Are you limited time and wonder if you can cook the burgers directly from frozen? Is this a good idea? Will you get nice results? Or should you thaw them first as the texture and taste will change if you will cook them directly from frozen? Well, let’s find out!
Even if it may not be the best idea to cook them the burgers directly from frozen, it is still possible, just they will need more attention from your side, and it will be harder to get juicy meat.
In that article, we will explore all the pros and cons of cooking burgers directly from frozen, and we will give you a few tips on how you can get the best results when you’re limited on time but your burgers are still sitting in the fridge.
Can You Cook Burgers From Frozen?
Yes, you can cook burgers from frozen on a grill or stove. Add 50% more cooking time and use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 160°F for safe consumption. Avoid pressing down on the burgers to retain juices.
Also, while you cook frozen burgers, the ice from the meat will thaw in the cooking process, and if you cook it in a frying pan, you will boil the burger in that water instead of frying it.
How Long to Cook Them From Frozen?
The cooking time will wildly depend on the size of your burger and the cooking method you plan to use. Generally, it should take around 10-20 minutes to cook a frozen burger.
Is It Better to Cook Burgers Thawed or Frozen?
If you have time, opt for the variant of cooking thawed burgers, as you will get a more uniform, better, and easier cooking process.
By cooking thawed burgers, you will get an evenly cooked burger, and there are fewer chances that it will be overcooked on the edges and undercooked or even raw in the middle.
If you cook burgers from frozen, you will have to cook the burger on low heat and for a longer period of time.
On another side, if you will cook thawed burgers, you will have more control over the meat and you have the possibility to cook the burgers on a higher heat as a result, you will get juicier meat that will be a lot more flavorful.
Can You Cook Burgers That Aren’t Fully Thawed?
Yes, you can cook burgers that are not fully thawed, but you will need more time and patience until you will make sure that also the middle of the burger meat is also cooked enough and it is safe to eat. You can check the inner temperature by using a meat thermometer.
How Do You Defrost Burgers?
In the Fridge
The safest option will be to leave the burgers for a few hours in the fridge to let them thaw slowly. In that way, you will get the most uniform thawing. However, this method will take you the longest time and will not work for you if you’re limited on time and looking for a quick way to cook a few delicious burgers.
Under Cold Water
The second best way to thaw the burgers is to leave them in a tightly sealed container or freezing bag and leave them under cold water for 30-60 minutes.
For that, take a large bowl, put it in the freezing bag with the frozen burger, and cover it with cold water. After 15-20 minutes, replace the water with another cold one.
Quick Note: Don’t use warm or, even worse – hot water. If you use warm or hot water, you will quickly grow different bacteria in that meat, and it will not be safe to eat shortly. Because of that, use only cold water.
In the Microwave
I left this method in the last place because it will not give you as good results as the previous ones. Because you will hurry up the thawing process, the texture of the meat will suffer.
Also, when you defrost the burgers in the meat, the temperature on the edges of the burger will be higher than in the middle. As a result, when you cook these burgers later, you will not get uniform cooking.
However, if you are limited on time and can’t wait for at least 30-60 minutes to let the meat thaw slowly, then the defrosting option on your microwave is your best friend when you need to cook the burgers as soon as possible.
Ways to Cook Burgers from Frozen
For uniform cooking, it is recommended to let the frozen burgers thaw first, as the temperature is hard to transmit through the meat.
By doing that, you will get a more evenly cooked burger. If you don’t have the possibility to wait so long to let the burger thaw for several hours, then cook the burgers at high heat for a short period of time to give them a nice crust that will keep the juice from meat on the inside.
Then, lower the temperature and leave the burgers to cook slowly until they are evenly cooked on the inside.
Pro Tip: For the best results, it is recommended to check the inside temperature with a meat thermometer or to cut the burger in halves and to check how well the meat is cooked.
Quick Note: The juice will leak if you cut the burgers in halves. Because of that, I highly recommend opting for the meat thermometer option.
Let’s find what are the best ways to cook burgers directly from the frozen.
On a BBQ
It is tricky to control the temperature of the heat, and as a result, you may get a few burgers that are not cooked evenly, especially if those are too thick. If you have time, it is recommended to let them thaw first.
For the best results, consider giving a quick and nice crispy crust that will keep the inner juice of the meat inside, then reduce the heat, and let the burgers cook slowly until the middle of the burgers is safe to eat.
Keep in mind that the burgers will dry if you cook them longer.
In a Frying Pan
If you plan to cook the frozen burgers in a frying pan, consider that the burger meat will leave the water when cooked. As a result, you will boil the burgers instead of frying them.
Pro Tip: To avoid that, cook the frozen burgers without a lid to let the water evaporate during the frying.
In the Oven
It is not recommended to cook frozen burgers in the oven as they will leave a lot of water, and the burgers will boil in that water instead of frying. If you plan to cook the burgers in the oven, consider defrosting them first. At least in the microwave if you’re limited on time.
In Air Fryer
Yes, you can cook the frozen burgers in the air fryer, as they will obtain a quick crust that will keep the meat juice inside. Then, you can reduce the temperature and let them cook evenly until a safe meat temperature.
How to Check if the Burgers Are Done?
The best and safest method is to use a meat thermometer to check the inner temperature of the meat. The safe temperature of a hamburger is considered 160°F if you cook beef, pork, lamb, or veal burger. If you are cooking a chicken burger, then it is recommended until the meat in the thickest part reaches 165°F.
If you’re limited time, you can cook the burgers directly from frozen, but you will need to pay more attention to them as it is very easy to overcook them on the edges and undercook in the middle.