I love making burgers at home, and usually make a lot of patties before the actual barbecue day. That is why I freeze the burgers after making them.
So as I was waiting for the patties to thaw, it got me thinking about whether I can cook frozen burgers or not, and if one can, how can I do it?
The main problem with a frozen burger is that you do not get to cook the interior as quickly as the outer parts. So isn’t it risky to grill frozen burgers without thawing them first?
Plus, how do you properly thaw frozen burgers so they are ready for grilling? There are a lot of challenges that I had to face here but I did try all the options.
You would be surprised with the results I got with the different methods here so make sure to read the rest of the post until the end.
As I was thawing the frozen burgers, I started with a single frozen patty to see how it would affect the results, lo and behold, I got this amazing result that you would want to try as well.
Is It Better To Grill Frozen Or Thawed Burger?
You can ask any grill masters out there are they will have the same answer. There is nothing wrong with grilling frozen burgers but you will have better results with thawed burgers.
This goes with almost any food that you would want to grill. That is because you have to make sure that you balance the heat that goes into the food as much as possible.
When you cook something, no matter how hot or slow you cook, defrost it before putting it under heat. This will give a more even finish to any frozen food that you cook.
You see, the middle of frozen food is the last area to thaw and the last area to heat up. So when you put it directly over flames, you get a burned outside and a raw interior.
If you grill frozen burgers, you will see that the outer parts will char or cook first. Press down in the middle, and you will feel that the interior of the burger is still cold and undercooked.
That is especially true if you are grilling at high temperatures. The flames or heat will cook the exterior of the burgers but will not necessarily reach the interior.
That is why it is better to cook thawed burgers than frozen burgers on the grill.
How To Defrost A Frozen Burger Patty
So now that you know it is better to grill thawed burgers, you might be wondering how to properly thaw the frozen burger patties.
While this sounds simple, other people still make common mistakes when thawing frozen burgers. That is why I have these two simple guides on two simple methods of defrosting frozen burgers.
Defrosting will sometimes take overnight if you choose to do it in the fridge. This is good since you do not necessarily remove all the juices in the meat and you keep the patties cool.
So put the frozen burgers in a plastic container and leave them in the fridge. You need to contain the juices from the raw meat to avoid contamination with other foods in the fridge.
It is important to use a sealed container to prevent cross-contamination. This is where the cooked food that is in the fridge might get bacteria from the raw foods inside the fridge.
Once the burgers are defrosted or thawed, they can stay in the fridge for up to two days before cooking. This is effective when you have too many burgers that you need to cook.
2. WATER METHOD
Another way to defrost the burger patties without too much help from machines is to wrap them in a plastic bag and then submerge them in cold water for at least 30 minutes depending on the thickness.
The common mistake most people make is defrost the meat in hot water. Do not do this as it will also start the cooking process of the burgers, which is not what you want.
You see, when you do this, the burgers will come out with a slightly gray outer part, and the interior will be frozen still. So let them be defrosted or thawed in cold water for however long they need to.
The other option is the microwave method, but we do not recommend that as it also starts to cook the meat.
The storage time is not that long when you defrost the meat in water or in the microwave. You need to cook the burgers right away to prevent spoiling them.
How To Grill A Burger Patty
This is a very simple process, but you have to note some important things to perfect the process. Here are some pointers that will help you know how to grill burger patties properly.
Follow these steps and get the most delicious juicy burgers that can get you addicted.
Remove the frozen burger patties from the freezer and let them thaw for a few minutes in the fridge so that they can easily separate.
If you have already frozen them separately then it gets way easier to remove the exact number of burger patties you need without having to wrestle to separate each one of them from each other.
Now, once you have them separated season your burger patties with salt and pepper. Make sure to not skip seasoning your burger patties as they add a lot of flavour.
Preheat your grill and cook it at a temperature of about 375 to 400 degrees F. Cook the burgers on both sides for a couple of minutes and make sure to flip the burger every 3 minutes.
Depending on how you like your burger you can cook it for about 7-10 minutes on the grill. How long to cook a burger patty depends on the thickness of the burger as well.
Assemble your burger. Make sure you toast your burger buns and I know at this point you want to rush ahead and just skip this part but don’t.
Toasting the burger bun makes all the difference.
Add ketchup, mayo on the buns and then vegetables of your choice and then layer it with the burger patty and top it off with cheese/jalepenos or olives.
Enjoy your burger!
How Long To Grill A Burger Patty
One thing you should remember about how long you should grill burger patties is that it should never go over 10 minutes unless you are using very low temperatures for cooking.
See, when you want the burger patties to have a slightly pink or even deeper color in the middle like what rare doneness would have, you only need to cook the burgers for a total of 4 minutes.
I love going with medium-rare, which usually takes around 5 minutes to cook. The internal temperature of the patty when you cook it at this time should be 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
But if you want the exact times for a one inch thick patty then the below table should help.
Take note that the USDA recommends that the internal temperature of the burger patty should be 165 degree Fahrenheit if one wants to safely consume it.
If case you do otherwise, then it is totally up to you.
|Burger Patty Thickness||Temperature of grill||Medium Rare||Medium||Well Done|
|1 inch||400-450F||2.5 minutes each side/ 5 min total||3.5 minutes per side/7 minutes total||4.5 minutes per side/ 9 minutes total|
A total of 7 minutes of grilling should get your patty to have medium doneness. Medium burgers usually get to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Every now and then, I like going with well-done burgers because of the charred taste and the more robust meat flavor. For this, you will need to cook your burger patties for 9 minutes total.
So there you have it, the proper length of cook time that you need for burger patties. I recommend not to go over the well-done doneness as the burnt exterior will just ruin the flavor of your burgers.
How long to cook a burger also depends on the thickness of the burger patty. So it can take some trail and error if this is your first time.
What Temperature Should You Grill A Burger Patty?
You now know the amount of time needed in order to cook the burger patties properly and the internal temperature that you need to reach for a particular type of doneness that you want.
The question still stands, however, and that is at what temperature should the grill be to properly grill the burger patties? Well, this is very easy and I am sure your grill can reach it.
The right and usual temperature for grilling burger patties are between 375 degrees and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Most gas grills can reach this temperature let alone charcoal or pellet grills.
Use an Infrared Thermometer for this and measure if the actual temperature of the grill grates reaches the desired temperature.
375 to 400 degrees is medium-high heat in case you do not have specific numbers on your grill. At this temperature, the burger patties will have a nice char outside.
The set temperature is also not too hot that it will burn the outer parts. It is still low enough for the interior of the burger to heat up and cook evenly with the outer parts.
Can You Eat Frozen Burgers Medium Rare?
Since you thaw the burger, it is not recommended to eat it medium rare, make sure you cook it well done and do not consume it with any pink colour in the center of the patty.
If you do, you are putting yourself at the risk of food poisoning and I highly recommend not to go there.
Do You Season The Frozen Burger?
Since you froze the burger patties, you must season them before grilling them. The frozen burger patties will have the same beef flavor as the fresh ones but will not have the same seasoning.
As the frozen patties start to thaw, sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
This will allow the meat to absorb even just a little bit of the seasonings so it can seep through the meat when it is being cooked.
Season one side of the burger right before putting it on the grill and then place it on the grill with the seasoned side down.
Before you flip the burger over, season the other side with the same seasoning you used.
If you have seasoned the frozen burgers before freezing them, then you might not need to season them again. However, at the least, sprinkle some salt and pepper on the frozen burgers before grilling.
The salt will help get the moisture from the burgers and will become juicier when cooked so you will lose nothing if you season the frozen burgers before grilling them.
How Long Can You Keep Burger Patties In The Freezer?
There are mixed opinions on how long you can keep burger patties in the freezer. Some say 6 months while others say 3 months only to get the best quality from the burger patties.
In my opinion and according to my own experience, fresh burger patties that are made and frozen right away can last for up to 4 months in the freezer and maintain the quality of the meat.
That means that you can make the burger patties and store them in the freezer right away.
Cook some of the patties right away, and after 4 months, the ones in the freezer will still stay the same.
There is nothing wrong with storing them for 6 months in the freezer but the quality will start to deteriorate. The taste of beef will start to degrade and taste a bit blander than fresh ones.
If you do not care that much about the quality or the taste of the burgers and you just want to cook the remaining burger patties, then god save you and you can continue storing them in freezer.
Burger patties that are stored in the freezer or at a constant temperature of 0 degrees will last indefinitely. So yes, your burger patties can be frozen for a year and would still be safe to eat.
Make sure your freezer stays on and is constant with the temperature.
Best Frozen Burger Patty Brand
There are a lot of frozen burger patty brands that you can find online and in the nearest supermarket. However, my personal favorite is the Albers Beef Patties.
The Albers Beef Patties are popular and if you try to look at the lists of the best burger patties online, you will find this patty on the list if not on top.
The meat used for the Albers Beef Patties comes from cows that are 100% grass-fed and are finished Mediterranean-style to get that really beefy flavor to each patty that they sell.
It has 220 calories, which can be a lot but also has 7 grams of protein. It is a healthy option that you can get with the juicy finish from the 15 grams of fat that is included in each patty.
The flavor of this beef patty is really great. You get a rich meaty taste that goes really well with vegetables and greens like parsley and rosemary.
I bet that you have this in your supermarket and if you cannot find it, I recommend other brands with similar quality and taste such as Mount Pleasant Frozen Burgers or Ball Park Patties.
Dr. Praeger’s Jumbo Veggie burger patties are a great option for vegetarians. It has a really similar taste to the real deal while staying healthier than most options.
Does The Cook Time Change Depending On The Thickness Of The Burger Patty?
The thickness of the burger patties is a huge factor when it comes to cooking time. Thicker patties take longer to cook than thinner ones so you should keep that in mind.
If you check the part of this post where I included the time for cooking burger patties at certain doneness, that can be your standard or reference point.
The burgers cooked at that amount of time are on average 3/4-inch thick. That means that if you go with 1-inch burgers, it will take longer, mostly an extra minute on each side.
The type of mixture in the burger can also determine the cooking time of the patties. If you have more lean meat in the patty, it will take a bit longer to cook than fattier mixes of burger patties.
After cooking the burger patties, make sure to let them rest. This is also part of the cooking process in order to make the burger patties juicier and more tender when served.
No matter how thick your burger patties are, you need to make sure that they reach a certain internal temperature.
That is why I recommend investing in a good meat probe or meat thermometer and allowing the burger patties to reach an internal temperature of at least 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare or rare doneness.
Keep that in mind and whether your burger patties are thick or not, they will still be good and safe from bacteria as long as they reach the recommended internal temperature!
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