How To Keep Burgers From Shrinking On The Grill? Effective Tips

Grilled burgers taste great, but they dry out and shrink when baked. You will probably be disappointed compared to what you imagine a burger patty flat to be. So, how to keep burgers from shrinking on the grill? Read our practical sharing round this article, and you will have the correct answer!

Why Does Burger Shrink On The Grill?

Most meats shrink when you grill them. The main reasons that lead to the shrinkage of the burger include.

  • Meat has many additives such as salt and water
  • Too much fatty meat in the burger
  • Grill patty at too high temperature
  • The shape or size of the patty doesn’t fit

how to keep burgers from shrinking on the grill

Excessive heat will burn the burger

We can see that the shrinkage of burgers depends on the additives, the amount of fat, and the grill temperature. Just one of these factors changes. It also causes the burger to become shriveled and drier.

To make the burger flat, we need to know how to adjust the above factors to a reasonable point. All the valuable knowledge and tips we will share in the section below!

How To Keep Burgers From Shrinking On The Grill?

To make a burger patty flat, you can do the following tips:

  • Do not use meat containing additives
  • Use lots of lean meat in burgers
  • Grill burger at the right temperature
  • Make the burger size bigger than you need
  • Make an indent in the middle of the patty
  • Do not press the burger while baking
  • Limit flipping patty while grilling

As noted above, the shrinkage of a burger depends on many different factors. To have a consistent and delicious patty for burgers, you need to be more careful while grilling it.

No Meat Contains Additives

There is a natural amount of water in meat, but vendors often add water or salt to minced meat to increase weight. So you can often see water coming out when grilling meat.

You shouldn't buy ground meats that contain many additives

You shouldn’t buy ground meats that contain many additives

The water in the meat will make the burger look tastier when un-grilled. However, when you bring the burger to the grill, the heat will make the water evaporate. At this point, the burger will shrink back to its original shape.

Plus, too much water escapes the burgers, taking with them the nutrients and sweetness of the meat. Most patties made from meat contain additives that will not taste good.

Experience for you is that you should not buy ground meats that contain many additives. For the burger not to shrink when baking, you need to choose reputable meat suppliers.

Use More Lean Meat In Burgers

The fat will shrink when baked on the griddle. At high temperatures, the grease in the fatty meat will liquefy and escape. As a result, the fatty piece of meat will shrink.

You should be imperative to balance the amount of fat in the burger

You should be imperative to balance the amount of fat in the burger

If there is a lot of fatty meat in your burger, the fat will flow out at the high temperature of the grill. In the end, you will only have a dry patty.

In this case, you need to balance the right amount of fat in the burgers. You should make a burger with more lean meat and less fat to avoid shrinkage. It also makes burgers less greasy.

The lean meat rate to the fat in burgers we recommend you follow is 80% lean meat and 20% fatty meat. The burger containing all lean meat will be better. It won’t shrink but is very dry.

In some cases, it easily splits into several pieces and ceases to be a patty. Therefore, it is imperative to balance the amount of fat in the burger.

Grill Burger At The Right Temperature

All food will cook faster when the grill is at a high temperature. However, it will be difficult for us to control and regulate the temperature. At high temperatures, just a few seconds difference will burn the food.

We need to grill burgers at moderate heat

We need to grill burgers at moderate heat

Burgers are the same. When the burger grill is at too high a temperature, the steam in the meat will evaporate quickly. It makes the patty dry and shrink faster.

Grilling a burger at a high temperature also makes it impossible for you to handle the situation in time. Just flip the burger slowly for a few seconds, and it burns on one side. Sometimes the outside is burnt, but the inside burger is still undercooked.

So we need to grill burgers at moderate heat and grill for a long time. This method not only retains the delicious taste inside the patty but also reduces shrinkage.

Make Burger Size Bigger Than You Need

Most meats will shrink when we grill them at high heat. This contraction will happen gradually, making it difficult for us to detect.

You should flatten them to the same thickness

You should flatten them to the same thickness

When shaping your patty, you should mold it a little bigger than the size of the bread. So when the burger shrinks, it will be just enough for your bread. You should flatten them to the same thickness. The difference in the patty’s juiciness can also cause it to shrink.

Making a Dimple in the Center of Burger Patty

A handy trick that chefs often use is to make indentations for their patty. After flattening the burger, you can use the tip of your finger to make an indent in the center of the patty.

You can use your finger to make an indent in the center of the patty

You can use your finger to make an indent in the center of the patty

Note that this is a dent, not a hole. The indentation has a moderate depth of about 1/3 of the thickness of the burgers. It can help the burger not shrink much while grilling.

Do Not Press Burgers While Grilling

One of the biggest mistakes people make a shrink patty is pressing it down while grilling. Although the steam on the outside of the burger evaporates, it still retains some moisture inside. It will help the burger not be too dry, soft and fresher.

When you press the burger down on the grill, it is similar to juicing. The liquid inside the burger will drain out and evaporate. That equates to the burger becoming drier and tending to shrink shortly afterward. Note that don’t push the burger down while it is on the grill.

Limit Flip Burger During Grill

You can leave the patty on one side for 2 to 4 minutes

You can leave the patty on one side for 2 to 4 minutes

Many people are often worried that the burger will burn and often flip it. However, you should not flip the burger too much.

When you grill a burger at a steady temperature, it won’t burn if you leave it on for a few minutes on the grill. But if you flip it over and over again, the burger will break apart very quickly.

The raw meat and main meat will not have a tight connection. So when you flip the patty too many times, it can turn into a meat glass. You can leave the patty on one side for 2 to 4 minutes and then start flipping again. Each flip should flip quickly and accurately.

Some Notes For Patty Flat

You need to make a lot of notes to make the patty flatter. Here are a few tips for you:

  • You should preheat the grill first, only start grilling when the grill has reached the right temperature.
  • Try to flip the burger once during the cooking process.
  • You can add some mushrooms, olive oil, or mayonnaise to the burger.
  • Flatten the burger while shaping and make an indent in the center.
  • Should cook burgers thoroughly to ensure food safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I Grill a Burger While It’s Frozen?

You shouldn’t bake a burger while it’s frozen. During the grilling process, the burger will also defrost and may fall apart. It will also lose more water and shrink more easily. The best condition to grill a burger is to let it come to room temperature before grilling.

2. How Can I Reheat a Burger?

You can reheat the burger in the oven or the microwave.

If you’re reheating the burger in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F before putting the burger in the oven. Reheat for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat. If you use a microwave, just put the burger in and turn on the microwave. Do not leave the burger in the microwave for too long.

3. How To Avoid the Burger Sticking To The Grill?

To avoid the patty from sticking to the grill, you should clean the grill regularly before using it. Only start grilling when the grill is hot enough.

Mixing some olive oil into the burger will also help keep it from sticking to the grill. If you do not want to add more oil to the patty, you can spray or grease the grill’s surface.


The burger that does not shrink on the grill will make you feel more satisfied. Although patty often shrinks, you can take the measures that we suggest above. We hope the information we share helps you have better burgers.

Thanks for reading!

See more:

  1. weber smokey mountain 18 vs 22.

Leave a Comment