Questions for the Cook

How do I keep my burgers from falling apart?

Dear Cooks,

My family loves my homemade hamburgers!  Although I have a problem with them; when I cook them on the grill, they fall apart.   I use both egg and breadcrumbs in them, I have tried it with one and not the other  I even have used ground beef that has a higher fat content…I just don’t know what to do or what I am doing wrong.  Any suggestions???


Thanks & love your show!


Plano, TX

Dear Kathy,

Great question!  It’s not about the fat content, honestly.  Just make sure you don’t have too many liquidy things in there, like too much Worchestershire sauce or onions, but whats also important is to make sure they are cold when you put them on the grill, AND do not keep flipping them.  That will make the burger fall apart for sure.  Leave them alone for a few minutes and only flip once, if possible.


17 Responses to “How do I keep my burgers from falling apart?”

  1. Renee Young says:

    Dear Cook,
    I love your show very much. I live in Guyana,that is in South America and I am a pre school teacher and the tings the parents give the children for snack is not good. I try to make the things I see you making when you are cooking but we don’t have some of the thing you have, like the different kind of cheese, Ilove cheese. If I could have it my way I would cook for the kids, but it is very costly here in Guyana. But if I get some of that stuff you have it will work for me.

    Thank You

  2. A says:

    Rachael, after the burgers have been formed with eggs, bread crumbs, etc., Put them into the freezer for about an hour. This makes them firm.

  3. Jo Ann Honea says:

    Where are your 30 minute meals prepared? Thanks, Jo Ann

  4. Kristin says:

    Can someone help me? It’s a burger recepie i can’t find, an open burger with pepperoni and onion fried/cooked in tomatopaste and redwine..?

  5. William C. Stockmann says:

    Hi Rachael,
    Thought I’d share this story with you. You might think it’s funny. A while ago I wanted to make myself three fried eggs. I took them out of the fridge and put them on the counter beside the stove. Then I heated up my smallest frying pan. (It’s one of those that moves around on the stove because the handle is just as heavy as the pan.) Anyways, I cracked one egg into the pan. Then I took the second egg, and just as it cracked, the frying pan jumped off the stove. The second egg landed on the hot element. Just as that happened, the third egg rolled off the counter and broke on the floor. Within a second, I had a fried egg in the pan on the floor, a second egg burning on the element and the third egg cracked on the floor. I could never do that again even if it was orchestrated. Anyways, I just turned off the stove and went out for breakfast.

    Love your show,
    Bill Stockmann

  6. Hope Bauman says:

    CAN YOU PLEASE do something for Graduation ideas
    decorating, foods etc. My daughter wants quesadillas where do I start??? Plan to serve 300-350. Is this a bad idea????

  7. Robyn Wright says:

    Hi Rachel, I am a huge fan of your shows. I just love 30-minute-meals! It is in awesome show!

  8. Dale Porter says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I watch your show quite often and wonder if you may be able to answer a question for me? Once a non stick pan (calphalon) starts to stick can I do anything to season it and make it quit sticking? I am a pretty good cook if I do say so myself and I use some of you recipes. My neighbors all love it when I am trying out a new recipe mbecause I use them as tasters
    Hope you have an answer for me.
    Thank You

  9. Carol C. says:

    Kristin- The receipe that you’re looking for is the “Power Burger”. I found it on the Rachael Ray show website. Hope you see this and can find it!

  10. Becca_Boo says:

    Hi ,

    The burgers will not fall apart if , as said before , you keep them chilled prior to grilling . And as Ray Ray says…..let the meat talk to you. Let it caramalize a bit and it should lift up easily . If not then let them set a bit longer . Also , too much liquid spells disaster for a burger . Better to grill more slowly , if possible . Burgers are one of my specialties and it’s not as easy as people think . I’ve never had anyone not go for another burger…..IF they can handle it . My burgers are huge ! I cannot stand to see a pathetic burger on a grill. Ummmmmmm…..whats the point ? *L*

  11. Teresa Brewer says:

    We absolutely love your bacon and deviled eggs. I fixed them for a church dinner and they all loved them because they were so different. Thanks for the help.

  12. Colleen Gerlach says:

    I have a question about shallots. Every time I see them being used, they are always sauteed. Is that the only way they can be eaten? I am wondering if they can be a condiment for burgers, as they sound like a good flavor of mild onion and garlic. I have never tried shallots cooked or raw. I love your shows. Thanks, Colleen

  13. tina says:

    I love to eat hamburger alot. can you please give me some easy ways to cook them.

  14. carolyn s says:

    I was watching your show on may22 when you made the ranch dressing.
    I am lactose sensitive and even buttermilk can cause probalems.I use low fat yogurt in place of buttermilk and its great.

  15. Rach’s Cookbooks for burgers!

    Rachael Ray has so many cookbooks, it is hard to know which one to get, so buy them all! You can buy new and used ones at 50% off retail, and sometimes even more! You don’t need a new one if all you want is to cook and not give it away as a gift! You can save big time! go to and type in Rachael Ray. Hundreds of cookbooks and kitchen items at the best price and save gas too by not driving to the mall stores!
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  16. Lettie says:

    I need help in making hamburger patties. The meat I buy is 80/20. I season the meat with salt, pepper and sometimes garlic powder, nothing fancy. Then I make a huge patty, but by the time it’s done, it’s smaller than the hamburger bun! Any idea why they shrink so much? Is it the type of ground beef I’m buying?

  17. Sarah Vocana says:

    Dear Lettie,
    Have you tried using the lower fat hamburger? I have also used one of Rachel’s tips on putting an indentation in the middle of the pattie, and leave it a little thicker on the outside before you grill it.

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