Mixing eggs with ground beef is a quick and easy way to add flavor and moisture to burgers. Eggs act as a binding agent to help the burger hold together, as well as provide protein and nutrients. There are a few different ways to mix egg with burger meat before forming patties and cooking. The method you choose will depend on personal preference and how many burgers you are making.
Why Add Egg to Burger Meat?
There are a few key benefits to adding egg to burger patties:
- Binding – Eggs help to bind the burger mixture together so patties hold their shape better when cooking. This prevents crumbling.
- Moisture – Eggs add moisture to the burger meat, resulting in a juicier patty.
- Flavor – Eggs provide a subtle egg flavor that enhances the overall taste of the burger.
- Nutrition – Eggs add protein, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin A, iron, and choline to the burger.
The proteins in eggs are coagulated by heat, helping to set the burger patty. The fats in egg yolk keep the burger juicy during cooking. This makes eggs one of the most versatile binders to use in burgers.
How Many Eggs per Pound of Beef?
The ideal egg to beef ratio is approximately 1 egg per pound of ground beef. This provides enough binding without making the texture too dense or eggy.
- 1 pound ground beef = 1 egg
- 2 pounds ground beef = 2 eggs
- 3 pounds ground beef = 3 eggs
Using just the egg yolk instead of the entire egg will provide moisture and fat without adding as much egg flavor. Yolk-only ratios would be approximately 2 yolks per pound of ground beef.
The number of eggs can be adjusted based on personal taste and the fat content of the beef. Fattier meats like 80/20 ground beef may not need as much added fat from egg yolks. Leaner meats like 90/10 ground beef benefit more from the added moisture of whole eggs.
How to Mix Egg with Beef
Basic Mixing Methods
There are a few basic methods for mixing eggs with ground beef:
1. Mix into beef: Crack eggs directly into the ground beef and mix together gently with hands until just combined. Overmixing can make burgers dense.
2. Whisk eggs: Whisk eggs in a bowl until blended. Pour over beef and mix together with hands. Whisking helps break up thick egg whites.
3. Fry egg: Cook egg scrambled or fried. Let cool and crumble over beef. Mix together with hands. This adds texture.
Add Ins for Flavor
Spices, herbs, sauces, and other mix-ins can be added along with the egg for more flavor:
- Fresh herbs – chopped parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro
- Spices – salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder
- Sauces – Worcestershire, soy sauce, hot sauce, barbecue sauce
- Seasoned salt – onion salt, ranch seasoning, steak seasoning
- Minced garlic
- Breadcrumbs or panko
- Diced onions or shallots
Aim for around 1-2 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of beef. Mix in with hands along with eggs.
Food Safety Tips
When mixing raw egg with beef, follow these food safety guidelines:
- Wash hands and cooking surfaces before preparation.
- Use fresh eggs before the expiration date.
- Mix eggs with beef just before cooking. Don’t let sit before cooking.
- Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Don’t keep leftover burgers with egg mixed in. Use a new egg batch for each cooking.
Proper cooking is necessary to destroy any bacteria from raw eggs or meat. Refrigerate unused burger patties and cook within 2 days.
Once the egg is mixed into the ground beef, gently form patties without over-handling:
- For even cooking, form patties to the same thickness and size.
- Indent the center of the patty slightly to prevent puffing up as it cooks.
- For crispy edges, press outer rim of patty against hot pan initially and don’t move patty as it cooks.
- Use a wide spatula to gently flip patties halfway through cooking.
Cook patties on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes per side for medium doneness at 160°F internal temperature. Adding egg helps patties hold together on the grill or pan without falling through grates.
Egg Burger Recipes
Beyond the basic egg burger, there are endless recipe combinations for flavorful egg burgers. Get creative with mixes of meats, cheeses, veggies, and condiments.
Turn your burger into a complete breakfast sandwich:
- Canadian bacon or sausage patties
- Cheddar cheese
- Fried egg
- Toasted English muffin or biscuit
- Lettuce, tomato, avocado
Spice it up with:
- Ground beef mixed with chili powder, cumin, garlic
- Pepperjack cheese
- Avocado slices
- Chipotle mayo
A Mediterranean twist:
- Ground lamb or beef
- Feta cheese crumbles
- Tzatziki sauce
- Tomatoes, cucumber, red onion
- Beef mixed with Italian seasoning
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pesto mayo
- Sun-dried tomato
- Balsamic glaze
- Swiss cheese
- Grilled pineapple
- Teriyaki sauce
- Fried onion rings
- Lettuce, tomato
Cooking Methods for Egg Burgers
Properly cooked egg burgers should have a moist, juicy interior with great binding from the egg. The egg flavor should be subtle, not overpowering. Here are cooking methods to try:
This is the most common and easiest way to cook egg burgers:
- Use a heavy skillet or flat griddle pan over medium high heat.
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil or butter to prevent sticking.
- Place patties carefully in pan and cook 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Press patties down initially for crispy edges.
Get nice char marks from the grill:
- Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat.
- Clean grates well and brush with oil to prevent sticking.
- Place patties on grates and cook 5 minutes per side.
- Close lid but avoid flare ups.
Bake in the oven for a hands-off method:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake 12-14 minutes until 160°F internal temperature.
- Optional – Add cheese on top halfway through baking.
For maximum flavor:
- Preheat pellet grill or smoker to 225-250°F.
- Use hickory, pecan, applewood chips for smoke flavor.
- Place patties directly on grill grates.
- Smoke for 15-20 minutes until 160°F internal temperature.
The lower, slower heat helps patties stay juicy inside.
Serving Egg Burgers
Consider these tips for serving egg burgers hot off the grill:
- Let patties rest 2-3 minutes before serving to allow juices to redistribute.
- Serve burgers on soft brioche or pretzel buns to soak up juices.
- Top bottom bun with condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayo to prevent sogginess.
- Include fresh veggies and pickled items to balance the richness.
- Cut burgers in half for easier eating if serving as sandwiches.
Pair egg burgers with classic sides:
- French fries
- Potato salad
- Baked beans
- Corn on the cob
- Macaroni salad
Enjoy the added flavor and juiciness egg provides to your next burger night!
Adding egg to ground beef patties not only enhances flavor and texture, but also boosts the nutritional value. Here is a nutritional comparison of 4oz burger patties, with and without 1 egg added:
|Nutrient||Beef Patty||Beef Patty with Egg|
|Iron||15% DV||20% DV|
|Vitamin A||0% DV||10% DV|
The egg adds more healthy protein, iron, and vitamin A to balance out the saturated fat from the beef. Overall, egg enhances both the enjoyment and nutrition of your homemade burgers!
Egg Handling Safety
Whenever handling raw eggs, be sure to follow these safe practices:
- Purchase eggs from refrigerated cases and check that shells are clean and not cracked.
- Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F or below until ready to use.
- Check expiration or Julian dates and use eggs within 3-5 weeks of purchase.
- Wash hands, cooking tools, surfaces after cracking raw eggs.
- Cook egg burgers to 160°F internal temperature.
- Refrigerate cooked burgers within 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth.
Proper refrigeration is key when working with eggs. Cook thoroughly and don’t leave egg-containing mixtures or burgers at room temperature too long. Follow these safe handling tips when whipping up your next batch of juicy egg burgers!
- Use a ratio of 1 egg per 1 pound of ground beef for optimal binding and moisture.
- Mix eggs in using hands or by whisking in a bowl before adding to beef.
- Add herbs, spices, sauces to egg mixture for extra flavor.
- Handle raw eggs safely and cook burgers to 160°F internal temperature.
- Pan fry, grill, bake, or smoke burgers to desired doneness.
- Let burgers rest before serving on buns with favorite toppings and condiments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my egg burgers fall apart?
If your egg burgers are crumbling during cooking, you likely didn’t add enough egg binder. Use a full egg per pound of beef or add extra yolk for more binding power. Overhandling the meat when mixing can also cause falling apart. Gently mix just until combined.
Do I need to use fresh eggs?
Yes, fresh eggs work best to bind and add moisture. As eggs age, the whites thin out and won’t mix as well into the meat. For peak performance, use eggs within 3-5 weeks of purchase.
Can I use egg substitute instead of real eggs?
Egg substitutes like Egg Beaters are not recommended, as they won’t provide the same binding effect. The added protein, fat, and emulsifiers in real eggs are needed for the job. Stick to fresh whole eggs or yolks.
What kind of meat should I use for egg burgers?
80/20 or 85/15 ground chuck or ground beef work well for egg burgers. The higher fat content stays juicy when mixed with eggs. Ground turkey, chicken, or veggie meat can also be used. Adjust egg amount as needed.
Should I add seasonings to the egg mixture?
Yes! Add 1-2 teaspoons of spices, herbs, sauces, and other seasonings per pound of meat to the egg mixture. This infuses flavor throughout each bite. Onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, parsley are great options.
Adding egg is an easy trick to make your burger game even better. The egg binds the meat for a juicy and tender texture, as well as provides extra protein and nutrients. Mix about 1 egg per pound of ground beef and incorporate your favorite flavors too. Cook egg burgers on the stovetop, grill, or oven until safely cooked through to medium doneness, then dig in! Use safe raw egg handling practices and you’ll have delicious homestyle burgers anytime.