How to Keep Hamburgers From Shrinking on the Grill

How To Keep Hamburgers From Shrinking On The Grill With These Easy StepsSo this is a pet peeve of mine…..make a big juicy burger patty, put it on the grill, and what I end up with is a tiny round blob in the middle of the bun that I call a hamburger. I want a nice burger that FITS the bun. I don’t think that’s asking too much, after all a restaurant can do it why can’t I? After trying several failed attempts I’ve finally found out the secret and I want to share it with you today. I know I can’t be the only one ending up with shrinking burgers. 

How To Keep Hamburgers From Shrinking On The Grill With These Easy StepsI won’t go into what doesn’t work but here’s the secret to a bun sized burger without making it huge to start with to account for shrinking.

  1. Make 3 burger patties from 1# of burger (we have our own farm raised meat, I know you can get different amounts of fat percentage in burger in the store but I have no idea how that compares to what we have).
  2. Flatten the patties to about 1/2″ thickness, and put a dimple in the middle with your thumb.
  3. Preheat gas grill to 450°, keeping the lid down.
  4. Once the grill reaches 450° place burgers on the rack.
  5. Here’s the important part (DO NOT CLOSE THE LID) this is the secret to a non shrinking burger.
  6. Let burgers cook on one side until a small amount of blood and juice pool on the topside, and the edges start to brown. Once you see this flip the burger over and continue to grill until it’s cooked through (ALWAYS KEEPING THE LID OPEN).

That is how you get the perfect burger size to fit your bun. If you think about it restaurant grill over an open flame they never have a lid and that’s what needs to be done at home too. I will no longer have that blob of a burger on my bun again. 


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    1. Cheryl you need to give it a try if you like to grill!

  1. I have resorted to using a bacon press, it also helps to keep them flatter and not mound up. Nice to know about keeping the lid open too. I had been doing the dimple in the center but that did not seem to completely eliminate the problem. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Pam yes the dimple and the lid open will solve the problem.

      1. Can’t wait to try these tips! I have tried the dimple in middle and didn’t work much but the grill lid was always down.
        Gonna try this asap! Thanks for sharing.

        1. Dawn it’s the only method that works for me.

  2. Steve never closes the lid on his burgers so I guess that is how they turn out so good.

    1. Carol I think Steve knew the trick way before I did!

  3. Thanks for the tip!!!

  4. Good info Dawn.. Thank you!

    1. Melissa, give it a try if your burgers turn out the way mine used too.

  5. That burger screams EAT ME. I just recently found out from watching the show Simply Ming on PBS that putting an indentation in the burger keeps it from shrinking. A wonderful tip about the lid staying open. Yep hubby always closes it. What you can learn from the blog world. It makes my day every day. : – )

    1. Debbie well then your hubby was way ahead of me. I’m not sure why it didn’t come to me sooner, but I’m so glad I tried it 🙂

  6. Thanks a bunch for the tip. I really did not think to leave the lid off. Gonna try this tonight.

  7. Werra Watson says:

    THANK YOU. I have to say I was really nervous leaving the lid open and I might have cheated a couple times when I had to run in the house……….at any rate it was almost up the entire time. I did NOT have a Hockey Puck hamburger thanks to you!

    1. Werra, I had to chuckle with you and the grill lid. I’m so glad it worked out for you 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  8. Dawn..we will try your tip of leaving the lid open on the grill..Thank you!! Sure will be glad when our Michigan weather decides to stay warm for us!! Have a beautiful Mother’s Day on Sunday!

    1. Jeanie, it’s amazing how well it works. Thank you for the Mother’s day wishes it’s going to be a little different this year with everyone so isolated.

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