How to Grill Frozen Burgers?

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Last updatedLast updated: April 27, 2021
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Have you ever hosted a party where you are the one running late? Well, we have all been there! Sometimes you plan ahead of time, and then your kid forgets to take the patties out of the freezer to let them thaw before dinnertime. Figuring out how to grill frozen burger patties in a rush is never the ideal way to go, and most cooking enthusiasts prefer freshly ground, handmade patties to the convenience of pre-ground, frozen beef.

We all have a cooking expert in the family who gets completely horrified by only the idea of grilling patties that are not entirely thawed from the center. However, grilling readymade frozen patties is not as terrible as one would think. You may wonder what the best way to grill frozen burgers is. You are in luck because we are here to teach you the easiest and safest way to grill frozen patties.

How to Thaw Patties Properly

How to Grill Frozen Burgers?This article will guide you with a clear step-by-step process of grilling frozen patties. However, it is best to thaw your patties properly when you have the time. If you don’t have time to completely thaw frozen patties, at least partially defrost them in order to speed up the grilling process, or else you’ll by standing by that grill all night.

You can still get away with not defrosting already seasoned frozen patties, but if you require seasoning before grilling, thaw the patties’ outside layer enough to let the seasoning seep in nicely. This is important because your burgers will turn out flavorless and bland if you season and grill frozen patties. Here are three expert-approved, easy, and safe ways to thaw your beef patties before grilling.

Place Them in the Refrigerator

How to Grill Frozen Burgers?The most straightforward and most hassle-free method to thaw your burgers refrigerator method but this only works if you plan accordingly. The night before you plan to grill mouthwatering burgers for the family, transfer the frozen patties from the freezer to the refrigerator. This technique is perhaps the least messy and most convenient. If you go for the fridge defrosting method, it is highly recommended to lower your refrigerator temperature to 40 degrees or even lower, if necessary.

Use Cold Water

In case that you have not planned as well as you would have liked to, there is no need to worry because there is another relatively faster method to thaw your burger patties than waiting 24 hours for refrigerator defrosting. For this method, you require a tough and leak-proof plastic bag and a large pot or bowl. Take your frozen burger patties and place them inside leak-proof zip-lock plastic bags. Seal the bag properly. Next, you simply fill the bowl with cold tap water and place the plastic bag with the patties in the bowl of water.

You can also carry out this process in the sink if you don’t have a big enough bowl. Submerge the patties fully in the water. The bag should not have any loose areas to let the water in. Again, the patties will become soggy and lose flavor if any water enters the plastic bag, so securing it carefully is necessary.

Within 10 minutes, the exterior of your frozen patties will be soft enough to soak the seasoning effectively. Pre-seasoned patties will be good enough to start grilling within 10 minutes as well. However, if you are thawing more than 5 to 6 patties, they require more than 10 minutes for defrosting properly.

Warning: this method is only suitable for immediate cooking because it is unsafe to thaw the patties in cold water and refrigerate them again. If you have leftover defrosted burger patties, you must cook them before freezing or refrigerating them once again.

Defrost Burger Patties in the Microwave

If you are suddenly craving grilled burgers, this is perhaps the fastest patty defrosting method you can go about. We are thanking the Gods of technology because your microwave is a blessing in a situation like this. For this method, you need a microwave-friendly plate and obviously a microwave.

Place the patties on the plate and throw them into the microwave for a minute. Check the thawing progress and leave them in the microwave for another minute if they haven’t thawed completely. However, do not set the microwave timer for more than two minutes in the beginning unless you want the meat to start cooking in a microwave.

Warning: just like the cold water thawing technique, microwave defrosted patties cannot be refrigerated or frozen again without cooking. It is unsafe to thaw the meat using this technique and save it for later. Therefore, it is crucial that you cook the defrosted patties before refrigerating them again.

Grilling Frozen Burgers

Coming back to our most important topic, how to grill frozen burgers. Here is the easiest and safest 12-step method to grill your frozen patties to perfection.

Separate the Patties

When stacked together in the freezer, patties tend to stick to each other. The first thing you must do is to check whether the frozen patties are stuck together. You require care and patience when separating the patties to make sure they retain their perfectly round shape. You can do this with the aid of a sharp kitchen knife to slice between the stack and twist in a quick motion that separates the patties but also maintains their shape and size.

If the patties are strongly iced together and cannot be separated with a knife, you can leave them to thaw in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and then try separating. The thawing time may vary for homemade frozen patties and store-bought patties. Check out the video below for the correct way to separate frozen patties.

Ideal Grill Temperature

The second step is to set the grill for preheating. This process varies according to the type of grill you are using. Set the flame jets on medium for a gas grill. For grilling frozen patties on a pellet grill, preheat the grill at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a charcoal grill, let the coals fire up enough that you can place your hand over the cooking grates for 6 seconds before it gets too hot.

An extra tip for gas grills: you can use the extra space on gas grills for thawing the patties directly. Preheat half the grill on medium heat for 10 minutes. Put the frozen patties on the unheated side of the grill and cover them with the lid. You will get perfectly thawed patties within 10 minutes.

Cooking ProcessHow to Grill Frozen Burgers?

  1. Grease the cooking grates in a thin, even layer of oil to avoid the patties from sticking to the grill.
  2. Season the patties with spices of your liking if you are not using marinated patties. Wait for the patties to thaw a little because the seasoning will not adhere to frozen patties. The seasoning will take nicely to patties if they are already thawed from the outside. Use a pair of sturdy and reliable tongs, such as the DCS Stainless Steel model, to press the patty for the seasoning to soak in nicely as they start cooking.
  3. Place the patties on the preheated grills and let them cook directly over the heat source.
  4. Let the patties cook for 3 minutes, then rotate the patties on the grill without flipping for the perfect grill marks. Keep changing the position of the grilling patties to avoid flare-ups.
  5. Let them grill for another 5 minutes or until the surface of the patties turn into a juicy red color before flipping them over with a pair of grilling tongs.
  6. Continue cooking for at least another five minutes. This is where you need to rotate the patties at least once for getting grill marks on the fresh side.
  1. Flip again and keep them cooking for about five more minutes.
  2. Now flip the patties using your trusty grilling tongs for the third time and let the patties grill for 3 minutes. When you add toppings, such as cheese, it can melt into the patty nicely.
  3. At this stage, cook the patties to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the patties’ internal temperature by sticking it into the center of the patties. The cooking time also depends on the thickness of your patties.
  4. Let the patties sit for 3 minutes before serving. You can utilize the hot grill for toasting the burger buns while waiting for the patties to cool down.

Beware of Flare-Ups

Flare-ups can be common when grilling patties. These flare-ups can burn the outer layer of your burgers to a crisp if left on the flare for a long time, while the insides may be left uncooked.

In case of a flare-up, you can move the position of the patties so they are at a different part of the grill. Wait for the flare to simmer down before returning the patties to other positions.

Try not to Overcook Your Burgers

Grilling frozen patties takes longer than defrosted ones because it takes a while for the frozen patties to thaw on the grill. However, this long cooking time increases the risk of overcooking the patties. Therefore, carefully check the cooking progress at each step. The meat turns into a red color and starts releasing juices around the time you are ready to flip the patties.

This tells you that the heat is cooking the patties thoroughly. Notice the juice that the meat for burgers is releasing, and it should keep releasing small amounts of moisture until the end of the cooking process. If your burgers are still on the grill and they stop releasing fluid, your patties will turn out dry.

Extra Tips and Hints

How to Grill Frozen Burgers?No matter how easy the process of grilling frozen burger seems when you read it, there are some technicalities that you should be careful about. We understand that most good cooks like to follow the rules in the cookbook and thaw their patties thoroughly before grilling. Hence, they are used to the regular grilling method.

Grilling frozen patties can be a little different and challenging, but you need not worry because we are here to save you from any pitfalls. Experts strongly urge all daredevil cooks, who like to grill patties straight out of the freezer, to avoid these three things when cooking frozen burgers on the grill:

  • You must absolutely avoid falling for the myth and grill your patties on an exceedingly low flame for a long time. First, slow cooking should be out of the question anyway because weren’t you running late? Secondly, cooking at a low temperature will achieve complete thawing of the meat before the cooking process starts, but the wholly cooked patty will be dry. This will not only make your patty lose its flavor but also make it hard and tough to chew
  • Do not set a high temperature initially to thaw the patty. This is an honest mistake made by many chefs. This technique will result in patties that look perfectly grilled from the outside but cold and uncooked from the center. Remember that our goal is to grill edible and not simply aesthetically edible patties.
  • Avoid grilling the patties on high heat, which is a no-brainer. Do not make this mistake unless you purposefully intend to prepare burnt and charred burgers.

But our most important piece of advice is always to get high-quality products, such as the Angus Wagyu Ground Beef Patties by Nebraska Star Beef, that will guarantee the best taste.

Final Thoughts

Usually, grilling burgers is a pre-planned task because preparing the patties takes all day. All cooking experts will agree that freshly ground and homemade patties make for the best tasting burgers. Well, sometimes, when you make a batch of burger patties, you store them in the freezer for later. As annoying as the thawing process is, this step ensures that your patties grill to perfection.

However, we all have days when we are pinched for time and need a quick burger fix! The easy 12-step process in this guide will help you how to grill frozen burgers perfectly. If you follow each step correctly, we promise you that you will have perfectly juicy hamburgers in the end.

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