It’s always better to let burger meat thaw first before you cook it.
Of course, we all live very busy lives and sometimes we don’t have the time to wait for frozen meat patties to reach room temperature before we cook them.
So, does immediately cooking frozen burger patties pose potential health risks?
That’s exactly what we’ll be uncovering in this article, so continue reading to find out more!
Food Safety: Can You Cook Frozen Burger Patties Without Thawing Them?
It’s perfectly safe to cook frozen hamburger patties straight after taking them out of the freezer. The most important thing is actually to make sure that the internal meat temperature reaches 160 ℉ before you serve it for consumption.
The only thing that you’ll probably want to keep in mind is that grilling frozen hamburgers extends the burger cooking times. And if you’re working with completely frozen meat patties then it could easily take up to two times longer to cook it all the way through.
Any Upsides to Grilling Meat Patties While They’re Still Frozen?
Having frozen patties just sitting in your freezer at all times is excellent because they’re super convenient. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve bought them from the store or made them beforehand. Being able to just take them out of the freezer and toss them onto a gas grill means that you’re saving yourself a whole lot of preparation time.
On top of that, this allows for excellent portion control. You can simply take out 1-2 frozen burger patties as and when you feel like it. Being able to cook as much as you know you’ll be able to finish means that you’re not over-eating nor having unwanted leftovers.
It’s also great for last-minute casual get-togethers or just a quick and easy family meal. This is because it requires no prior planning for a scrumptious meal that everyone will love.If you really want to impress everyone you can try smoked hamburgers, they are a bit more of a show topper than grilled burgers.
Ways to Safely Thaw Burger Meat
Of course, immediately grilling frozen meat should never be your first option. Here are some ways to safely thaw out burger meat.
In the Refrigerator
The easiest and safest way to thaw meat is to always take it out of the freezer and transfer it into the fridge.
While it could probably thaw within 12 hours, it’s always a good idea to plan. Thus, it is recommended that you begin the thawing process at least 24 hours before you plan to cook the meat.
Using Cold Water
Start by transfer the frozen hamburgers into a fully secure zip-lock bag. Then you want to fully submerge it into a big enough bowl of cold water. You can also always plug up the sink with a rubber stopper and fill it up with cold water if you don’t have a bowl that’s large enough.
Leave the meat to soak for approximately 10 to 30 minutes and wait for the patties to thaw out. And of course, for safety reasons, you will need to cook the meat immediately. Also, it’s important to remember that you should never place it back into the freezer under any circumstances.
In the Microwave
This is officially the fastest method when it comes to thawing a frozen meat patty. All you need to do is to place it onto a microwavable dish and zap it at 1-minute intervals. Take the meat out, check to see if it’s thawed. And if it’s not, just place it back in for another minute.
With this thawing method, you will also need to immediately cook the patty as soon as it’s thawed out. And while we do not recommend it, you can also just cook the meat in the microwave if you wanted to.
You must also not re-freeze the patty after thawing it in this manner.
How Do You Select Frozen Meat Patties?
So, let’s say that you buy your hamburger meat. What should you be looking out for when shopping for them?
First of all, you should keep your eyes peeled for those that contain the leanest meat. This ensures that you’re getting good quality meat. And that you’re not simply paying for odds and ends of weird parts of meat or bits of unwanted fat.
You should also look for the beef patty package that has a simple and easy-to-understand ingredients list on the back. Since these patties are ground meat, it’s difficult to visually and physically tell if the meat quality and content are good or not.
It’s also very challenging to tell if companies have added in strange and unnecessary ingredients. Even if you can look through the clear packages. These unusual additional ingredients can post as a health risk, so it’s always good to stay safe and just check before buying.
Homemade Hamburger (Our Families Favorite Recipe!)
If you’re conscious about the ingredients list and want to know exactly what’s going into the meat patties, then why not just make them yourself? It’s quite easy and simple to do so.
First things first, these are the ingredients you will need:
- 3 lbs of lean ground fresh beef
- 3 tsp of your favorite seasoning salt
- 3 tsp of ground black pepper
Our Step by Step Process
- Place all three ingredients into a big bowl and combine them. Make sure that all of the salt and pepper are mixed up evenly and not clumped up.
- Use your hands to mold the ground beef mixture into small balls. If you make use of a kitchen scale and make 4-ounce burgers, then you’ll have around 12 pieces.
- Next, evenly spread them out on a lined baking tray. You’ll then want to flatten each of them out so that each of them resembles a hamburger patty. Then put a simple in the middle, this will stop them from shrinking on the grill. We recommend using the bottom of a cut for an even circle shape. The burger thickness should be about ¼ inch.
- To store them, you should place them neatly into a resealable kitchen bag. To prevent the frozen beef patties from sticking to one another, you should place a small piece of baking paper between each piece. And that’s it! You’ve now got your batch of burgers that you can thaw and cook any time you want!
Want to Know My Favorite Way to Grill Hamburger Meat?
Here’s our step-by-step guide:
- Separate the patties. This will ensure that their perfectly round shapes are preserved. If you’re having difficulty with this, use something blunt and flat (like a butter knife) to do it.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat. If you’re using a pellet grill or you’ve got a temperature gauge, then make sure the heat’s at 325 ℉.
- Oil the grill grates to avoid losing the bottoms of your patties. More often than not, the ground meat will stick to the hot grates if you miss this step.
- Do any last-minute seasoning to your burgers before you put them onto the grates.
- Leave the meat to cook on the first side for 3 minutes.
- Next, flip it and let the second side cook for approximately 6 minutes.
- Flip the meat again and leave it for another 5 minutes.
- Finish it off by flipping the burgers one final time. Then leave it to cook for a quick 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature measures 160 ℉ on your meat thermometer.
- All that’s left to do is to leave the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes, then you can serve and enjoy!
How to Avoid Flare-Ups When Cooking Burgers
Flare-ups refer to the event in which large flames suddenly peek through the grill grates while you’re grilling. These can scorch, burn and even dry out your meat.
To combat this, you should lower the heat of your grill. Alternatively, you could move the meat to a lower temp section of the grill. Especially if you notice the meat secreting more juice than it should. These burger juices can trigger flare-ups.
How to Avoid Dry Burgers
Just because something takes longer to cook does not make it impossible to overcook it. Taking your eyes off of the juicy burger patties while they’re on the grill can easily lead to disaster.
You may notice juices leaking out of the meat when it’s on the grill. This meat juice is just myoglobin plus the extra moisture from the meat. Myoglobin can easily be mistaken for blood in this form, but it’s just a protein found in meat tissues.
The key to a moist juicy burger is to avoid cooking the meat to the point where the secretion stops. If your meat is no longer leaking those juices, it means it has become too dry. And you’ve most likely overcooked the meat in the process.
We hope that you’ve found our article useful in learning the basics of making, thawing, and cooking frozen burger meat. You should now be on your way to serving the tastiest most perfect burger in no time.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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