Wondering how to grill frozen burgers correctly? You’ll agree that no barbecue worth attending is complete without a good burger. And frozen patties are fast becoming a favorite because of their convenience. But how do you grill them to perfection?
Firstly, you need to detach your patties the right way to avoid them breaking down into pieces. Chances are that frozen parties are likely to be stuck to each other when you take them out of the freezer. Next, you defrost them, gather your grilling equipment and head over to the grill!
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Grill Frozen Burgers? (Thawed or Not)
- 2 How to Grill a Frozen Burger Properly
- 3 How Long to Grill Frozen Burgers?
- 4 Grilling Frozen Burgers Right Out of the Freezer
- 5 What Temperature Do You Grill Frozen Burgers?
- 6 How Long Does It Take to Cook a Bubba Burger on the Grill?
- 7 Final Thoughts
Why Grill Frozen Burgers? (Thawed or Not)
Frozen burgers are loved for their convenience. Yes, fresh patties are awesome, but they do need some bit of prepping. With frozen patties on the other end, your BBQ will likely be underway in no time!
But convenience aside, it’s important to understand the health risks associated with eating improperly thawed meat. As such proper thawing procedures must be followed. Consuming frozen meat that has been left out at room temperature isn’t recommended. Why? Bacterial contamination happens when meat is exposed to temperatures that are between 40ᵒF and 140ᵒF.
Also, once you’ve thawed your patties, avoid refreezing. While it’s considered safe to refreeze meat, the quality of your patty is compromised. Moisture loss, decolourization, odor changes and oxidation may result. The final taste can even be altered.
But if you do decide to refreeze your thawed burgers, make sure they were defrosted in a refrigerator that was running at 5ᵒC and below. Also, don’t refreeze meat that has been left outside the refrigerator for more than two hours.
Now that we have the food safety part covered, let’s jump into the grilling process in detail by addressing a few key questions.
How to Grill a Frozen Burger Properly
This statement alone suggests there’s a right and wrong way of going about this process. Follow these easy to steps to handle it correctly.
1. Gather Your Equipment
To start off, get your equipment ready for the grilling process by rounding up the following equipment:
- Your frozen burgers (of course) – If you love Angus Burgers you can try these ones from Amazon
- Metal flipper
- Butter knife
- Meat thermometer
- Clean plate
2. Separate Your Burger Patties
As mentioned, frozen patties tend to stick to each other while in the freezer. This is especially true if you prepared them in bulk and stacked them together. So, the first thing you want to do is separate them. But you need to be extra careful to avoid disintegrating them into pieces. No one wants to be served a hamburger with “shredded mince” under the guise of a patty!
Avoid trying to pull the burgers apart with your hands. Rather use a slim utensil like a butter knife to separate them. Slide it down the middle and you can even use a hammer to make the process easier as outlined in this video.
Remember to be extra cautious when you’re dealing with thin patties as they’re more likely to break.
What if the separating task is proving to be a challenge? You can always leave the burgers for a few minutes so some of the ice melts off and try again.
3. Defrost Your Patties
Once you’ve successfully managed to separate your patties, go ahead and defrost them. You have three options; either to place your patties in the microwave, refrigerator or soak in cold water.
Using the microwave is convenient. The process will be much quicker. This is something you’ll appreciate if your guests are getting impatient and don’t have much time on your hands. Just bear in mind that if you microwave your patties, you must grill and eat them right away.
If you decide to you use the refrigerator, naturally the process will take slightly longer—anywhere from several hours to an entire day. But the good news is you have at least five days before you need to eat them.
Another tried and tested method is running your patties under cold water, but not directly. First place them inside a waterproof zipper bag and submerge in cold water for an hour or two.
4. Preheat Your Grill
The next step is to warm up your grill for a few minutes before you place your burgers on the racks. I can’t stress the importance of this step. Placing your patties straight into a cold grill will result in them sticking on the grates once you power it on. Over and above that, your patties won’t be cooked evenly or entirely.
The recommended pre-heating temperature is approximately around 325F. Make sure you don’t overheat the grill because that comes with its own set of problems. Scorched burgers anyone?
5. Season Your Patties
While waiting for your grill to heat up, you can decide how to season your burgers. This step isn’t really mandatory considering that most patties are already seasoned.
But if you hadn’t seasoned them during prepping, go ahead and add salt, pepper and other spices that tickle your fancy.
6. Grill Your Burger
I must warn you grilling a burger requires some patience and constant monitoring. You may experience some flare ups initially when you place your patties on the grill because of the oil component. When this happens, simply move the patties to the side until the flames die down.
A great tip is to grill your burgers with the lid open to let the smoke out. Too much smoke will give your burgers a bitter taste.
Leave each side to cook for five minutes initially. Thereafter you can flip the burgers every two to three minutes using the metal flipper until they’re properly cooked. How do you ascertain this? Check if the juices are running clear. But don’t leave your burgers completely dry.
Alternatively, you can make use of your meat thermometer. Remove one patty from the grill and place it on a clean plate. Insert the meat thermometer in the middle of your burger. When it’s reached 160ᵒF, you’ve successfully completed your mission. If not, return it to the grill.
7. Toast Your Buns
If you want your guests to beg for a second and third serving, don’t neglect this step. Lightly toast the buns to leave them nice and crispy. For that added pizzazz, melt some butter and apply to your buns. Go ahead and serve!
How Long to Grill Frozen Burgers?
How long it takes to grill your burgers depends on how thick they are. But on average it can take anywhere between 25 and 27 minutes to get your burger ready.
However, the middle section is what you need to be wary of. That section takes longer to cook and may be left raw. As you know, consuming raw meat can lead to food poisoning. It doesn’t help that the outside of your patties may be showing a mouth-watering golden brown color.
When it comes to burgers, different people prefer different levels of doneness. Much like in the case of steak. If you want a medium-rare patty, you must cook the patty for 2 to 3 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other. If you prefer medium cooked patties, cook them for 3 minutes on each side on your charcoal grill.
Grilling Frozen Burgers Right Out of the Freezer
Are you wondering whether it’s possible to skip the thawing process and send your burgers straight the grill? It’s perfectly safe to grill your frozen burgers right away. Just know the grilling process might take double the time.
The grilling process is pretty much the same. Preheat your grill to 325ᵒF. Place the burgers on the grill and flip every 3 to 5 minutes. If your burgers weren’t seasoned, now’s the time to sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Make sure you don’t leave them till they are completely dried out.
What Temperature Do You Grill Frozen Burgers?
To grill your frozen burgers to perfection, you must set your grill’s internal temperature to low-medium. As I mentioned earlier, the recommended grilling temperature is 325ᵒF.
Ideally you want to place your burgers in the baking tray in the middle shelf.
How Long Does It Take to Cook a Bubba Burger on the Grill?
Bubba burgers are pretty popular. Maybe the fact that they’re 85% lean and cook much quicker from their frozen state is the reason why. To grill your Bubba burger, each side must cook for between 4 and 5 minutes.
Chef tip: Add threes slices of cheese during the last minutes of cooking your Bubba patty and cover with a lid. You’ll thank me later!
Are you ready to grill your frozen burger? Follow the steps mentioned here and you’ll be grilling your frozen burgers like a pro.
Just remember to always wash your hands before you start the process of handling any patties. Also, when you remove the grilled patties from the grill, place them on a clean plate. Avoid placing them on the plate that previously carried frozen patties. This might contaminate your burgers.