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Best Frozen Hamburger Patties – Beef, Turkey & Vegetarian

A great way to save some money when you’re grocery shopping is to buy frozen meat in bulk. A box of frozen burgers can last you for a long time, and of course they stay in good condition so long as they are frozen. You can just take one out and cook it up when the urge strikes you, but what are the best frozen burger patties?

A browse in the frozen meat aisle at your local grocery may reveal that there are more than just frozen beef burgers to pick from. You can now buy frozen patties made with turkey, chicken, or veggies. In many cases, the best one will come down to your taste preference. Not everyone prefers the savoury flavour of beef patties and would rather have a different kind of patty on their burger bun.

Then, you have tons of different brands selling these burgers. Costco has its own selection of patties to pick from, and you have major brands like Trader Joe’s, Bubba Burgers, Gardein Burger, and Butterball, just to name a few.

Some of them have features or ingredients that the others don’t have. Some are easier to cook than others and some are plant-based and offer a good option for vegetarians. How do you tell what is the best frozen hamburger patties brand? I want to look at a few different factors, or categories, to determine which one comes out on top.

Best Tasting Frozen Burger Patty

I think most everyone will agree that taste is the most important factor when grading beef patties, frozen or not. Once you cook yours up either in the pan, on the grill or in the microwave, you want it to taste great. No one wants a mouthful of disappointment, so I consider taste the top category to consider.

There are some good frozen beef patties in the running when it comes to taste. The best tasting frozen hamburger patties had to taste like the real deal, as though you made them your own from fresh, refrigerated burgers.

I tried Bubba’s and was happy with the taste and the plump, juiciness of the burgers. Tribali has a nice patty as well, and it is well seasoned and flavourful. That’s great for when you don’t want to season the patty yourself, but it can be a bit much and have an overwhelming taste to it that doesn’t pair well with everything.

Nature’s Rancher is another good choice for best taste. The beef is overly processed and has a perfectly round shape to it, but the texture and taste are almost spot on for authentic beef straight from the butcher. It has a strong beef flavour to it that isn’t hurt by its time in the freezer.

I loved all three of these, but I have to give the slight edge to Nature’s Rancher. The taste was more authentic beef to me, and even after staying in my freezer for months, it cooked up fresh and flavourful.

Winner: Nature’s Rancher

Best Frozen Turkey Burgers

If you prefer turkey to beef when it comes out your burger patties, there are plenty of options for you. What are the best frozen hamburger patties made from turkey rather than beef?

Jennie-O makes a decent turkey patty, with strong flavour, but it’s too strong if you get the seasoned patty. We say opt for the regular unseasoned turkey patty if you are going with this brand.

You would think that Butterball would know turkey well, but when you taste their turkey patty, it is unsatisfactory. I thought it tasted of freezer burn and had a lumpy quality to it. The flavour is okay but nothing spectacular, and a few bites of this left me thinking that Butterball should stick to other turkey products and leave the patties to its competitors.

The best store bought frozen burger patties made from turkey for me are Applegate’s. They were juicy and thick and had just the right flavour. Some of the other brands I tried were rubbery and tough, but I bit right through the Applegate patty easily.

Winner: Applegate

Best Frozen Burger Patty Appearance

If you want to take your frozen burgers out on the grill after the thaw out, you want them to look like real burgers rather than shaped patties that came out of the freezer. That’s part of making an appealing grilled burger. The ones that are too round will look unnatural and everyone at the cookout will know you got frozen burger patties. There is nothing wrong with that, but frozen patties come with a stigma to them that they aren’t as good as fresh cuts of beef.

Bubba Burgers’ Angus patties were the only ones that looked the part of a plump and juicy burger. The shape has no affect on the taste or texture, but the makers of these burgers definitely did their best to ensure that each burger doesn’t look like it was made with a cookie cutter.

I would say the Bubba Burgers are the best frozen hamburger patties for grilling, even if the taste doesn’t quite reach the same heights as a couple of other options.

Not every store has the same selection, though, so if you are going someplace like Costco with a smaller selection than Wal-Mart, what do you get? The best frozen hamburger patties Costco has to offer are the Kirkland sirloin patties. These are made with real beef and they taste like it too. They aren’t seasoned, so you can add your own seasonings and make them taste even better.

Winner: Bubba Burgers

Best Vegetarian Frozen Burger Patty

What if you have an inclination for plant-based burger patties? I know Boca burgers are easy to find and are cheap as well, so a lot of people choose them. I feel like I am settling with this burger. They are kind of bland and not interesting. They could definitely be better and have more of a flavourful, meaty quality to them.

Morningstar has a great texture and a strong vegetable flavour. If you are grossed out by meat, then why eat something that tastes just like meat? This won’t win any awards for best beef copycat flavour, but it is very tasty and has a lovely texture to it.

Gardenburger was great as well, with a pleasantly cheesy flavour and a very satisfying texture. It was juicy and had a nice bite to it, not falling apart like some of the other options in the frozen veggie burger section.

Overall, I would have to give it to Morningstar. The flavour and texture were simply better than the other options, and I liked that it didn’t lean too hard into imitating meat.

Winner: Morningstar

How to Cook Frozen Hamburger Patties

Frozen beef or turkey will store for months when kept cold enough, but how do you cook that up so its tastes great when the time is right? The best way to cook frozen hamburger patties is to follow the directions on the packaging. Each one may be a bit different, but I can give you some guidelines for how to cook these that will work pretty well across the board.

Just keep in mind that there may be some slight differences between my method provided here and what the manufacturers on each brand will provide for you. Those manufacturers probably know the best way to make their patties look good and taste good, so don’t ignore their cooking directions.

It’s not a good idea to cook beef patties frozen. It’s quicker than thawing them out, but it can make them cook unevenly. You can easily end up with parts of the burger not cooking like they should, having some parts cooked too much and others not cooked enough.

My advice is to thaw them out in the fridge or for quick thawing action, you can place them in a waterproof container inside a bowl of water. Don’t let the water come into contact with the patties, or they will get soggy. Frozen patties should thaw out in a bowl of water in about half an hour.

Once your patties are thawed, you can place them directly into the skillet or onto the grill. I don’t recommend microwave heating, as that can rob them of the flavour and juiciness you want them to have. Besides, they only take a few minutes to cook on the stove.

Turn on medium heat and add your seasonings as they cook. Let each side cook for about four minutes or more, depending on the thickness of the patty and how thawed out it is. Once they have cooked on one side, flip them over and season the other side. The beef will likely be cooked all the way through once it turns from pink to brown.

If your patty is very thick, be sure to check the internal temperature before serving it. You want to be certain that it has cooked fully and isn’t raw on the inside.

Beef patties need no butter or oil to cooking, as they produce their own juices for cooking. It’s best to use a nonstick pan for your beef patties, but they can be cooked in a regular frying pan as well.

If you are cooking your patty frozen rather than waiting for it to be thawed out, then you need to cook it for about 15 minutes.

What seasonings should you use? A dry rub of any kind should work well, but you can use something as basic as salt and pepper. You can cook yours in ketchup or barbecue sauce as well, if you like, and some green herbs go nicely as beef patty seasoning. Beef tastes great with some powdered garlic, parsley, oregano, and a variety of other herbs and spices.

You can season the patty before cooking it by rubbing your seasonings or sprinkling them onto the patty. This does not work well with frozen patties and only works slightly better with thawed patties. Seasoning your patties in the pan helps the seasoning to stay on the patty better, as the juices from the patty will stick to the herbs and spices.

For side dishes, you can use fries, salad, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, coleslaw, steamed vegetables, or pasta.

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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