Grilling frozen burgers can be a drain on your spirit and stomach. Some frozen burger patties seem to taste like cardboard and salt, no matter what you do to them.
But with a little planning and forethought, you could enjoy the best possible grilled frozen burgers. Simple things like the type of meat you buy and the type of container you keep your patties in could make a substantial difference in taste and texture.
Grilling Frozen Burgers: Tips and Tricks
There’s almost nothing more depressing than working over a hot grill for an hour or so only to discover that your charred beef patties are essentially tasteless planks. Most grill masters have bad experiences with frozen patties.
However, these grilling tips and ideas could help you enjoy a superior frozen burger experience. Let’s not waste any more time and dig right into the meat of the issue.
Choose a Quality Meat
Cheap frozen patties might be a lifesaver for your wallet, but they’re bound to upset your stomach. Most are combinations of low-grade meats. The average generic frozen burger patty might contain pork, chicken, beef, and all kinds of byproducts.
When you choose quality meat for your frozen burger patties, you’re already halfway to eliminating the possibility of disappointment. You could choose duck, chicken, beef, or any freezable meat.
If you purchase this meat raw and fresh, you can shape it into patty forms and seal it away in a freezer-safe container. This might be the most cost-effective way of enjoying your favorite grilled burgers.
But you’ll need to invest in a strong and secure freezer-safe container before making your own frozen patties. Otherwise, those patties could become another victim of freezer burn.
Let Them Rest and Thaw
Though there’s quite a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t thaw frozen meat before eating it, there are a few worthwhile reasons why you should. Firstly, the most significant danger associated with thawed meats is bacteria.
Bacteria can grow on organic surfaces, like raw flesh and skin, creating unhygienic and unsafe environments. When this bacteria enters the human digestive system, it can cause substantial problems.
Vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps are a few food poisoning symptoms that result from bacteria-covered meals. In most cases, this bacteria is absolutely invisible to the human eye. But heat kills many strains of virulent foodborne bacteria.
As such, you could allow your frozen patties to thaw and become more malleable, season them, then cook them at 352 degrees or slightly higher. This temperature will destroy any active bacterial colonies and ensure that the meat is safe to eat.
Don’t Forget to Season
When grilling frozen burgers, you’ll want to season those patties before tossing them on the grill. A little salt and black pepper go a long way when grilling meat, and many store-bought frozen patties don’t come pre-seasoned.
If you’ve allowed your frozen patties to rest and thaw, the seasonings you apply will stick to the burger’s wet, cold surface. Don’t attempt to apply any seasonings to the frozen patties. Doing so will not give you positive results.
Trust us on this one. Even the sweetest and most acidic marinade will fail to affect the meat while it’s in its frozen state.
Choose Your Fuel Wisely
There’s a burning debate among grill masters, and that debate comes down to fuel type. Some swear by charcoal, and others take a propane-colored view. To make matters even more complicated, some grill masters only use open fire and cast iron.
Still, no matter how you prefer to grill, it’s crucial to consider your fuel type and its effect on the meat’s flavor. Charcoal can impart a smoky, woody flavor. But it could also result in dry burgers.
Propane, on the other hand, tends to give foods a unique flavor that’s often been likened to the taste of bacon. And while it may not give burgers that characteristic charcoal flavor, it could help them stay a little moister.
It’s tricky to say that any method is better than the other. This one seems to come down to personal preference, so you’ll have to figure out what kind of flavor profile your tastebuds are aching for.
Though this tip may seem obvious, you’d be surprised to see the number of home cooks that turn their frozen patties into charcoal hockey pucks. It’s natural to want to overcompensate when cooking frozen foods, but burning is never acceptable.
Let Them Rest Again
After grilling your frozen patties, you’ll want to let them rest. Unlike a steak, you won’t need to wait ten or twenty minutes. Three or five minutes is generally plenty of time for the meat to do its thing.
You can even transfer your freshly grilled patties to pre-prepared burger buns for the best possible taste experience. Any fats or juices simmering out of the patty will seep into the soft burger bun or surrounding toppings. You’ll be glad you let it rest.
Apply Toppings Liberally
When all else fails, you could choose to adorn your flavorless frozen burgers with tons of condiments and toppings. Though the burger itself might be unsatisfying, you and your guests or family will at least be able to eat something.
Remember, this isn’t a best-case solution and should only be employed during dire emergencies. Otherwise, you may gain a reputation as a sub-par cook and grill artist.
Grilling Frozen Burgers Is Easy
Grilling frozen burgers is easy to do. You don’t have to sacrifice taste or value when crafting an excellent burger with a frozen patty. By incorporating the tips and tricks listed above, you can improve every future burger’s taste, frozen or not.
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