the burger when flipping so it rests gently, it's not a pancake. Don't touch the burger, don't press it into the grates, let is rest on top of the grates. 
#24
BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/11 15:07:15 (permalink)
I do oil my grill, and I don't press it into the grates
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BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/11 15:09:14 (permalink)
Because the nearest "town" is actually a small village 14 miles away, I could not find egg white...all they had was an egg like product (made with real eggs) that was yellow, like ready made scramble stuff. That didn't work out so well...maybe I dribbled too much into the bowl before mixing...
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BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/11 15:13:01 (permalink)
Then the last time I grilled I made a smaller but thicker patty, with a dribble of canola oil, which helped but don't have a cure yet...better results...
 
Maybe next time I'll just add a little Elmer's white glue..?
 
I'm going to increase the weight to at least a 3/4 pound next time
 
#27
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 18:34:39 (permalink)
These are my Black Angus 85/15 ground chuck........oil the grill leave it alone,1/4 turn, leave alone, then flip.........these are MR juice and good. I just got done eating one of these. The proof is on my shirt.......
 


#28
BackRhodes
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 21:54:00 (permalink)
pnwchef
These are my Black Angus 85/15 ground chuck........oil the grill leave it alone,1/4 turn, leave alone, then flip.........these are MR juice and good. I just got done eating one of these. The proof is on my shirt....... 

While those look good, are you putting the seasoning IN the meat, not ON the meat..?

The entire gist of THIS thread is mixing seasoning IN the meat...
 
Y'all understand this, right..? Anybody can press a patty and season the outside surface, and IF that's how you like it, that's good.
 
I'm trying to do something different...I hope this fact does not escape y'all...and demonstrations of conventional cooking does not further the quest, as good as your burgers probably are...
 
It all started long ago...when a girlfriend took dry taco seasonings from an envelope and mixed it into a batch of meatballs, and they were yummy.
 
My last grilling session I used .8 pounds of 80/20 (which is all we have available in the village)   and...bacon grease.  I keep some in the reefer box, and I put some of it in the mixing bowl along with the other stuff (dry seasonings and a splash of tobacco & a few drops of liquid smoke). The bacon grease sure has lots of stickiness to it, I had to scrape the bowl because the mix was so sticky, it stuck to the stainless steel mixing bowl...it cooked great except the middle dimple didn't swell up, and the bacon grease will render and feed flame flareups (so use a cooler heat)...the .8 pounds is just over 3/4 of a pound, and it squashed into a patty real good with no splitting. All in all it made for a thicker burger that was larger than the large bun.
 
That's the latest from the grilling experiment...
 
#29
Mosca
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Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 22:17:29 (permalink)
I don't use any binder either. I work the patties as little as possible, then sprinkle the outside with the seasonings. Sometimes I use brisket or rib rub, sometimes Montreal seasoning, sometimes salt and pepper.

I've tried mixing the seasonings into the meat, but it wasn't as good as sprinkling on the outside, and here's why: without binders the burgers get too dense, and with binders they get too loose. When I tried mixing the meat with spices and binders, like egg and oatmeal, the burgers got "raggedy": like, crumbly.

I think it's because meatballs and meatloaf (the two main dishes of ground beef with binders and spices) are cooked differently and served differently. Meatballs are served in either red or brown gravy, or in soup. Meatloaf is baked and sliced. In both those dishes, the crumbly texture is better served. And having a consistent flavor throughout the serving is important.

In burgers, you want the meat to maintain the patty shape. And there is some advantage to having the seasoning on the meat rather than in the meat; the flavors hit the tongue, and then the beef and juices mix in.

Of course it is good to experiment, and I'm just another guy with a grill, and a spatula, and a keyboard and an opinion. All the best in your quest, and if you hit the magic balance be sure to post it up!
#30
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