How to grill frozen burgers
When you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table, sometimes it’s just easier to grab a burger from the freezer section of your supermarket. You can cook them quickly and easily. However, if you want that perfect grilled taste, here are some tips for how to grill frozen burgers without having an undercooked mess on your hands.
What are frozen burgers?
Frozen burgers are patties of ground beef, pork or turkey that have been mixed with salt and seasonings. They’re then formed into patties, wrapped in plastic, or placed in a container made of hard paper or waxed cardboard.
Types of frozen burgers
Frozen hamburgers, often sold in bags of four or more, are simply ground beef patties with additives like salt and pepper.
Frozen turkey burgers, which are made from ground turkey mixed with seasonings to make them juicy and flavorful, come both as frozen patties (usually about 1/4 pound each) and as lose ground meat. Some may also have breadcrumbs added for bulk.
Tips for cooking frozen burgers
Cooking your hamburgers from a freezer does not allow you the luxury of being able to eye the doneness of the burger as it cooks on the grill. Freezer-purchased burgers cook much faster than those that start out on a plate in your refrigerator. Cook a whole bag at once if you prefer all the burgers to be ready at the same time.
If you want to grill one burger right away, allow it to defrost in your refrigerator first. However, if you usually cook two or more frozen burgers at once, place them side by side on the grill grate and give them just enough time to thaw out before attempting to turn them.
Cooking times for grilling frozen burgers
Grill times will vary depending upon how thick the patties are that you’re cooking, but these guidelines can help:
* 3/4 inch thick — 4 minutes per side
* 1 inch thick — 5 minutes per side
* 1-1/2 inches thick — 6 minutes per side
The meat should appear browned and crispy when it’s time to turn the burgers over.
Remove them from the grill when the internal temperature registers 155 degrees Fahrenheit for beef, or 165 degrees Fahrenheit for turkey in a probe-style thermometer. The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until its internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the burgers are cooked, be sure to let them stand for three minutes before serving to allow juices inside to redistribute evenly.
Once you’ve learned how to grill frozen burgers, they’ll be your best friend on busy weeknights. They’re also great for barbecues and tailgate parties so you can keep one eye on the game and the other on your meal.
Steps on How to grill frozen burgers:
- Prepare your grill for cooking on high heat
- Remove the burgers from the package, one at a time and place them on a cutting board or clean plate. Pat them with paper towels to remove any excess liquid and debris that might cause flare-ups and burn your burgers once they hit the grill grate. Also, feel free to season your meat prior to grilling – just be sure not to handle it too much as this can squeeze out all of the juices you just removed by patting them dry. For more flavors try some pre-made burger seasoning such as McCormick Grill Mates Burger Seasoning.
- Place frozen burgers directly onto the preheated grill grate and cook until desired doneness, rotating halfway through the cook time. Most fresh (non-frozen) burger patties require a 5 minute per side cook time to achieve medium doneness, but it’s always best to use a digital meat thermometer to ensure that your burgers are fully cooked through before taking them off the grill.
- Serve immediately on buns with all the fixings or garnish with desired condiments and serve alongside your favorite side dishes, salads, or grilled vegetables.
FAQs on How to grill frozen burgers
What should I look for when buying frozen patties?
You can find several varieties of burger patties in the freezer section, including beef, turkey, chicken, or vegetable. The fat content varies depending on which type you buy. Leaner meats will be lower in fat than regular ground beef, so keep that in mind when choosing your favorite brand.
How do I thaw my burger patties correctly?
The best method for defrosting any kind of meat is cold water. Place the wrapped burgers in a sink filled with cold water and let it sit until they are pliable enough to separate from each other without breaking apart completely—about 30 minutes usually does the trick. Of, if you’re short on time, use a microwave to thaw the burgers. Place each individually wrapped patty on a plate and defrost in the microwave about 2 minutes per burger.
How do I grill frozen burgers?
Once your burgers have been properly thawed and you’re ready to cook them, fire up the grill and make sure it’s clean and hot before grilling your meat (you can brush off any cooked bits with a wire brush). Arrange the patties on the grill grate directly over medium-high heat (if you’ve got flare-ups from dripping fat, move the burgers to an area without direct contact with flames). Cook until charred on one side, then flip once (about 4 minutes total for chicken; 5 minutes per side is about right for most beef and turkey burgers). Use a meat thermometer to be sure your burger is at a safe temperature. For example, beef patties with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F are done.
How long do I cook frozen hamburgers?
You can’t just follow a recipe for fresh ground beef when you’re grilling frozen patties—the time it takes to get them cooked through might not match up with how long the meat on your grill takes to cook, so keep that in mind when making your final cooking time estimates. And remember: Frozen burger patties will continue to cook after they come off the fire. So err on the side of caution and take them off the grill early if you want your burgers served rare or medium-rare.
When do I add cheese to my burgers?
Cheese is a popular addition to burgers, either on top of the patty while it cooks or off to the side so it can melt onto the meat when you flip it over. If you’re adding cheese in advance, place your burger with the cheese underneath the grates, directly over a low-heat area of your grill. For example, if you have a gas grill with a front and back burner that offers different temperatures, place the burger on just one side for about 3 minutes until it’s almost melted.
What if my burger isn’t covered in melted cheese after cooking?
If you’d like your burger cooked through without any pink inside, preheat the broiler in your oven. Broil the burgers for about 3 minutes until they’re cooked through with no pink remaining, then top them with cheese and let it melt into a gooey layer before removing them from the heat.
How do I store my frozen burger patties?
Store leftover hamburger meat in its original container in the fridge to prevent freezer burn. If you’re going to freeze your patties after cooking, wait until they’ve completely cooled before wrapping them tightly and returning them to the freezer. Be sure to label and date everything! You can safely store ground beef or turkey patties for one month, while chicken burgers will remain fresh for 2-3 months.
What should I look for when buying frozen burgers?
When you purchase your frozen burger, make sure the packaging is free from tears or holes. Make sure the expiration date on the package has not passed. However, don’t worry about how old the meat is inside before cooking it; most industry experts recommend using frozen meat within six months of its packing date. Fresh meats are generally more expensive than frozen meats because they are perishable.
Freezing your burger patties can save you a lot of time in the kitchen, but there are definitely some tips and tricks to follow if you want to freeze your meat correctly. If you’re planning on cooking frozen burgers right away, thaw them either in cold water or in the microwave. To cook frozen patties, make sure your grill is clean and hot before placing the burgers directly over medium-high heat for best results.