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Christine Szalay-Kudra

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You might be wondering how to cook frozen hamburger patties so they do not taste like they have been frozen.

Frozen meat does not sear very well and breading or flour will not stick well to them. Frozen meat also takes longer to cook than fresh or defrosted meat.

If you only have frozen hamburger patties, however, it is possible to cook them without having to thaw them first and you can use the stove, the grill, or the broiler.

Cooking Frozen Hamburgers on the Stove

One of the best ways of cooking frozen burgers is to use the stove, some water, and a skillet. This keeps the burgers moist and tasty. Fill a skillet half way with water and turn the heat up to medium high. Add some seasonings to the water and bring it to a fast simmer. Put the patties in the water and add more seasoning.

Let them cook until one side is brown, then flip the burgers, and cook the other side. Poke a small hole through each one to release the pressure. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the patties until the juices run clear. This will take between six and ten minutes.

This is a great way to cook hamburgers from frozen because the water keeps them moist and the seasonings really penetrate into the meat.

Cooking Frozen Hamburgers on the Grill

You can cook hamburgers from frozen on the grill or by broiling them, rather than using the above method. You will need to move the grill rack about six inches from the heat source so the outside of the burger does not char while the inside is still partially frozen. If you want to broil the burgers, have the rack four or five inches from the heat.

Some chefs actually prefer cooking patties from frozen, especially if they are thin. This is because thawed or fresh patties cook so quickly.

How to Defrost Hamburger Patties

It is best to thaw patties over night in the refrigerator if you are going to eat them the following day. The hamburgers will defrost slowly and not drip too much, which means they will be tastier and juicier when you cook them. Burgers need about five hours per pound to thaw. After defrosting them, cook them within two days.

You can thaw hamburger patties in the microwave, although sometimes the meat starts to cook before the inside is completely thawed. This makes it difficult to sear the patties properly and keep them juicy. If you are thawing several burgers simultaneously, take them out after a few minutes and pull them apart. If you are defrosting one hamburger block, remove it from the microwave every couple of minutes to scrape the thawed surface.

It is useful to know how to cook frozen hamburger patties in case you forget to thaw them in the refrigerator the night before or in case you are having a cookout and you run out of food. Defrosted patties or frozen patties are safe to cook, as long as you check the inside has reached 160 degrees F before serving them and as long as the meat is cooked all the way through.
 
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