How many eggs to put in ground beef for burgers?

Quick Answer

The recommended amount of egg to add to ground beef when making burgers is 1 egg per pound of meat. So for example, if you are making burgers with 2 pounds of ground beef, you would add 2 eggs. The egg helps to bind the burger mixture together so the burgers hold their shape better when cooking.

Why Add Egg to Ground Beef for Burgers

There are a few reasons why adding egg to ground beef when making burgers is helpful:

  • Binding – Eggs act as a natural binding agent that helps hold the burger together and prevents crumbling. When meat is ground up, the membranes that held the meat fibers together are broken down. The egg protein coagulates as the burger cooks, helping to glue the meat back together.
  • Moisture – Eggs add moisture to the burger mixture. This can help make the burgers juicy. The egg yolks are rich in fat and emulsifiers that keep the meat moist.
  • Flavor – Eggs add both flavor and richness to the burger. The fat in the yolks brings a smooth, tender mouthfeel.
  • Structure – The egg proteins help strengthen the protein network of the beef. This gives the burger a better consistency and helps it hold its shape during cooking.
  • Browning – Eggs promote browning through a reaction called the Maillard reaction. This adds more flavor and appetizing color to the burger exterior.

So in summary, adding egg to burger meat helps bind the mixture together, adds moisture and flavor, and promotes better structure and browning.

How Many Eggs per Pound of Ground Beef

The generally recommended amount of egg is 1 whole egg per pound of ground beef. Any more than this can make the burger too dense or rubbery.

Here are some examples:

  • 1 pound ground beef – add 1 egg
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef – add 1.5 eggs (about 2 eggs)
  • 2 pounds ground beef – add 2 eggs
  • 3 pounds ground beef – add 3 eggs

If making a very large batch of burgers, you may need to experiment. But in most normal cases, 1 egg per pound of meat provides enough binding without creating texture issues.

Tips for Adding Egg

Here are some tips for adding egg to ground beef burgers:

  • Use whole eggs. The egg whites provide structure while the yolks add moisture and fat.
  • Lightly beat the eggs before adding to ensure they are evenly incorporated into the meat.
  • Add any other burger mix-ins like spices, worcestershire sauce, etc before adding the egg to combine everything.
  • Gently mix the egg into the ground beef without over-handling which can make the burgers dense.
  • For safety, use freshly cracked eggs. Older eggs risk contamination.
  • If making large batches, add eggs in increments versus all at once to distribute evenly.
  • Consider using pasteurized eggs if serving burgers to those with increased food safety risks.

Following these tips will help you add the right amount of egg for optimal texture and binding.

Egg Alternatives

While egg is the most common binder used in burgers, there are some alternatives for those who need to avoid eggs:

  • Breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs – Use about 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs per pound of meat. Soak in a little milk or water first.
  • Oats – Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry oats per pound of meat. Process the oats into a flour-like texture first.
  • Mashed Potatoes – Mash 1 medium potato per pound of meat and mix into the burger mix.
  • Ground Flaxseed – Add 1-2 tablespoons per pound of meat. Mix the flaxseed into the meat well to distribute.
  • Commercial Binders – There are natural commercial binders like whey protein concentrate or plant-based binders.

These substitutes work to mimic the binding and moisture adding abilities of eggs without using the actual egg protein.

Recipes and Formulas

Here are some standard burger recipes and formulas that use eggs as a binder:

Basic Burger Formula

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (optional additional binder)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients gently together and form into patties. For a juicier burger, refrain from over-mixing which can overwork the proteins. Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160F.

All-American Cheeseburger

  • 1.5 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Combine beef, eggs, onion, ketchup, mustard and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix gently and form into 6 patties.

Cook burgers to desired doneness and top with shredded cheddar cheese during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking to melt.

Southwest Turkey Burgers

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 small minced jalapeno pepper

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix lightly. Form into patties and cook through to 165F internal temperature.

Tips for Cooking Burgers Made with Egg

Burgers made with eggs require some special care during cooking:

  • Use gentler heat and cook a little slower than plain beef burgers to ensure the interior cooks through without burning the exterior.
  • Cook on a preheated grill or skillet. Uneven cooking can cause egg-bound burgers to break apart.
  • Don’t press down on burgers as they cook. This can squeeze moisture out.
  • Flip only once halfway through cooking. Less handling prevents cracking.
  • Add cheese slices at the end to prevent overcooking the egg-containing interior as the cheese melts.
  • Rest cooked burgers for 5 minutes before serving. This allows juices to redistribute through the patty.

Following these tips will provide the best results when cooking beef burgers containing egg.

Nutrition and Food Safety

Nutritionally, eggs add protein, vitamins, and minerals to burgers:

  • Eggs boost the protein content of burgers, with about 6 grams protein per large egg.
  • They provide vitamins like A, B12, folate and minerals including iron, selenium, and zinc.
  • The egg yolk contributes beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats like cholesterol and omega-3s fatty acids.

Despite these bonuses, take care with raw egg and ground beef food safety:

  • Only use fresh eggs free of cracks.
  • Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160F to eliminate bacteria from the ground meat and eggs.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days.
  • Freeze cooked burgers if not using within 3-4 days.

Handling raw meat and eggs safely prevents the risk of foodborne illness. But when cooked properly, beef and eggs together make a delicious, nutritious burger mixture.


Adding about 1 egg per pound of ground beef when making burgers helps bind the meat together for tender, juicy patties that hold their shape. Eggs provide benefits like moisture, fat, and flavor. Alternatives like breadcrumbs can be used instead of eggs for those avoiding them. Mix eggs in gently without over-working. Cook egg burgers a little slower, without pressing to allow even cooking without drying out. The eggs deliver added protein and nutrients. Just be sure to follow food safety practices when preparing raw meat and eggs. Using eggs in beef burgers makes for a hearty, classic meal with a little extra nutrition from the egg.

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