Cooking frozen burger patties is easy and quick using an oven, grill, air fryer, or flat pan.
You should inspect frozen patties before cooking to check that the meat hasn’t spoiled during freezing. Burger patties last for between 4 and 5 months in the freezer when properly stored. If a frozen patty has dry spots or discoloration, the burger has expired, and it shouldn’t be cooked.
You don’t need to thaw frozen burger patties before you cook them. If you want to speed up cooking time, defrost the patties in the refrigerator and eat the patties within three days.
The Best Way to Cook Frozen Burgers (Flat Pan)
Cooking frozen burger patties in a flat pan or griddle allows you to get all the flavor you can out of the patty and the cooking surface. Flat pan cooking also cooks the burger patty more evenly than other methods.
To cook frozen burger patties in a flat pan, follow the instructions below:
- Place a flat pan or griddle on the stove and heat on medium heat and leave to warm for 5 minutes
- Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Swill the oil around the pan, then add the frozen burger patties, leaving at least an inch of space between the patties
- Cook the burger patties for up to 7 minutes. Sprinkle on seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder, if desired
- Check the color of the bottom of the patties. When the patties are light brown but not burnt, flip the burgers to cook the other sides
- Repeat the process, cooking the other sides of the burger patties for up to 7 minutes, or until the meat is brown
- Flip the patties once more to check that the other side is cooked. If you have a thermometer, use the device to check that the internal temperature of the patties is at least 160°F
- Add a slice of cheese to melt on the burger patties if desired. Leave for up to three minutes for the cheese to melt without dripping off the patties and burning
- Place the patties on a plate covered with a paper cloth to absorb the excess oil. Let the patties sit for a minute, then serve in burger buns with your toppings of choice
How to Cook Frozen Burgers Using an Oven
An alternative method of cooking frozen burger patties, which requires less effort from you, is to cook the patties in an oven.
To cook frozen burger patties in the oven, follow the instructions below:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C
- Lightly grease an oven tray and cover the tray with aluminum foil
- Place the frozen burger patties on the tray and put the tray in the middle of the oven
- Cook the burgers in the oven for up to 1 hour. (The exact cooking time depends on how dense and thick the patties are.) You don’t need to flip the burgers because the air in the oven will circulate under the patties, cooking them evenly
- Using an oven mitt, remove the tray. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the center of the burger patties. The temperature should meet or exceed 160°F
- If the burger patties aren’t hot enough, or you prefer your burgers well-done, return the burgers to the oven for another 5–10 minutes
- Optionally, make cheeseburgers by placing slices of cheese on top of the burgers and cooking for an additional 2 minutes
- Serve the burgers on buns with your favorite toppings
When cooking frozen burger patties in the oven, you can’t season the patties as easily as you can when frying frozen patties. One option is to allow the burger patties to thaw for a few minutes, then sprinkle seasoning onto the burger patties before placing them in the oven. Alternatively, remove the patties from the oven after 10 minutes and add the seasonings to the partially cooked meat. This should make it easier for the seasonings to stick to the surface, so you can season both sides of the patty.
How to Cook Frozen Burgers Using a Grill
Cooking frozen burgers on a grill requires more effort than oven cooking, but less effort than flat pan cooking. Grilling is a healthier alternative to oven-baking and flat pan cooking because some of the oil drips from the burger during cooking, reducing the burgers’ fat content.
Here’s how to cook frozen burger patties using a grill:
- After removing the burger patties from your freezer and splitting them apart from one another, allow the patties to thaw for a couple of minutes
- Season the patties lightly with salt, pepper, and any seasoning of your choice. The seasoning will stick better to a slightly thawed burger than to a fully frozen burger
- Turn the grill onto a high heat and place the seasoned burger patties on the grill
- Cook the burgers for 20 minutes, watching them closely and flipping every 4 minutes to avoid burning. If a burger flares up in the grill, move the patties out of the flames
- To make cheeseburgers, add a slice of cheese to the burgers during the last minute of cooking, or until the cheese has melted
- Remove the burgers from the grill and assemble the burger patties in buns. Add your favorite burger toppings and sauces
How to Cook Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer
An air fryer is ideal for cooking burgers because the cooking process is much shorter, and the air-frying method drains some of the greases from burgers, reducing the burgers’ fat content. Air fryers give burgers a crispy outside with a tender, juicy middle.
To cook frozen burgers in an air fryer, follow the instructions below:
- Allow the burger patties to thaw for a couple of minutes, then season with salt, pepper, and your choice of seasonings
- Place the burger patties into the air fryer’s basket
- Push the basket into the air fryer and set the air fryer to 350°F. Pre-heating the air fryer isn’t necessary
- Cook the burger patties for up to 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the air fryer basket and use metal tongs to flip the patties to ensure even cooking
- After 10 minutes, check that the internal temperature of the burgers has reached 160°F. If not, return the burgers to the air fryer for another 2 minutes
- To make cheeseburgers, add a slice of cheese to the patties and continue to cook for 1 more minute
- Remove the burgers and place them onto buns. Add your desired toppings and sauces
Depending on the size of your air fryer, you’ll need to cook the burger patties in batches of two or three. Don’t pile burgers on top of one another because this will cause the burgers underneath to become soggy.
How to Store Leftover Burger Patties
If you have leftover thawed burger patties that haven’t been cooked, store the patties in the refrigerator in an airtight container and use them within three days. You can refreeze the burger patties for up to 4 months. Don’t refreeze a patty that has been thawed at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, or thawed in the microwave.
To store leftover cooked burger patties, refrigerate the patties in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze the patties for up to 4 months.