Burger shrinkage problem

  • Mornin’ Meat Masters. I need some help. Have a recipe I like to make burgers but seem to get an awful large amount of shrinkage when grilling them. Was hoping one of you smart peeps might have a remedy for this, thanks.

  • Admin

    The amount of shrinkage you get on cooking burgers will probably be due to the fat and moisture content, and how high of a heat is used during cooking. The more fat and moisture, plus the higher heat used will cause more shrinkage.

    My first thought would be to try cooking with a lower heat if you don’t want to change the rest of your recipe.

    Hopefully someone else here has some more advice to share as well!

  • Thanks Austin,
    I did have the grill on high to get the grill marks set on the burgers and may have caused them to cook too quick. There is a bit of fat and moisture in these, so that may effect them too. I’ll forego the grill marks on the next batch and plan to allow extra time so they cook slower and see haw that does, thanks.

  • If your shrinkage problem persists more than likely you fat content may need some help try adding some angus beef to your current mix and see if that helps.

  • @tomg

    I for one am not a big fan of grilled BBQ burgers. BBQ grilling tends to dry out the burger to much unless you cook slow and long. If you want the taste of the burger to come through use a good seasoned cast iron skillet and sear both sides and lower heat to below medium heat to finish. You can do on the grill with a cast iron skillet also to retain the juice and full size patty.

  • One more thing on the burger shrinkage is grind your own. Big grocery’s chains and packing plants add moisture through adding water or ice cubes. it is the cheapest thing to add to increase your poundage when selling packaged burger. One other thing to get off my chest is when buying a box of the grilling burger boxes in the big grocery chains in there frozen section. Flip the box over and see if you can pronounce all the ingredients on the side of the box. Grind your own you know what goes into it. You don’t have to have a 600lb per hour capacity grinder to make you own burger. Grind your own.

  • Walton's Employee

    @denny Great point Denny! I will add one more thing that is sort of related. I have been using our General Tso Marinade on chicken here for my dinners and lunch. I generally don’t purchase organic chicken as I don’t see the benefit but my wife has started eating chicken again after years of being a vegetarian, I consider this an enormous win for me by the way. So she wanted me to get her some organic chicken and I used the same General Tso Marinade on that chicken and it was a noticeably better taste. The difference wasn’t really that it was organic, it was that it was not pumped full of water! When they pump the chicken full of water any marinade you use is not going to be able to penetrate as well as a non-pumped chicken breast. Now, was the taste difference worth paying more than double the cost? Probably not but it was a noticeable difference.

  • One other thing you can do to help burger shrinkage is put a thumb indention in the middle of the burger. It won’t stop the shrinkage but it will be a very noticeable difference next to one that doesn’t have an indention!

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  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

    Another option, if you are making 100 lb batches or don’t mind breaking down the seasoning into smaller batches, would be the Ton’s Summer Seasoning (4550806642) It has a very good flavor and is pretty peppery if I remember correctly, I pepper is listed higher in the ingredients list than any of the others… Of all of the basic Summer Sausage seasonings (excluding ones like Jalapeno and Habanero BBQ) this is the second best scoring one amongst employees.

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    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
    So I used Waltons H Summer Sausage and mixed in about a quarter cup of fine black pepper. I liked the results and several others did as well. It had a light pepper taste and I probably will add a little more in the next batch for a slightly stronger flavor. I used 25 lbs of venison and 4lbs of beef fat to keep it on the leaner side. Good luck, Bob

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  • S

    thanks. As it turned out I did use a pork butt, cost only $1.48/# on sale and pork fat appears to be running about 50 cents more. Pure fat is a lot harder to come by, guessing because there is just less of it – supply and demand. One recipe I was using called out pork fat and I directly substituted the ground pork butt and it tasted fine even at a 25% ratio. The other sausage experimental batch I made with 50% and it is even better. So, 50/50 is the future now. thanks for your input folks!

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  • S

    excellent, thanks.

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