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Why Add Breadcrumbs to Burgers? (Plus 7 Alternatives to Improve Them)

Why Add Breadcrumbs to Burgers? (Plus 7 Alternatives to Improve Them)

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Burgers are a backyard grilling staple, but it’s easy to get stuck in a burger rut sometimes. While a plain beef patty on a bun is classic, a few small tweaks can take your burger to the next level.

An example would be adding breadcrumbs!

Adding breadcrumbs to a burger may sound like a weird concoction, but it turns out that there is actually a reasonable method to the madness.

So, why add breadcrumbs to burgers? And what are some other ways to tweak a burger? Stick around to find out!

Why Breadcrumbs?


Generally, the burgers that you buy from the store will have aged a little bit, making them moist yet not too “wet” to hold together. The real issue with binding comes when you purchase fresh meat, something from a butcher normally.

If you’re buying fresh meat, adding an absorbent ingredient like breadcrumbs or even crumbled bread from your pantry can be an excellent way to make sure that the burger holds together.

While we want the burger to be moist, we don’t want it to fall apart before it even reaches our mouths. Another reason that you may add breadcrumbs to your burger is to “stretch” the meat a bit. 

When we buy a burger, it is often forgotten that some of that listed weight will actually cook away. So, by adding breadcrumbs, you can help make the burger seem bigger without adding any more meat.

Finally, there is the matter of texture. Burgers don’t have much natural crunch to them, at least not without a good, hard sear. Adding a little bit of breadcrumbs to your meat patty can be a great way to provide a little bit of a crunch after it has cooked out.

This can be a great compliment to the other components of a burger and something that you may not have tried before.

Other Ways to Improve Your Burger

It’s safe to say that we all share the goal of making our burgers the best that they can be. While that depends on personal taste, there are individual components to the burger that can make it or break it.

Here are a few different ways that you can make small changes to your burger and turn it into a delicious masterpiece: 

1 – Toast That Bun

Toasted Cheeseburg Bun

One of the most common rookie mistakes is leaving the bun as is. 

Sure, picking out a different style and flavor of bun – ciabatta, pretzel, and so on – can be a great way to add more flavor to your burger, but why stop there?

Whatever bun you decide on, make sure that it gets a kiss of the grill. Giving your bun a little char can give it another depth of flavor that only enhances the flavor profile of your burger. 

Not only that, it takes very little effort to make it happen.

2 – Picking the Right Meat

Picking The Right Burger Meat

While it may be easier, quicker, and less expensive to simply grab something prepackaged at the grocery store, you may be limiting yourself from getting the best possible burger.

Ask your local grocer or even check out a butcher in the area and create your own blend. Something that is 50% sirloin and 50% chuck would be a great option, for instance. This way, you can experiment with your burger to find the ultimate flavor. 

Not only that, purchasing a store-bought burger makes things universal for everyone and taste buds are anything but universal.

Get creative and you will be surprised at just what kind of flavor profile you may be able to come up with.

3 – Don’t Overwork the Meat

Kids Holding Burger Patties

One of the most common mistakes that amateur burger connoisseurs make is that they tend to overmix their meat.

While it is certainly understandable why this happens – you want to ensure that all of those spices get mixed thoroughly into the meat – it can have the inverse effect.

Burgers that are worked too much can become a little tough to chew and can also lose some of that flavor that you are trying to infuse into the burger.

Whatever spices you put into the meat mixture, work them gently to prevent the burger from losing flavor and becoming a bit too tough.

4 – Add in a Touch of Moisture


Burgers can get dry fast and overcooking them even a little bit can really sap the flavor out of your burger. To combat that dryness, try adding in a secret ingredient. It doesn’t even have to be something complicated or special.

Try adding in a touch of sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, yogurt, or a similar agent that will help lock in the moisture while giving your burger a little pop of flavor.

Don’t let your burger mixture turn into an overcooked, dry disappointment.

5 – Salt at the End

While it may be tempting to add salt to your ground beef mixture, you may actually be doing your burger patty a major disservice. This is because salt can actually break down the beef protein in the middle.

When your burger becomes sticky, tough, and doesn’t cook evenly in the middle, it is because of the salt that you added to your ground beef mixture. 

But salt is important, right? So, when should you add salt to your patty?

Sprinkle some salt at the end of the cook. Not only will the burger cook much better, evenly, and more thoroughly, but the salt will provide the proper boost of flavor as well.

You’ll wind up with a great burger that isn’t tough or weirdly textured.

6 – Get Creative With Cheese

Pre-sliced cheese works just fine, but making your own unique cheese blend amps up the flavor and makes your whole burger experience more fulfilling.

You can grate a mix of cheeses like cheddar, pepper jack, and Monterey jack for a unique flavor profile. You can also add minced garlic, herbs, jalapeños, and other ingredients to complement the patty. 

Next, shape the blend into small patties and freeze them until firm so that the cheese doesn’t ooze off the burger when you add it. 

Speaking of patties, check out my post on Smoked Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger Chili on the Big Green Egg!

7 – Spice Up Boring Buns

Hamburger buns deserve more love, so ditch those grocery store buns for one of the following flavorful options:

  • Pretzel buns add chew and salt to balance juicy burgers.
  • Brioche buns have a touch of sweetness that pairs well with savory toppings. 
  • Potato buns hold their structure and work for on-the-go eating.
  • Focaccia adds a gourmet twist with its sturdy texture, which holds loads of toppings.
  • Sweet Hawaiian rolls make excellent mini buns for slider burgers. 

With so many artisan bun varieties available, you can match texture and flavor to the patty and other components. Experiment with different varieties to find the combos you like and that make your burger pop.

Final Thoughts

Creating the perfect burger takes a little bit of time, effort, and luck, as well as a whole lot of experimenting. There’s nothing wrong with a classic, traditional burger but you could be limiting yourself from something truly great.

Add things that you may not have considered otherwise, experiment with your mix, and you may be surprised at what you wind up creating.

Also Read: 3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Hamburgers Warm


If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel

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