Burgers are everyone's favorite and they're the perfect choice for a quick and easy-to-prepare meal. If you bought frozen patties or froze your own, you may be wondering how long it takes to defrost frozen burgers at room temperature. Additionally, is there a way to get it done faster and of course, safer? We asked the meat experts and here's what they say.
An average-sized burger will take 15 minutes to defrost on the counter. However, experts don't recommend thawing at room temperature because of the risk of bacterial growth. For a safer and quicker way to thaw your burger patties, you can use the microwave where they should defrost evenly in about 4 minutes.
Continue reading to learn more about the experts' reminders when thawing burgers at room temp. We'll also share with you different ways on how to thaw and cook your frozen burgers so that you'll have an appetizing and tasty meal to serve in just a short amount of time.
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How long does it take to thaw burgers at room temperature?
Hamburgers are simple yet great meals. While it is not recommended to thaw your meat on the counter, frozen burgers defrost quickly at room temperature because of their thin slices and light weight. A normal-sized patty is about 4 oz or a quarter of a pound. This makes for the optimum meat-to-bun ratio.
A pound of meat thaws in an hour or less so you can have your quarter-pounders defrosted in about a quarter of an hour. Don't worry because this is well within the safe period for leaving meat at room temperature. Just cook your burgers right away to eliminate the risk of any foodborne illnesses.
How long can frozen burgers sit out?
It is not recommended that you leave your frozen burgers out at room temperature. This is because bacteria start to grow and multiply at temperatures between 40 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This could lead to foodborne diseases and cross-contamination. Make sure you do not let your frozen burgers sit out for more than 2 hours or else the risk of bacterial growth is greater.
Can you thaw frozen burgers using the microwave?
Whenever you need meats to get thawed quickly and safely, turn to the microwave. Here's how to do it:
- Put your ground meat in a microwave-safe zip-top bag.
- Place the bag on a microwave-safe plate.
- Put your microwave on defrost mode or you can also use the low heat setting.
- Defrost for 3 to 4 minutes. At the halfway mark, turn the meat to the other side to make sure that it thaws evenly.
- Cook immediately to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Do you thaw hamburger meat in cold or warm water?
You really want to thaw your hamburgers fast so that you can feast on them right away. You might be thinking soaking them in warm water would be your ticket to a quick thawing. But let us stop you right there. Don't ever defrost your hamburger meat in hot or warm water. You are risking bacterial growth especially at the outer layers of your meat which are in direct contact with the higher temperature. These layers will start cooking and can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Instead, thaw your frozen burgers in a bowl of cold water. Make sure they are in a sealed container as you submerge the meat into the bowl. Change the water after 30 minutes if needed. This will help defrost your meat evenly.
How long can ground beef stay in the fridge after thawing?
Your fridge is the safest place for you to thaw your ground beef. The temperature is kept within 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. In case you weren't able to cook your hamburger patties right away, you can be assured that they'll stay safe in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Can you cook a burger from frozen?
Burger patties are made from ground beef and some fat. You can cook them straight from the freezer if you don't have time to thaw them before cooking. Since the meat is tender and the round patties are not that thick, they will be cooked evenly all throughout given some extra cooking time. Some ways for you to cook your frozen burgers are by pan frying and grilling.
Pan frying frozen burgers
- Remove your frozen burger patties from their packaging.
- Use a spatula to separate the patties from each other.
- Put your frying pan on the stovetop and set it on medium heat.
- Add a little oil to your pan.
- Season your burgers with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place them on the frying pan putting a little space between each patty. You might have to cook in batches depending on the size of your pan and the number of burgers that you're cooking.
- Cook one side for about 5 minutes then flip your burgers to cook the other side for another 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Flip again to make a nice crust on the outer edges of your burgers.
- Put the cooked burgers on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
- Place the patties on the buns. Put cheese, condiments, and your favorite toppings for a satisfying dinner.
Grilling frozen burgers
- Preheat your grill to medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Take off the packaging and separate your frozen patties using a spatula or butter knife.
- Spray some oil on your grill.
- Season both sides of your burgers with salt and pepper.
- Place them on the grill, putting some space in between your meat.
- Grill for 3 to 5 minutes, then flip to cook the other side. Repeat until their internal temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This might take around 20 minutes of continuous burger flipping.
- There might be flareups because of the fat drippings. Just move your burgers to another part of the grill to prevent them from getting burnt.
- You can also put your buns on the grill to achieve a crispy texture.
- Serve your sizzling hot burgers on your toasted buns. Don't forget your cheese, mustard, mayo, ketchup, and put in some pickles, tomato, and lettuce for an awesome burger experience!
How do I cook a frozen burger in the microwave?
The microwave is your best bet if you're pressed for time in preparing a tasty meal for yourself and your family. The microwave does work best if the burger patty is already cooked. Here's how to do it:
- Place your burger patties on a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover the top of your patties with parchment paper. You can also use a paper towel as an alternative.
- Put the dish on a microwave-safe trivet or bracket to raise it from the turntable.
- Set your microwave on low heat for about 1 minute then turn your patties to the other side. Heat on low again for another minute.
- Do this until you achieve an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use your food thermometer for this.
- Cook on high for 40 seconds for each side or until the outside edges are well done.
- Wait for it to cool for 1 to 2 minutes before serving.
The settings would really depend on your microwave unit so better check your owner's manual. Remember also that the higher the fat content in your patties, the shorter time you need to cook them so adjust your settings accordingly. Take care not to overcook your burgers or else they'll be hard and chewy.
Can you make frozen burgers in the oven?
If you have a little more time, you can cook your burgers in the oven. This will help you achieve an evenly cooked burger patty from the outside to the inside. Baking time will just take longer, but it's going to be worth it.
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spray some oil on your wire rack.
4. Place your frozen patties on the wire rack. Make sure they are evenly spaced apart.
5. Put them at the center of the oven.
6. Cook for 30 minutes or until the center of your patties reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit on your food thermometer.
8. Flip the burgers to the other side.
9. Top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes.
10. Put each patty in a bun; top with your favorite condiments and some sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles and you've got a great meal!
With just 15 minutes at room temperature, you can thaw your frozen burgers and start preparing a superb American-style dinner for the whole family. Or if you want a quicker and safer way, there's always the microwave to help you defrost your patties. There are other ways to thaw and cook your frozen burgers with one end in mind—to enjoy a mouthwatering burger at home.