Frozen ground beef patties make for a quick, easy and economical way to whip up a delicious lunch for a crowd — especially during those barbecue-friendly summer months! But you're going to want to ensure you're grilling your frozen burgers to perfection.
If time allows, you can defrost the beef patties in the refrigerator prior to grilling. However, if you're in a hurry or lack the fridge space to thaw lots frozen burgers, you can grill the patties directly out of the freezer. Always check the manufacturer's instructions on the label for specific information about cooking your particular brand of beef burger.
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How to Defrost Ground Beef
When time's on your side, you can thaw your frozen burgers in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave, according to the USDA. Thawing your meat in the fridge will usually require at least a full day, depending on the amount of meat you're defrosting. Once the beef has thawed, it's safe to eat for up to five days.
You can also submerge your package of burgers in cold water for quicker thawing, the USDA says. Smaller amounts may thaw in an hour or less, whereas three- to four-pound packages can take up to three hours. Before you submerge the meat in cold water, check that the packaging is leak-proof. Foods thawed in cold water should be cooked immediately.
A third thawing method requires your handy microwave. Using a microwave-safe container or plate, thaw the meat for several minutes at a time and check the progress frequently. Cook your meat immediately after thawing it in the microwave.
Grilling Frozen Burgers Without Thawing
It's safe to grill frozen burgers without thawing ahead of time, however, it will take about twice as long to cook, according to the USDA. Preheat your grill to about 325 degrees or, if you're using a charcoal grill, heat until you can comfortably hold your hand several inches above the grate for six or seven seconds. Separate your burgers and spread them out across the grill, avoiding contact with other food. Flip your patties every five minutes or so.
In order to prevent cross-contamination, wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after you handle the ground beef. Don't reuse any packaging materials and wash all utensils with soap and water, recommends the USDA.
To guarantee your patties are cooked properly, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature. For all ground meats, the minimum internal temperature for safe consumption is 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA.
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