Posted by: Erica Retrochef | March 10, 2014

Hamburgers (the juiciest!)

When I think “hamburger,” it’s pretty rare that the next thing that comes to mind is “oatmeal.” In fact, I think it’s safe to say that has never happened to me.

Quaker Oats would like to change that and even has a recipe to try to convince me.


IT’S FUN tossing the burger ingredients into a bowl and mixing ’em up: 1 1/2 lb. ground beef, 3/4 cup uncooked Quaker Oats, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 cup tomato juice. Shape into 8 burgers, broil 5 to 8 minutes on each side till they’re a beautiful brown.


Ground beef was on sale, and we have plenty. Plus… some rolled oats.


Time to mix it up…


What on earth is this?

Oh, I almost forgot: IT’S FUN.

The recipe says so, it must be true.


Time to form the “fun” into patties.


One nice thing about broiling is that it’s really fast. Which makes it a lot easier to accidentally burn your food, although that luckily didn’t happen here.


Something looked off about these when they came out of the oven — maybe it’s the vaguely greyish tinge?


Well, these were pretty juicy burgers. But they had these unfortunately chewy chunks… namely, the oats. The burger didn’t shrink or dry up, but it did have extremely tough oats.

And I also have a sneaking suspicion that the juiciness was more due to the tomato juice than to the oats. Thanks anyway, Quaker…

Recipe comes to you via the excellent Hey, My Mom Used To Make That!



  1. Very odd- I’ve used oatmeal in meat loaf (fine results) but in hamburgers? Maybe with the fine textured “Instant” stuff, but the only way I can really see this working is with the cheapest sort of ground beef with a very high fat content.

    • Quick oats might have made the difference. More fat content also possibly, but then the greasiness starts to get scary!

  2. There are ‘quick’ oats and ‘old-fashioned’ oats. I have had unfortunate experience making baked goods using the wrong kind of oats (which did indeed stay hard and chewy). That’s all I can think of as to what went wrong. Cracker crumbs or bread crumbs would work, but oatmeal? maybe not.

    • I think quick oats would work better — like any nice vague recipe I just got the brand name, no other information, so stood in the grocery store aisle going “er hmm” for a few minutes and then just picked one. Oh well 🙂

  3. I love the sad, tiny patty in the lower right corner of the broiler pan.

    • That one was intentionally sized that way for the two-year-old.

      • I figured that was kid-sized.
        How did the two-year old like it?

  4. I’ve used both oats, and ‘cheap’ ground beef, our usual choice is to stock UP when ground chuck is on sale.

    Either way, in the oven, in a cast iron skillet or on the grill, the oats don’t have enough time, as a burger, to get soft. In meat loaf the oats work. But it recipe surfing my D-i-L found something better that the oats or bread crumbs and even just that old stand by of bread soaked in milk.

    Ritz Crackers.

    The first recipe we tried was Ranch Burgers, with the RC’s as booster. But we’ve used the crackers in meat loaf and burgers grilled and broiled to great effect.

    [I don’t work for Nabisco and they didn’t pay me to use their crackers…]

    • Yeah, I can imagine it’s just the right consistency plus adds a bit of buttery cracker flavor. Neat idea!

  5. Hi Erica!
    So that’s where I “learned” to put oatmeal in hamburgers (and meat loaf:) My kids were too young to know the difference so when they grew up, they just figured it was my “normal” way of making them. I must admit, the oats do work better in meat loaf. (I also put applesauce in meat loaf:)

    Thanks for sharing, Erica. I see you’re still doing a wonderful job at those “retro” attempts…

    • Having some time to absorb moisture and soften/integrate would certainly help. Thanks for dropping by!!! 🙂

  6. This is actually pretty close to the default hamburger/meatloaf recipe of my childhood, except that my mother typically used an egg or two rather than tomato anything to provide the extra liquid. Yeah, the burgers were always a bit chewy, but if you grow up with that you tend not to notice it so much. And it was always more painful to mix than fun–a couple of pounds of refrigerated hamburger is *cold*.

    • Oof, yeah, my hands were totally frozen by the end! :-$

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