Best Way to Make Burgers From Frozen Patties

I was recently asked by a friend if I had a good way to season a frozen hamburger patty. So how do you season a frozen hamburger patty before they go on the grill, for more flavorful burgers? I will be honest, I have never come across this as we always use fresh patties. Now, we also have the luxury of planning (most of the time) so when I was presented with this question, I didn’t have an immediate answer. The first thing I did was go to the grocery store, picked up a few different boxes of frozen patties, and started cooking.
Hand Holding Double Patty Burger

The Challenge: How To Season Frozen Hamburger Patties

The problem we face here is that the ice glaze on the frozen patty, which helps to prevent freezer burn, also prevents anything from sticking to it. The solution is pretty simple actually. A quick water bath to shed that outer layer of ice. Once that outer layer of ice is gone, we now have a wet surface to apply our seasoning.

For the bath, I used a mixture of Worcestershire and liquid smoke with warm water. Slide your burger patties into the bath directly from the freezer. This quick bath will only take a moment, do not try to thaw the patties in here. At this point, they are ready to go. 

The preset temperature of the grill, or in my case pellet smoker, is set to 350º. This is one reason I love our pellet grill. I can set it and then take care of the prep and not worry about the charcoal burning off, going out, or dealing with flare-ups on the gas grill. More on that later but it is the best way to cook during the summer to help keep the house cool. 

How to Cook Frozen Hamburger Patties

From the water bath, place the patties onto the grill grates and then season. For burgers, I prefer to use MeatChurch The Gospel All Purpose Rub.

Now the seasoning is only on one side of the patty right now. That’s ok. Close the lid and let it go. You are looking at a cook time of roughly 12 – 15 minutes on the first side. Flip the burgers and then season the other side, close the lid, and let them go another 6 minutes or so. 

Your total cooking time is going to be about 16-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the burger. Since we are using a frozen ground beef patty I am cooking all the way through, these are not the patties to try and get a perfect medium rare on. 

The slow cook on the pellet grill produces a tender and juicy burger, even when they are cooked through, that is well seasoned and takes minimal effort.  

The entire family was surprised how well they came out. My wife has asked that I  try turkey burgers next. 

Now, these may not be your version of the “perfect burgers” but considering the time and effort, they were a great way to knock out a fast meal. After this, I decided to keep a pack of frozen patties in the freezer for those busy weeknights that we didn’t have time to plan.

Dress Up Your Burger Patties

So up until now, this has just been seasoning and cooking frozen burger patties. When it comes to dressing it up, make sure to use your favorite bun, a slice of cheese. We like potato hamburger buns as they stand up to juices better, which means they won’t fall apart. So load it up with your favorite toppings and grab plenty of paper towels, these don’t take a long time and they won’t make a mess with your cookie sheet or baking tray.  I have also included a recipe below for my family’s favorite BBQ Burger sauce. I threw together this burger sauce at the last minute one day and it became an instant hit. 

Notes:

For my special burger sauce, I combine Duke’s Mayonnaise, Bachan’s® | The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce, and a little homemade barbecue sauce.

The Gospel All Purpose Blend

Bachan’s Japanese BBQ Sauce 

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Duke’s Mayonnaise

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Burger and Tater Tots

Crazy Good Burgers from Frozen Patties


  • Author: Chad Kelley
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6+ 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Water Bath:

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 6 ea burger patties, we use Bubba Burger Patties

Secret BBQ Burger Sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup Duke’s Mayo
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dill Pickle Liquid

The Build

  • Brioche or Potato Bun, Toasted
  • Secret BBQ Burger Sauce
  • Perfectly Seasoned and Cooked Burger Patty
  • Slice of American Cheese
  • Thats it. No Frills, just a great burger.

Instructions

For the Water Bath – simply add the ingredients to a shallow dish and then float the frozen burger patties into the liquid.

For the Secret BBQ Burger Sauce – just combine, mix and then taste.  If you want it more tangy then add a little more pickle juice.

Notes

Not all frozen burger patties are created equal! In my testing I found some, let us say… unappetizing patties. I do not believe you need to get some crazy premium beef for this, but the middle of the road Bubba Burger Patties worked great. Especially if they are just going to hang out in your freezer.

  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Burgers
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American
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Chad Kelley
Hi!! This is Chef Chad. I'm a former restaurant chef and turned stay-at-home dad. My wife Yvette and two amazing kids live in North Dallas and are Huge FC Dallas fans.

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