Keeping Burgers the Same Size

Discussion in 'Grilling Beef' started by bfelgar, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. I've heard that if you mix powdered milk in your beef, when you make burger patties, it prevents them from shrinking.  I think it was something like of 12% of total weight won't alter the taste.  I haven't been able to find anything online and was wondering if anyone has tried this, and what the results are?
  2. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a first for me, I am very interested in watching this thread.
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'd like to see where you read that.  I believe non-fat dry milk is added to sausage as an extender and to help retain moisture so there may be some validity but the reason I grind my own meat and make my own sausage is so I don't get the extenders.  I would think you could use a leaner beef and just nake the burgers larger to begin with.  If you want an extender bread crumbs work just fine.
  4. As a matter of fact, now that you mentioned it, I think I read it in a sausage making book and they said something about making burgers while discussing the effects of powdered milk.  I've tried bread crumbs and don't really like the result.  It makes them taste like "meatloaf burgers."  I think I might just do an experiment this week to see what happens.
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    We post up and let us know what you find out!

  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Kutas mentions in is book that commercially produced burger patties often contain soy protein concentrate for the reasons mentioned in this post.  Milk powder is often used as a substitute for soy protein concentrate.

    Poli recommends keeping milk powder below 4% or soy protein concentrate below 3.5% for use in sausage making

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  7. The best thing you can do to deal with shrinkage is make your burgers bigger at the start!!!! LOL

    That stuff  (soy/milk/bread) is gross in a burger!!! IMHO!

    A coarser grind also helps limit shrinkage.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  8. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    hum interesting thought here. I'll be awaiting the results of the experiment. 
  9. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Non fat dried milk is an all natural binder that will help retain moisture and give you a little added protein. You can use as must as you want but in sausage it's used at a 1%-4% rate. 12% I'd think will effect the flavor.

    let us know what ya do and how it comes out.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  10. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    I don't think that is necessary at all for home cooking. who cares if it shrinks? real meat shrinks so skip the odd stuff IMO.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm thinking like sausage boy, why not just make them a little bigger in the beginning. The stufz burger maker makes huge burgers. Even if you don't stuff them.
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Leaner meat shrinks less and after you form your burger squeeze a depression into the center of the burger making it about half the thickness of the edges. It will still shrink some but it will be a more even thickness when done...JJ
  13. Burgers should be 100% American Beef. Don't leave out the fat. That's what makes it good.
  14. big twig

    big twig Smoking Fanatic

  15. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Done this for years and it really works 
  16. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I actually poke a hole thru the middle of the burger w/ my finger when forming the burgers. keeps it from shrinking .

     any of you meat heads know how much water they are allowed to add to ground meat for sale to the consumer?

    Have been getting some meat that seems like it cooks out an excessive amount of water when done in the skillet.

     says 80 / 20 on pkg. i guess the 20% is water.
  17. So today I went to the store and picked up a pound each of 93/7 and 80/20 and some non fat powdered milk.  Separated into 1/4 pound portions and figured 4% (1.2 tbsp per patty) of milk in half of them. Used a cheap patty press to make them all exactly round and all the same size and shape. I did one with and one without of both fat contents.  One round in a frying pan on medium heat for 3 minutes on each side untouched, one round on a foreman grill for exactly 3 minutes.  measured everything before and after and there was no difference between using milk or not using milk.  there was about 1/8th of a difference in diameter on the 80/20 both in the pan and on the foreman but not enough to make a difference.  I also measured thickness and they all swelled exactly the same.  They tasted the same as well.

    I took pictures of everything and will post if you want but really the results were so boring that I thought I'd save you all the time. 

    Non fat dry milk definately does not reduce shrinking of the patty.  Oh well, thought I'd give it a try. [​IMG]
  18. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    so they all shrunk or none of them did?
  19. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I always used bread crumbs to keep them from shrinking.
  20. They all shrunk the same amount

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