Beef burgers, if cooked to perfection, can be some of the most flavoursome and juicy items of food for you to enjoy. When it comes to cooking them, you would usually opt for fresh burger meat that are expertly seasoned and well oiled to give you that juicy flavour you so desperately crave.
But have you ever considered using frozen burgers? It wouldn’t be a surprise if you have consistently been using fresh meat for your burgers but there is in fact a way to cook frozen burgers to match the delightful taste of a fresh burger.
To save money by starting to cook frozen burgers, you may need to understand how to grill frozen burgers rather than fresh. Although this may seem to you that it should be a similar process, there are tips and tricks that will help you to cook a frozen burger to perfection.
Read on to find out how to grill a frozen burger in three quick steps.
Can You Cook Frozen Burgers?
The answer is yes, you can absolutely cook burgers straight from frozen even if you have just taken them out of the freezer. Evidently, a frozen burger will take longer to cook than a fresh burger but it can still deliver that fresh, juicy flavour that you would get with a standard beef burger.
In cooking a frozen pattie compared to a fresh pattie, there are several differences to take into account to avoid any burning or overcooking.
Step 1 – Preparation
Preparation Of The Burgers
Before you start cooking, you need to separate the patties from each other using either a spatula or butter knife. Avoid using a sharp knife as this could cause injury when you slip through the patties.
Once they are separated, it is essential to season the patties with salt and pepper. As the patties are frozen, it will be harder for the patties to absorb the seasoning. To combat this, you must lightly season but press hard into the patties to ensure maximum absorption.
If you would like the patties to successfully absorb the seasoning, then it may be worthwhile for you to thaw out the patties. The easiest ways to do this are:
- Leave them within the refrigerator for a whole day
- Place them in a lukewarm water bath within airtight plastic.
- Place them in the microwave whilst it is on a defrost setting.
Preparing Your Grill
Everyone loves to crank up the heat of the grill when they are cooking burgers to get those lovely sear marks. However, if you are to do this with frozen burgers, then it will lead to a burnt and unevenly cooked disaster. This is as a result of the outside becoming cooked whilst the inside is still frozen. By the time the inside of your frozen burgers have cooked, the outside will be burnt and very much overdone.
Instead of a simmering hot grill, you should go for a medium heat of around 350 to 400 degrees fahrenheit. If you are cooking the burgers using a charcoal grill then you should add slightly less charcoal to keep the heat down and allow it to be more consistent. If you feel you need to add more charcoal during the cooking, then feel free to do this.
Step 2 – Time To Grill
Once your grill has reached the desired temperature you need to cook at, plae your patties on the grill and make sure they are evenly spaced out to avoid overcrowding.
With frozen patties you need to be flipping them often to ensure they are cooking evenly. You should be flipping them every 3-5 minutes to make sure either side is not overcooked or burnt.
Once the frozen patties are beginning to look cooked, it will now be the time to turn up the heat. This will ensure the burgers will get those fantastic sear lines that will add flavour and make the patties look restaurant quality.
If you are using a charcoal grill, you can set up a heat zone and transfer over the patties just before they’re done and cook them for one minute per side.
If you are keen on seasoning, then you can place some on the patties and press it in before flipping the patties for the first time. On occasions where you are using a gas grill, look for heat spots on the grill and move your patties accordingly.
Frozen burgers will take around 20-45 minutes to cook depending on the size of your patties. Make sure to not cook the patties for too long as they will possess a very dry and tasteless texture.
Step 3 – Serve Up
After some time grilling and when you feel satisfied with your patties, you can begin serving them like any other burger.
As with any other burger, place them on toasted buns with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions. If you have guests then let them choose their toppings and put out a variety that will combine to create some unique and delicious flavours.
To accompany your burger you can use the traditional french fries or you can try a healthier alternative with sweet potato fries and fried vegetables. You could even serve them up with some comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese and fried potatoes.
Crack open some beers as you really can’t go wrong with a beer and a burger.
Mistakes To Avoid When Cooking Frozen Burgers
When grilling your burgers, it can be easy to make mistakes particularly if you are inexperienced with frying meat. Here are some mistakes to look out for to prevent you from doing them when you are cooking.
When cooking meat on a grill, some sections will tend to get hotter than others. This can create flare-ups if your burgers produce a lot of fat and this fat drips into areas of high heat. Flare-ups are a sudden fire that can leave your meat bitter and burnt if you let your burgers leave your attention.
Burning The Meat
Despite frozen meat being colder than thawed meat, this does not mean it won’t burn. You can burn the meat if you leave it in the same spot for a prolonged period of time. This can also happen if you do not flip your burgers consistently enough so it is important to constantly stay attentive to make sure you cook the perfect burger.
If the burgers you have are too thick when you place them on the grill, they might not reach the safe internal temperatures that are required for you to serve them up. You may try to compensate for this by leaving them on the grill for longer but this could cause the outside to overcook whilst the inside is still pink and raw.
To combat this, just dial the heat down 50 degrees fahrenheit and ensure you are always closing the hood so that the heat will also cook the top of the patties.
You can also press down on the patties whilst they are on the grill to make them cook faster. However, make sure to be careful when doing this as if you press down too hard the burgers will become increasingly dry.
Too Little Seasoning
Even though it can be more difficult to season frozen burgers, it is always worth a try with a mix of seasonings to help boost the flavour of your patties and create the perfect burger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Better To Grill Frozen Or Thawed Burgers?
This depends on personal preference. Thawed burgers are far easier to season and will take less time to cook which will most likely provide a better flavour. However, if you enjoy frozen burgers then there is no harm in cooking frozen burgers on a regular basis.