Nothing beats the flavor of juicy burgers hot off the griddle. While you can certainly thaw patties before cooking, it’s handy to know how to cook burgers straight from the freezer.
With the right techniques, you can griddle delicious frozen burgers to perfection every time.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Can You Cook Frozen Burgers on a Griddle?
- Thawing vs Cooking Burgers Frozen
- How to Cook Frozen Burgers on a Griddle
- Tips for Griddling Frozen Burgers
- Safety Tips
- Common Mistakes
- Frequently Asked Questions
Grab a spatula and let’s get into how to skillfully griddle burgers straight from the freezer!
Can You Cook Frozen Burgers on a Griddle?
The short answer – yes, absolutely! Griddles and flat top grills can safely cook frozen burger patties thanks to their even heating across the cooking surface. The constant contact with the hot metal griddle thaws and sears the burgers at the same time.
Griddling offers a few advantages over grilling frozen burgers:
- Even thawing – Frozen patties thaw evenly on the flat surface before searing begins. No cold centers.
- No flareups – Unlike an open grill, griddles contain the fat and juices from frozen burgers as they cook, preventing flareups from fat drippings.
- Better flipping – Frozen patties are fragile. Griddles allow gentler flipping than grates.
- Consistent results – The wide, even heating of a griddle or flat top ensures the patties cook through without scorching.
While grilling frozen burgers can be tricky, griddling them is easy once you know the proper technique. Let’s look at whether thawing before cooking is necessary.
Thawing Burgers Before Cooking vs Cooking Frozen
You have two options when cooking frozen hamburger patties:
- Thaw completely before cooking
- Cook frozen patties directly on the hot griddle
Which method is better? Here’s how they compare:
Thawing Burgers First
- More grill marks from direct contact with the griddle
- Shorter cooking time once thawed
- Normal handling of patties for shaping
- Requires planning ahead to thaw
- Can lead to surface moisture loss
- Uneven thawing in fridge
Cooking Patties Frozen
- No time needed to thaw beforehand
- Locks in moisture and flavor
- More forgiving on cooking temp
- Less defined grill marks on patties
- Longer cooking time required
- Delicate handling when frozen
For most home cooks, cooking from frozen is the easier and more convenient option. You skip the hours of thawing time and can spontaneously grill whenever the craving strikes!
How to Cook Frozen Burgers on a Griddle
Cooking frozen patties on a hot flat top or griddle is simple. Follow these steps:
- Preheat Griddle Heat your griddle to 400°F+ to ensure it’s hot enough to sear. Use thermometer to verify temp if needed.
- Arrange Frozen Patties
Place frozen patties gently on the preheated cooking surface. No need to thaw or separate. Leave some space between.
- Don’t Move Initially Let patties sit undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. This helps the bottom thaw and brown before trying to flip.
- Flip and Cook
Carefully flip each patty with a thin spatula. Cook another 2-3 minutes on second side. Repeat flipping as needed.
- Check for Doneness Nick the edge to check if patties are cooked through. Internal temp should reach 160°F.
- Remove and Serve Use spatula to transfer cooked patties to a platter. Let rest 1 minute before serving.
The key is preheating your griddle to at least 400°F before adding frozen patties. This high heat helps them develop a nice sear while fully thawing in about 8-12 minutes total, depending on thickness.
Helpful Tips for Cooking Frozen Burgers on a Griddle
Follow these tips for success when cooking frozen burger patties on your flat top grill:
- Use metal spatula or tongs for gentle flipping. Plastic can stick. Don’t pierce patties.
- Add a little oil or cooking spray to the hot griddle before adding patties. Prevent sticking as they thaw.
- Try not to move patties at all initially. Give time to sear and release before attempting to flip.
- Cook 3-5 minutes per side. Thicker patties take longer than thin. Check internal temp.
- Season just before removing. Salt draws moisture out of thawing meat.
- Insert a meat thermometer horizontally to get center temp without juice loss.
- Smash patties with spatula for griddle smashburgers! Brown crispy edges.
With the right griddle setup and technique, frozen burgers turn out tender and flavorful. Now for some safety tips when cooking from frozen.
Safety Tips for Cooking Frozen Patties
Cooking frozen burgers on a hot griddle is generally safe, but keep these precautions in mind:
- Thoroughly preheat griddle before adding frozen patties. This prevents unsafe partial thawing.
- Wash hands after handling frozen meat to avoid germ spread. Avoid cross-contamination.
- Use a food thermometer to verify patties reach safe internal temp of 160°F minimum. Appearance alone doesn’t guarantee doneness.
- Discard any patties that have turned brown or grayish in the freezer. Sign of freezer burn or oxidation.
- Defrost frozen patties sealed in fridge if immersing in marinade before griddling. Don’t marinate at room temp.
Follow basic food safety protocols when handling and cooking frozen burger patties. With the hot griddle doing the quick thaw work for you, enjoy convenience and great taste!
Common Mistakes to Avoid
It’s easy to mess up cooking frozen burgers if you don’t follow the right techniques. Avoid these common mistakes:
- Not preheating griddle – Frozen patties need very hot surface to sear and cook through.
- Flipping too early – Let patties sit undisturbed 2-3 minutes initially to form crust before flipping.
- Piercing patties – Don’t poke with fork, which causes juices to leak out. Gently flip with spatula.
- Uneven thawing – Clustered patties may thaw slower. Leave some space between patties.
- Overcooking – Take them off once they reach 160°F internally. Don’t let them dry out.
- Seasoning too early – Wait until end to salt and pepper. Salting too soon draws out moisture.
With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of griddling perfect frozen burgers every time. Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
FAQs About Cooking Frozen Burgers on a Griddle
Here are answers to some top questions about griddling frozen burger patties:
How long does it take to cook frozen burgers on a griddle?
Plan for 8-12 minutes total cook time depending on thickness. Thinner patties may take only 6-8 minutes. Check internal temp.
Should you flip frozen burgers only once?
No, flip patties multiple times during cooking for even results. Just don’t flip too early before the bottom releases naturally.
Can you put room temp burger patties back in the freezer?
No, do not refreeze thawed patties. Refreezing thawed meat is unsafe. Cook thawed burgers immediately.
What setting should I use to cook frozen burgers?
Preheat your griddle to 400°F+ on high heat to properly sear and cook frozen patties. Adjust temp as needed.
Should I butter the griddle before frozen burgers?
Yes, adding a thin layer of oil or butter helps prevent sticking as the patties thaw on the hot surface.
What happens if the griddle isn’t hot enough?
Patties may partially thaw and overcook before searing. Ensure your griddle is fully preheated for best results.
Can you griddle frozen burger patties that are stuck together?
Yes, just place them gently. They will separate during cooking. If needed, very lightly pry apart with spatula after flipping.
Get your griddle good and hot, and enjoy the convenience of cooking burgers straight from the freezer!
The next time your crew is craving juicy backyard burgers but you forgot to thaw patties, don’t stress. Just fire up your flat top grill and use these tips for griddling tasty frozen burgers to perfection.