Similar to any meal preparation, preparing burgers takes meticulous attention to detail. A burger is often defined as a beef patty on a soft bun big enough to handle the cake and other condiments.

Apart from the ingredients, the cooking technique also plays a significant role in determining the flavor of a burger. You may customize the flavor of your burgers by cooking them from rare to well-done marinated.

Table of Contents

Why should you thaw frozen burgers?

The burger starts as patties formed from pounds of ground. These are frozen to prolong their life. Then, anytime you need a couple of burgers, it becomes much simpler to get them from the freezer. These must be defrosted before consumption. Thawing burgers first prevents raw or burned burgers.

Here are some reasons why you should thaw frozen burgers before cooking

  • You should not cook frozen burgers because you wind up heating the meat for longer, which results in drier patties than when it is thawed.
  • If the patties are too thick, you risk having a burned surface and a raw, perhaps frigid inside if they are not fully defrosted. The ingredients you apply may not permeate the flesh, resulting in bland meat.
  • Allowing a frozen burger to thaw causes a significant amount of the fluid frozen within to be reabsorbed. This results in a more tender and flavorful burger.

Tools needed to grill a frozen burger.

Cutlery for sausages barbecue with a charcoal barbecue in the garden

When cooking frozen burgers, a variety of grilling equipment is often employed. Here is the equipment you’ll need for a great grilling experience:

Grilling machine

If you’re grilling burgers, a high-quality grilling machine is one of the most important things you’ll need. There are types of grills made just for home or indoor cooking. These grills are beautiful and built to last. However, if you’re feeling very extravagant, certain grills are appropriate for outdoor and interior use.


A spatula is required for flipping burgers after they have reached the proper degree of doneness. Additionally, depending on the thickness of your burger, you may use a spatula to flatten it.


A meat thermometer measures temperature using the rate of heat flow and guarantees that you are neither under nor overcooking.

Grill pan/Skillet:

A pan is required to cook frozen beef patties safely. A nonstick skillet is ideal for parties since it eliminates the need for additional harmful fats to prevent the burger from adhering to the skillet. Indoor grill pans are also available. Most are nonstick and include prominent ridges around the top for grill marks even while cooking inside.

Steps on how to thaw burgers:

Frozen beef burger patties are placed on a wooden cutting board before cooking. Freezing in the freezer

Here are some steps to properly thaw burgers

  1. Remove from the freezer the frozen burger patties that you will need.
  2. Place in the microwave and thaw. (Alternatively, a skillet or pan with 1-3 cups of water may be used.)
  3. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on low to medium heat.
  4. Cover it to allow steam to accumulate while it warms.
  5. Keep an eye on it and let it defrost as desired.
  6. Remove any remaining water from the skillet.
  7. Once soft enough, place it on a grill.

Is it possible to cook a frozen burger without defrosting it first?

There is nothing wrong with grilling all of the frozen patties immediately. Burgers can be grilled right from the freezer, which means they can be cooked frozen. Certain commercially prepared burgers are so thin that they may be cooked straight from the freezer.

However, to be sure, you’re not intended to cook them frozen since the exterior tends to cook more quickly than the interior. It requires much more heat energy than anticipated. This is because greater energy is required to convert the ice in the burger to liquid water.

Steps to take before grilling a frozen burger

When grilling frozen burgers, there are a few steps to take. They must attain the proper internal temperature when cooked. You may either cook frozen burgers or defrost them beforehand.

  1. Remove the plastic meat separators when removing them from the freezer.
  2. Decide whether or not to season the patties.
  3. For pre-cooked patties, you may go for the natural seasoning that comes with them. This ensures that the spice is already present in the meat.
  4. While grilling, keep an eye out for flare-ups. The fat level of the meal causes flare-ups, and as such, there is nothing you can do to prevent them unless you cook with no or very little fat.  
  5. Use indirect heat to ensure that there are no flare-ups.
  6. Carry a spray bottle filled with clean water to help you cope in case of flare-ups.

What to do if you are cooking a frozen burger

If you are cooking a frozen burger, you are bringing the temperature up to a safe serving temperature from below freezing. As the burgers cook, a dome may form in the middle because the outer edges compress from being cooked. Here are the steps you can take:

  1. To brown the beef, put the whole surface in direct contact with heat.
  2. Push and hold the center with a spatula to flatten the dome against the grill.
  3. To balance out the dooming, flip it once sooner.
  4. Do not flip it open because you’ll risk creating tough patties due to moisture loss.

How long does grilling a frozen burger take?

Hamburger patty on hot barbecue grill with flames

Before you determine the appropriate temperature, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you looking for medium-rare, well-done, or anything in between?
  • Are the frozen burgers being defrosted and thawed before being placed on the grill?
  • What is your grill’s interior temperature and the amount of heat generated?

7-10 minutes to brown and crisp a 3/4-1-inch patty, depending on the thickness of your patties or the moisture level. Cook the burger until it is brownish-gray halfway up the whole side for the ideal medium to medium-well burger

5-10 minutes on the other side when flipped at medium heat. This results in a medium-rare burger. The optimal time to flip is when the first side achieves the desired color and degree of doneness.

Tip: Avoid cooking a burger for an exact length of time. Consider cooking in terms of appearance. The simplest technique to determine when it is done is to inspect the sear and crispiness.

What is the optimal grilling temperature for a frozen burger?

A burger may be cooked in various ways, from blue to brown to charred. Certain burgers should be cooked to a medium temperature. This is because if it cooks longer, it turns hard and dry.

The required temperature for a frozen burger is 1600F external and 1550F inside, while fresh ground beef may be cooked at a lower temperature. Burgers in medium-rare or completely cooked expose the exterior of all little beef bits to enough grill heat to destroy pathogens.

For ground beef:

Ground beef portions are different since they are more susceptible to germs. Packaged ground beef is often sourced from many sources and is frequently contaminated.

Grinding ground beef disperses the initial surface area most susceptible to germs. When you make a patty, the burger will be contaminated with germs, which should be cooked to a safe temperature on both the outside and inside. If you undercook it, the germs on the interior may live.

  • It should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 1450F for medium-rare.
  • If you cook at excessively high temperatures, the surface will have a wonderful sear, but the interior will be raw.
  • If you cook at an insufficiently low temperature, the inside will be well-cooked, but the outside may lack color.

Steps to consider to grill frozen burgers properly

close up glowing charcoal briquettes on grill grate.

Cooking frozen burgers is simple and quick. Once you follow these steps, you can make your homemade burger. To grill a burger, the following procedures should be followed:

Choose a high-quality grill.

While a charcoal grill is effective, it is not ideal for the cooking burger because it leaks and flares as the meat defrosts. Consequently, the surface of your burger may get overdone while the middle remains uncooked.

Grilling burgers on a flat-top grill is the finest method. Starting from frozen gives you control over the burger’s doneness. Although cooking a frozen burger takes longer than cooking a fresh one, it will finally be done. As a result, cooking a burger on a flat top grill is safer while the patties defrost and reach a safe internal temperature.

Preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature

To ensure even grilling, you must preheat your grill for around 5-10 minutes. Hold your palm directly over the grill to feel the heat, confirming that you have the proper amount of heat to begin. When you notice a little fire coming from the chimney, it is ready.

Take your frozen burger and splash it liberally with oil

Apply a high-burning oil, such as olive oil, to the seasoned side and set the seasoned side down on the grill. The oil prevents food from adhering to the grill, and the additional fat results in increased juiciness and taste. Additionally, you may brush some on while cooking.

Alternatively, brush with melted butter or a little oil such as bacon grease. The idea is to cook the patties on one side of the grill first and then turn them over without adhering to the grill.

Grill your burger and allow it to cook through

Once the grill is hot, place your burger meat on it. The thawing process may take a little longer. Keep an eye on it for around 5 minutes or until the flesh starts to tenderize. Season both sides with salt and pepper at this stage.

Allow to cook for 5 minutes or until a crust develops on the side. Cook on low heat to defrost without charring the outside layer excessively. Additionally, ensure that the heat reaches the center and that the juices flow freely.

Flip it for even cooking on both sides

Before flipping your burger, let it on the uncooked side until you notice beef liquid. Allow enough time to caramelize whatever you’re cooking before turning; that first year is critical. This might be done when the edges are approximately a quarter inch from being cooked. Then, using your spatula, turn it in for another 5-10 minutes.

Flipping your burger ensures consistent cooking on both sides. After the meat juice appears, a few minutes sear on the opposite side is sufficient. Once the patties have thawed to the point where a toothpick can be inserted, increase the heat and char to seal in the juices. Avoid squeezing with a spatula because it dries them down; you’ll lose the juices in the patty if you do so.

Check the doneness of the meat using a meat thermometer.

In theory, the longer you cook the burgers, the drier and more done they will be. Bear in mind that the outside will defrost, cook, and burn first. Relying on the exterior component to determine if the burger is already cooked might be risky. A reliable instant-read thermometer will assist you in determining if the center of the patty has reached the proper amount of doneness.

Serve with additional condiments.

Warm burger buns to toast just before the patty is finished. Add any more delectable foods you’ve prepared and enjoy. The most often used condiments to produce a juicy burger are buns and cheese. If you’re a purist when it comes to pure beef in burgers, all you need is meat, salt, and pepper.

What to avoid when grilling frozen burgers

While grilling frozen burgers may seem simple, it is all too easy to make a mistake Here are some mistakes you should avoid:

Under seasoning of the meat

When seasoning, avoid using ordinary salt in favor of kosher salt, which expands and imparts more flavor to the meat.  If you’re purchasing pre-made patties, it’s best to go with a brand you’re familiar with.

However, handmade patties allow you a little more control over the seasoning flavor seasoning season. Make an effort to learn about the ingredients in your meat to know what to anticipate.

Seasoning while it is still frozen.

Season the patty after it has been grilled for about 2 minutes and then turned over. One of the most common errors is to attempt to season the patties while they are frozen. It will just roll off the surface, much as water rolls off a duck’s back.

Rushing the thawing process

Another common error is increasing the heat or attempting to fry the patties over an open and direct flame to speed up the thawing and cooking process. Cooking the beef excessively high temperature will burn the meat before it reaches the proper internal temperature.

Do not be deceived by a brown tint into believing it is cooked. It may be on fire on the exterior but undercooked on the inside. Also, avoid cooking the beef on low heat for an extended time.

Using very thin patties

If you have a very thin patty, flipping may be difficult. While it may be tempting, avoid pressing the patties down throughout the cooking process. If you’re purchasing frozen patties already packed, choose those that include no fillers—the fewer ingredients, the better. Additionally, check that you have pre-set the grill’s temperature to guarantee optimal heating.

Flare-ups caused by grease build-up

 A grill flare-up is often caused by leaking fat and may result in an abrupt burst of heat, posing a clear safety threat. Flare-ups are a typical occupational danger when grilling, particularly when preparing fatty meat. It can also result in bitter and inedible burgers.

Grease buildup is a primary cause of hot spots on your cooking grates. Suppose you leave your grates unclean for a lengthy period, the risk of a fire increases. Outbreaks may also be triggered by using an oily marinade on your meat.

Not monitoring temperature

While it will take longer to cook, it is critical to monitor the interior temperature closely since it is possible to overcook it.

Quick tips for grilling frozen burgers

Close-up of juicy burger patties on a ribbed barbecue, flames enveloping the meat.

Appropriate cooking time  

  • 5 minutes to preheat the grill
  • 15 minutes to cook “medium,”
  • 16-17 minutes to cook “medium-well,”
  • 18-20 minutes to cook “well done.”

Cooked patties shelf life in the refrigerator

The FDA advises that cooked meat be consumed within 3-4 days of being refrigerated,

Seal them in an airtight container or plastic bag, or wrap them in aluminum foil. Reheat your burger meat in the microwave, oven, or pan separately from the burger buns or any fresh toppings for the greatest flavor.

Patties shelf life in the refrigerator

If stored in the freezer, the FDA suggests ingesting it within 2-3 months.

Thickness effect on cooking time

Cooking time might be affected by the thickness of the patties. Cooking time for thicker patties is longer, while cooking time for thinner patties is shorter. The majority of frozen patties weigh 1/2 lb. Adjust the cooking time to get an internal temperature of 160 degrees if using a different size patty.

Best Frozen Burgers

  • Costco, particularly their frozen Angus beef burger patties.
  • Bubba Burgers and Johnsonville are two other delectable burgers.

You may utilize ground beef to create your frozen meat patties. This is a convenient technique to prepare your burger meat precisely to your specifications and store it in the freezer until ready to cook.

Frequently asked Questions

What should I avoid doing when grilling frozen burgers?

Here is a list of common errors to avoid while preparing frozen burgers

Excessive seasoning

Overseasoning hurts the flavor of a burger.

A simple salt and pepper rub is required for a juicy burger. There are plenty of additional condiments and spices with which you may experiment to produce a unique and delectable burger.

Cramming too many patties

To guarantee that the grill’s heat is delivered evenly, avoid cramming too many patties on the grill at once. This is a basic guideline to allow heat to reach all parts of the patties allowing all sides to brown evenly.

Not monitoring and controlling temperature.

Temperature control at both ends of the operation is critical when preparing burgers. Overcooking renders nutrients inert, leaving only fat and fiber calories. It is important to monitor what you are cooking to prevent overcooking your burger patties.

The textural difference between rare and medium, medium-rare and medium-medium, and medium-well to well-done is enormous. This is another reason you should get a probe thermometer to determine whether your patties have reached the desired temperature.

How will I know if a Frozen Burger has been grilled?

The word “grilled” is subjective. For a medium-rare burger, pink in the center with a lovely medium brown border is ideal. Here are several straightforward methods to inform you that you should eat a grilled burger.

Monitor color and texture change

The more cooked your burger is, the more noticeable the changes become in various ways. If you want a quicker read, an instant-read thermometer is recommended. However, scale thermometers may also be used. Simply pierce a hole in the middle of the burger and measure its temperature.

Additionally, you should keep an eye on the hue it produces. A solid brown is a medium-to-well-done finish. Pink is quite uncommon, whereas red is extremely rare. 

  • The pinker your patties get, the wetter they become. 
  • The softer it grows, the more delectable it becomes.
  • As the smoke’s moisture content increases, the patties’ outside portions become more.
  • As the fat melts and drains away the meat shrinks.

Conduct a juice test

After all, juice boosts the taste of your burger. A juicy burger is preferable to a well-done, dry burger. Raw meat conserves a significant amount of liquids. While grilling, raw meat undergoes a chemical reaction and loses its ability to retain moisture.

When the burger is cooked, the liquid gradually drains from it. If you see crimson liquids streaming around the pan, draining from the meat, or gathering in the skillet, you’re getting close. Do not squeeze the burger’s juices out.

How long should frozen burgers be kept?

Freezing food avoids foodborne disease and deterioration. When frozen burgers are thawed and refrozen, the germs prone to increase in aged food are disrupted. Foods frozen at 00F for months are still edible, although the flavors may be unpleasant.

However, frozen food for an extended period loses nutritional content, texture, and overall quality. Within a short period, freezer burn, which dries out food, alters the taste and flavor.

According to the USDA, ground beef retains its quality for no more than four months; hence, burger patties are not anticipated to retain their quality for an extended period. If cooked ground beef or patties are properly refrigerated, they should retain their quality for four (4) months.


No matter how long your burger is preserved in a freezer, you must still use proper food handling and cooking methods. When cooked medium rare, a frozen burger is safe to consume pink, but it must first be thawed. Burgers should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 1600F because bacteria may contaminate the ground beef.

However, it does not mean that cooking at a lower temperature is inherently dangerous. Therefore, prepare your burger by searing each side for around five to ten minutes and flipping it over for a few minutes.