Helpful ReplyHot!Substitute binder for hamburger

Post
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
2014/04/28 01:35:42
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..??
felix4067
Filet Mignon
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 02:15:05
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?
leethebard
Sirloin
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 04:58:09
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.
jman
Double Chili Cheeseburger
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 09:18:38
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 12:20:10
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.
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 15:35:12
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
MellowRoast
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 16:05:31
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
bartl
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 16:44:29
80/20 for me, too. Never needed a binder.
 
Bart
Root-Beer Man
Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 17:27:26
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). 
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 17:35:53
A pinch of Oatmeal.
felix4067
Filet Mignon
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 18:44:31
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.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 19:06:06
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.
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 19:22:25
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. 
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 21:33:26
I use 50/50 meat.
They start out as Quarter Pounders and wind up as Sliders!!!!!
MellowRoast
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/28 23:15:03
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
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 09:25:37
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
MellowRoast
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 09:31:15
lleechef, thank you, those would definitely be thick burgers.  I'll try it.
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 09:45:31
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.
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 10:00:00
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)
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/04/29 10:28:35
MH likes to get his paws in there........
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/05 19:22:43
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
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/05 19:34:11
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...
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/05 19:45:12
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...
pnwchef
Filet Mignon
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/06 12:36:29
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. 
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/11 15:07:15
I do oil my grill, and I don't press it into the grates
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/11 15:09:14
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...
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/11 15:13:01
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
 
pnwchef
Filet Mignon
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 18:34:39
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.......
 


BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 21:54:00
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...
 
Mosca
Filet Mignon
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 22:17:29
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!
mr. sausage
Cheeseburger
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/15 23:45:34
It is, I'm afraid, a fruitless quest. There are the textural issues that you are experiencing, certainly, but the real problem (to me) is you are mixing dry spices into a burger. Now, unless you're cooking this chopped meat slowly with moist heat, those spices aren't going to do you much good. I, like most red blooded Americans, like a medium rare hamburger. It cooks quickly. Those dry spices haven't had a chance for their oils to bloom because the interior is raw.
Your desire for flavor is admirable but I suggest you learn to enjoy the flavor of beef. Jazz up the bun, go condiment crazy, hit up the gourmet cheese counter but for God's sake; actually adding oatmeal or eggs or breadcrumbs to a hamburger is, well...not a hamburger.
chefbuba
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/16 01:03:34
Fresh quality beef, salt, pepper & a hot grill are all you need to make a great burger.
Ask me how I know.

Mosca
Filet Mignon
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/16 21:35:51
Just saw something that said to use mayonnaise. Makes sense: eggs and oil.
MellowRoast
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/17 08:44:14
Nice burgers, chefbuba.
mr. sausage
Cheeseburger
☄ Helpful
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/17 11:38:14
Took some local ground beef last weekend and gently worked in some softened butter to add in some needed fat. I prefer grass fed beef but it's a little lean for hamburger so it benefits from either ground bacon or butter.
BackRhodes, I think you could sauté your spice mixture in butter and allow it to cool a bit before working it into your patty.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/17 11:41:50
mr. sausage

BackRhodes, I think you could sauté your spice mixture in butter and allow it to cool a bit before working it into your patty.


Or, you can just rub the dry spices/herbs between the palms of your hands to bring out the oils before adding them to the meat.
mr. sausage
Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/17 17:45:17
That is true, MH. Good way to get the oils going.

I'm sure I read this in old James Beard cookbook, but taking a knob of compound butter and burying it in the patty is a great way to keep the interior moist while adding tons of flavor. I'll try that this week. Just some butter, shallots, lemon and parsley to start. S&P the outside and cook as usual.

After I remove the burgers and let them rest I put the cut sides of the buns in the browned butter and beef fat to toast them. I'm lucky enough to have normal cholesterol levels but I don't know how...
BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/17 21:11:18
Somebody suggested used a bunch of condiments, but, I'm a picky eater that doesn't use condiments (including mayo) except bbq sauce or once in a while green taco sauce...
 
I wonder if my taste buds are dying on me, with less ability for me to taste (?)
 
The Bacon grease seem to work best...so far...but the experiment continues...
 
I'm increasing the amount of meat from 1/2 pound nominal to 3/4 pound. The half pound works better for smaller patties on small (standard) size buns but now I use larger buns, which is what started me on changing how I do things...
 
Somebody mentioned that seasonings on the outside hit the tastebuds first, and while I agree, there is a whole different universe having the seasoning on the inside...
 
I'm cooking only 1 burger at a time, so each grilling session has variances from one to another because I'm a dash & splash type of cook, where I do it by eye and not by measurement, and that might be a part of the problem. As much as my brain might fool me into think I could cook up and eat 8 burgers at a time to compare differences in the mix, I physically can't do that...
 
I might have to back track and go back to just salt & pepper inside, and then work forward again , but in a more controlled, scientific fashion...
 
One of the things I've done before is add some Au Jus mix from those spice packets we see in the seasonings section.
 
I tend to cook more than medium rare...
 
Time for me to put on my white lab coat, gloves, safety goggles, and go cook a burger...
 
Thanks for all the useful suggestions...
post edited by BackRhodes - 2014/05/17 21:13:25
hatteras04
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/18 14:57:46
According to this scientific approach, you should not salt the inside

http://aht.seriouseats.co...d-beef.html?ref=search
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/18 15:37:23
Just salt and pepper on the outside is enough for me.

BackRhodes
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/19 16:02:25
I took Mr Sausage's suggestion & melted a stick of butter, added seasonings, and let cool...
 
I had extra, with a batch that large, so I poured the rest into 5 cupcake paper cups & put in the reefer box for future use.
 
bartl
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Substitute binder for hamburger 2014/05/20 21:33:12
Re: Seasoning IN the meat. I find that if I make burgers, freeze them, and reheat them, there is a flavor I REALLY dislike in them. Spicing them up gets rid of that flavor. I usually use jerk (Walkers Wood or Grace) or a garam masala I pick up at a local Indian market. Sometimes I'll just mix it with a barbecue dry rub recipe I got from one of Steve Raichlen's books. Never needs a binder, always holds together.
 
Bart