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Surprise! Evaporated Milk Is the Secret to Juicy Burgers

A hamburger with cheese, lettuce, bacon, and tomato sits on a wooden cutting board.
Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock.com

Summer grilling season is here, and we’re all looking for the best way to get the perfect, juicy burger off the grill. An ingredient you’d never think to add to your beef might be the way to do it.

Evaporated milk can help ensure your burger is juicy, and while that might sound odd, there’s a reason why this rumored hack works.

The idea came from Carnation, the evaporated milk brand, and originated in 1959. Back then, the company stated that the milk was able to keep your burger from crumbling, but now, recipe developers know it will also ensure they stay as moist as possible.

@allrecipes

would you try this? 🤔 #burgerrecipe #dinnerrecipes #secretingredient #burger #juicy

♬ original sound - Allrecipes

Adding evaporated milk to your ground beef works similarly to when you place regular milk in meatloaf. The key is to add bread crumbs and eggs alongside it. The milk will be absorbed by the bread crumbs, and this will keep the mixture moist and seal the juices inside while cooking.

Unlike regular milk, evaporated milk is thicker and creamer, as all of the excess moisture has been removed from it. It’s that thick texture and creamy finish that helps keep your burger, eggs, and breadcrumbs bound together and seal those juices inside.

Of course, if you’ve used evaporated milk in dessert recipes, you know it’s got a sweet flavor. That’s why AllRecipes—who recommends this trick—advises seasoning your meat with Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and garlic. Once those are added, your burgers will retain a savory flavor profile.

The next time you’re planning to break out the grill, you might want to grab some evaporated milk, or if you’re not sold on that trick, there’s always ice.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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