Can You Make Burgers With 5% Fat Mince?

Over the past few years, I have been utilizing 5% fat mince in my cooking, which has yielded positive results and allowed me to recreate nearly all of the meals that were previously made with high-fat mince. However, when preparing burgers, certain modifications had to be made.

If you want to reduce your calorie intake or if the 5% fat mince is on sale, it can be advantageous to create burgers using this type of meat. However, the question remains: what is the best way to do so?

It is possible to utilize 5% fat beef mince for burger preparation, however, they may not have the same binding ability as meat with higher fat content. To create burgers using low-fat mince, you can opt to either grease the skillet before cooking, incorporate fat into the meat mixture, or cook the meat in a pan. Due to its low-fat content, it may be challenging to use on an open grill; therefore, it is suggested that you add fat or cook it on a stove.

Do not abandon the idea of using low-fat meat that you purchased on sale from the grocery store. There are several techniques to make this meat as delicious and succulent as regular, higher-fat meat mince. If you are interested in learning how to prepare delectable, lower-fat burgers, continue reading!

Will Burgers Made on 5% Mince Stick Together? 

When using low fat, 5% mince to make burgers, they may not hold together properly because fat is the primary binding agent in meats like beef and chicken due to the absence of gluten. As a result, if you plan on grilling burgers, it may be necessary to opt for meat with a higher fat content.

There are several techniques available to enhance the cohesion of your burger patties, such as incorporating specific ingredients or utilizing alternative cooking methods.

  • Include animal fat such as lard or beef tallow.
  • Include eggs, either the whole egg or just the whites or yolks
  • Include glutinous flour and oil
  • Place oil in the center of the burger patties
  • Include a piece of butter or margarine
  • Use a skillet to cook them on the grill
  • Bake them in the oven 
  • Do not thaw frozen meat 

Below, we will discuss each of these techniques in more detail to assist you in improving the cohesion of your patties.

The objective is to make up for the deficiency of fat by incorporating an alternative binding substance, and the approach you select relies on your desired outcome with the meat mince.

If you are using low-fat meat due to health concerns, it is advisable to opt for a healthier alternative such as egg whites or olive or grapeseed oil, which do not contain the unfavorable fats present in beef.

In case you have purchased low-fat meat at a reasonable price, you can still make burgers by supplementing it with beef tallow. This ingredient can be easily obtained from the supermarket or saved from previously cooked burgers and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

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How to Make Burgers With 5% Fat Mince

Earlier, we talked about the top ingredients that can serve as binding agents for your burger patties. To prevent the burgers from falling apart while molding them, it’s recommended to make them smaller in size.

Using smaller patties can reduce the chances of them falling apart and maintain their form, while adding butter or oil to the frying pan can also prevent burning and crumbling of the burgers.

To create your 5% fat burgers, follow these basic instructions:

  • Defrost the frozen meat and place it in a sanitized bowl or container
  • Include your preferred binding agent and desired seasoning (we suggest onion, garlic, and pepper) to the mixture.
  • Combine well using clean hands, a mixer, or a spoon
  • After combining the ingredients, grab a portion of the minced meat that is approximately twice as big as a regular meatball.
  • Shape the mince into a ball and press it down with your hands
  • Place your burgers in a frying pan and add one tablespoon of oil or butter
  • To avoid breaking them, cook the burgers completely and flip them as little as possible

Further elaboration on some of the techniques will be provided below.

How to Add Egg to Your Burger Mince

It is possible to include eggs in your uncooked and unfrozen meat, either the whole egg or just the whites or yolk.

If 5% fat mince is a concern, using egg whites as a binding agent can be helpful, but keep in mind that it won’t contribute any moisture to the meat, which may slightly affect its taste.

After adding around 3 eggs for every few pounds of mince, you can use a mixer or your hands (cleaned) to blend the eggs with the minced meat. Once mixed thoroughly, shape them into patties and store them in Ziploc bags with parchment paper before freezing.

How to Add Glutinous Flour and/or Oil 

To make burgers with 5% fat mince, mix uncooked and thawed mincemeat with glutinous flour and oil. The recommended amount of oil is approximately 1 cup and 4 tbsp per 2-3 pounds of meat.

Glutinous rice flour is the most suitable type of flour to include, although it may not be readily available at regular grocery stores and can instead be found at Asian food stores or online markets.

Another option is to mix potato starch or arrowroot starch and oil with your meat. In case you don’t have oil, you can also use butter or margarine.

Can You Add Fat to Lean Ground Beef?

It is possible to increase the fat content of your low-fat ground beef, but the choice of fat may affect the taste of the meat. Beef tallow is recommended for enhancing flavor, although there are other alternatives available.

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Healthier option for making burgers with 5% fat mince includes lard or bacon fat that contains monounsaturated fats, which are similar to olive oil and can boost the level of good cholesterol in the blood.

It is possible to include turkey fat in the recipe, but it may not be easily accessible, so it is not advisable unless it is readily available.

We do not suggest using oils with overpowering flavors that are vastly different from beef, such as fish oil.

Although pork fat has its own taste, it is comparable enough to enhance the flavor of the beef without dominating it.

How to Add Fat to Your 5% Beef Mince 

If you want to increase the fat content of your 5% beef mince for making burgers, it is recommended to begin by defrosting them. The most secure method of defrosting frozen meat is to put it in a bowl and allow it to thaw in the fridge.

If you follow our recommendation, you should prepare your meat the day before you plan to use it. Allow 24 hours for the meat to defrost in the refrigerator, so that it is ready when you are. For more tips on how to handle food safely, please take a look at our article here

After defrosting the meat, mix in preferred seasonings and 2 tablespoons of animal fat at room temperature. If beef tallow or lard is used, a ratio of 2 tablespoons per 3-4 pounds of meat can achieve an 80-90% fat content.

Here are the recommended measures to follow when adding fat to your beef:

  • Either put the refrigerated beef mince in a large bowl or a culinary mixer after it has been thawed.
  • Include appropriate amounts of beef tallow or lard to the beef (as mentioned earlier, refer above for an estimated quantity)
  • Combine the ingredients well, but avoid excessive handling of the meat to prevent it from becoming tough
  • When using a culinary mixer, it is important to use a low setting and pause it frequently to ensure that the minced meat is mixed evenly.
  • When mixing the meat, use a folding motion similar to kneading dough if you are using your hands
  • Shape the mince into burger patties and then decide whether to freeze or cook them

It’s important to keep in mind that the fat-to-meat ratio is typically a rough guideline, as chefs tend to add fat to lean meat by weight rather than by volume measurements like tablespoons or cups. As a result, they often recommend a ratio of two or three parts meat to fat.

Nevertheless, individuals without weighing scales can stay on track by utilizing the tbsp measurements mentioned above!

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How Fat Should Mince Be When Making Burgers?

The optimal fat content for creating burgers is within the range of 10-30% fat. Therefore, if you acquire beef mince that is 70-90% lean, it is reasonable to assume that your burgers will remain intact. However, only when the fat ratio falls below 10%, problems with the beef’s ability to hold together may arise.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the fattier the meat, the higher the cooking temperature required. This is due to the fact that if you cook meat with a high fat content on a low heat, it can result in a damp, mushy, and unsatisfactory outcome.

One advantage of using meat with a high fat content is that it produces the moist, tasty, and crunchy outer layer that we typically associate with a quick-service burger. It is recommended to utilize minced meat containing at least 20% fat when grilling your patties on an exposed grill.

Using 5% fat mince for burgers will result in a burger that has a crispy exterior with charred edges, while still maintaining a juicy interior, unlike burgers made with 10% fat mince which may become dry on the inside due to the high heat of the grill flames.

Can You Drain Fat From Mince?

There are several methods to remove fat from mince, but the most straightforward approach is to allow your burgers to cool on top of paper towels.

Once the burgers are cooked, their fat transforms into a viscous liquid, which can be absorbed by placing the patty on paper towels. Alternatively, you can strain the fat from the pan while cooking or use a baster to collect it.

The easiest way to remove the fat from cooked burgers is by using paper towels.

To make burgers with 5% fat mince, simply fry them in a pan or skillet and once cooked, transfer the patties onto a plate lined with multiple layers of paper towels to absorb any excess grease.

Another alternative is to collect or remove the fat from the pan while cooking the burgers. You can utilize a spoon, turkey baster, or cautiously pour the fat into a heated cup during the halfway point of cooking.

Do not pour the fat down your sink as it will solidify and potentially block your drain; instead, collect it in a cup and either dispose of it in the garbage or store it in the fridge.

If you have low-fat mince, you can add the fat to it or use it for frying vegetables like potatoes. To avoid any flavor absorption, cover the cup with plastic wrap before storing it in the refrigerator.

You can also check this video about “Can You Make Burgers With 5% Fat Mince?”

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