Skip to Content

How to Keep Burgers from Shrinking When Frying & Grilling

How to Keep Burgers from Shrinking When Frying & Grilling

Last Updated on 24th May 2022 by

There are some common mistakes people make with burgers that they will keep on making until they learn a better way. I know some people cook burgers that crumble when they grill them up, and they think it is because of the quality of the meat rather than their cooking method.

Yes, the meat’s quality can affect the final product, especially affecting the texture and stability of the burger patty, but that’s not the only factor. You also have to know the right methods for cooking burgers.

One common mistake I see people make is to let their burgers shrink as it cooks. If you have seen this happen to you a few times, you might not be thinking about how to keep burgers from shrinking on the grill.

You may just assume that sometimes burgers shrink when they are cooked and there isn’t much you can do about it. I want to let you know that you can change the way your burgers cook and determine whether they shrink or not when you cook them. This doesn’t have to be a problem for you when you use the grill. You don’t have to put up with shrunken, pathetic-looking burgers.

How to Keep Burgers from Shrinking in Frypan

When you cook your burger on the stove in a frying pan, you need to know this one simple trick to keep them from shrinking. Just press down in the centre of the burger while it is soft and before it cooks.

Make a small depression in your burger to reduce shrinkage, just as big as your finger and just deep enough or there to be a depression. Then, cook it as you normally would.

A good burger that’s a good size for your sandwich will be cooked with a dimple on top. That’s all it takes to make your burger retain its size and stay big and juicy when it cooks.

If you don’t do that, it can shrink to a fraction of its size and not fit your bun properly. This simple fix is how to keep burgers from shrinking and takes care of that problem better than anything.

How to Keep Burgers from Shrinking on Grill

When cooking your burgers on the grill, you want to follow the same tip I just gave you about dimpling. That works just as well on the grill as it does on the stove for how to keep frozen burgers from shrinking while cooking.

There is another tip about grill cooked burgers that I want to tell you that is important to prevent shrinkage. That would be to keep the grill uncovered as the burgers cook. Closing up the grill cover will affect your burger size, and if you cover your burgers on the grill as they cook, they will likely lose some of their spread and shrivel up, looking a little sad.

These are my top tips for how to keep burgers from shrinking on the stove or grill, and if you know these couple of tips, you can have great looking burger.You don’t have to look down at your cooked burger and wonder why it looks so little in comparison to how it come out of the packaging. It can still be the same size and still taste great, being full of juiciness and flavour.

Simply cooking the burger uncovered and dimpling the burger before it is cooked are enough for how to keep burger from shrinking on the stove or grill.

If you finished cooking the burger and it came out too small, there isn’t much you can do about it at that point. It’s too late to make it any bigger, but now you know for next time.

Other Burger Cooking Tips

There are some other pieces of advice I want to share with you about how to cook your burgers on the stove or grill that can help you to have tasty, juicy and properly sized burgers.

First of all, make sure your meat is not too lean. If they have at least 20% fat, that helps the burger to stay juicy, tender and flavourful. A lack of fat can kill a burger’s flavour, but how to keep 80% lean 20% fat burgers from shrinking? Just use the same methods I told you earlier- cooking them uncovered and with a dimple in the middle.

Next up, I would advise you to be careful about how much you handle the meat. Try not to flip it too much or adjust it a lot. This can make your burger tough and hard like a hockey puck instead of soft and flavourful like it should be.

Keep the handling to a minimum to make the best burgers. You will get tender burgers that are easy to eat this way.

I also want to mention seasoning your burger at the proper time. Don’t season well in advance of while it is on the grill. Instead, season before you put it on the grill or in the frying pan. This way, the seasoning will stick to the burger. The herbs and spices are less likely to adhere to the burger if you apply them while the meat is cooking.

There is also no need to marinate beef patties. You can simply pat the seasoning or rub on right before it goes onto the grill.

Finally, I want to advise you not to flatten your burger with your spatula or tongs. You may feel the need to flatten the burger as you cook it, but that is not advisable.

If your burgers are too thick then I suggest that you cover them with some grease proof paper and gently press them with a burger press or roll with a rolling pin until they are around 20% larger then your burger bun. I am not sure why people do this. Maybe they just want the burger to fit into the bun better and they are worried about their sandwich peaking if there is a rise the middle of the burger.

This will not make the burger cook quicker and it will not help the burger to taste better. It can damage the texture and taste of the burger, though, so try to avoid doing that.

These are my top tips for grilling burgers, and I hope they help you the next time you are grilling. If you want juicy, tender, and properly sized burgers, just follow the tips I have provided. Enjoy!

4.7/5 - (9 votes)
Website | + posts

I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here