When you're short on time and don't have fresh meat on hand, cooking frozen hamburger patties is a good option. As for the best way to prepare frozen hamburger patties it depends on your preference — you can cook them in the oven, on a grill or in a frying pan, to easily make a satisfying dinner.
Ingredients for Burgers
When cooking a frozen burger, keep the meat in the freezer until you are ready to cook it, and keep your work surfaces clean. Always wash your hands before and after handling the meat, as ground beef contains bacteria, inside and out, notes Dr. Pritish Tosh in a May 2017 article published by the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Frozen ground beef or hamburger patties? These are two different entities. Beef fat may be added to a hamburger patty but not to ground beef, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service states.
A maximum of 30 percent fat is allowed in either hamburger or ground beef. The best way to make sure you're getting exactly what you want is to make your own patties, from your choice of meat, and keep them in the freezer. The Food and Drug Administration advises that frozen hamburger may be stored for 3 to 4 months in the freezer.
Condiments and toppings include ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, tomato, fresh avocado, cheese. For your bun choose a basic supermarket bun or branch out and pick up brioche, whole-grain or sourdough buns. These can also be kept in the freezer, and thawed on the counter while the hamburgers are cooking. You can toast buns in the oven for a minute or two just before serving.
Cooking Frozen Burgers
To ensure food safety, ground meat should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (this will make a well-done burger). A food thermometer will help you make sure that you cook a frozen burger to the appropriate temperature.
For the best results, cook your burgers in a flat pan over medium-high heat. Have a spatula ready — a wide, thin spatula works best to quickly flip the burgers half-way through the cooking time. Line a plate with paper towels to receive the cooked patties.
To prepare frozen hamburger patties in a frying pan, heat a skillet over medium heat for five minutes. Add a scant teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Working in batches, if necessary, place the burger patties in the pan, leaving a little space between them. If the burgers have not already been seasoned, season them with salt and pepper. Cook for about six minutes.
Using your spatula, flip the burgers and cook another six minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. This is also the time to add the cheese, if you are making cheeseburgers. Cook them for about another six minutes, until the hamburgers are done, to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the temperature of the meat, slip a meat thermometer into the middle of a hamburger; if the patties are very thin, you can insert the thermometer through the side of the frozen burger.
When the burgers have finished cooking, transfer them to the lined plate to drain off some of the excess fat. You may also lightly blot the patties with another paper towel to remove more of the fat. Place the burgers on the buns, and serve hot with condiments and toppings.
Read more: Secret to Cooking Burgers in a Pan
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Ground Beef and Food Safety"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart"
- Mayo Clinic News Network: "Infectious Diseases A-Z: Know Your Hamburger Basics for a Safe Holiday"