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. While using frozen beef is an easy way to get the job done, you'll want to make sure your patties don't taste like they've been pre-frozen.
If time allows, you can defrost the beef patties in the refrigerator prior to grilling. If you're in a hurry or lack the fridge space to thaw 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 burgers.
Grilling Frozen Burgers Without Thawing Them
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 6 or 7 seconds.
- Separate your burgers and spread them out across the grill, avoiding contact with other food.
- Flip your patties every 5 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, make sure they reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA.
How to Defrost Ground Beef
Whether or not time is on your side, try these handy techniques to defrost a frozen burger.
When you've got a full day or two: 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.
When you've only got a few hours: You can also submerge your package of burgers in cold water for quicker thawing, according to the USDA. Smaller amounts may thaw in an hour or less, whereas 3- to 4-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.
When you need the burgers thawed right now: 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.
Read more: 19 Ways to Improve Your Barbecue