Pro Tips: How to Cook Frozen Burgers in the Oven

May 2, 2022

Even as a professional chef, I have had days where I haven't had the time to defrost my burgers before cooking them. As such, I have needed to learn how to cook frozen burgers in the oven.

As I feel like I have gotten my process to a T. All that is left for me to do is to share it with you!

Can You Cook Frozen Burger Patties Without Defrosting?

Yes, technically, you can cook frozen hamburger patties in the oven before defrosting them. Should you, though? Well, that's an entirely different debate.

If I am being honest, I'm not the biggest fan of cooking frozen burgers without thawing them first. This is because the whole process is more difficult to manage.

When cooking or baking frozen hamburger patties, the problem is that the frozen patties will have to first defrost in the oven before they can begin to bake. This means that the frozen hamburgers bake at an uneven rate.

Thus, a certain part of the frozen beef patties may have started cooking, while the rest of the patty is still thawing. As a result, when you finally take the burgers out of the oven, only a portion of it may be cooked all the way through.

The good news, though, is that I have a few tips that you can follow when you bake frozen hamburger patties to ensure that they come out just right.

Juicy Angus Beef

Can You Cook Frozen Turkey Burgers in the Oven Too?

Yes, turkey burgers can go in the oven too, even if they haven't been thawed first.

The only difference is that you have to cook these burgers to a different internal temperature - while beef patties have to be cooked to 160 F, the turkey patties must be baked until they reach 165 F.

Apart from this, though, there are no other variations to make when you cook frozen burgers of any kind.

Baking Frozen Veggie Burgers in the Oven

As with meat based burgers, you can also cook veggie patties in the oven too. These tend to vary a great deal more in terms of ingredient content, though. Due to this, you should always check the packaging to figure out the exact temperature that the burgers should be heated to.

Most Impossible burgers should be prepared to 165 F, much like meat-based options. Once again, though, it is best to check on this beforehand to ensure the best results.

How to Cook Frozen Burgers in the Oven

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen hamburger patties
  • 4 cheddar cheese slices, if desired

Method

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 420 degrees F.

Step 2

Taking a baking tray or cookie sheet and line it carefully with aluminum foil.

Next, take a metal wire rack and spray or brush with cooking oil. Then, place inside the the baking tray.

Take the frozen hamburger patties and place them on the wire rack. Make sure that you leave some space between each of the frozen burgers. This will ensure that they cook evenly.

Step 3

Place the burgers in the oven and cook frozen burgers until they reach an internal temperature of 160 F or 165 F, depending on the type of frozen patties. This may take up to 25 minutes to 30 minutes.

After 15 minutes, flip the frozen burgers and continue cooking until they are done.

Step 4

About 2 minutes before the burgers are done, place a slice of cheese on each patty. Then, close the door and cook until the burgers in the oven are ready.

Take out and cool for a couple of minutes before serving with bun and your favorite toppings.

Delicious Burger on white ceramic plate

Broiling Frozen Hamburger Patties

There is a certain level of efficiency when you cook frozen burgers in the oven. At the same time, you do miss out on that seared taste and look that you get when you make them on the grill.

If you would like to replicate that then you should broil frozen burgers. You can do this around three-fourths of the way through the cook - at around the 18 minute mark.

At this point, turn the oven setting to Broil. Then, move the frozen ground beef patties to the highest rack. Let it stay there for about 3 minutes or until the burgers are browned and sizzling.

Next, move to the middle rack and then place a slice of cheese on each patty. Then, bake until done.

I know that some people like to add cheese and then broil the burgers. There is a risk of the cheese burning, however, and this will also impact the taste of your burgers. As such, it is best to only place the cheese afterwards.

Choosing the Oven Temperature

For oven baked burgers, I like to use a slightly lower temperature. I know that a lot of people cook frozen burgers at around 425 degrees F, but I like to err on the side of caution.

Cooking burgers at a lower temperature means that you give it more time to defrost and cook all the way through. There is also less of a chance that you overcook certain parts while simultaneously undercooking other areas.

Unless you are broiling the frozen hamburger patties, make sure that you don't adjust the settings in any other way. Patience is a virtue here and will pay off in the end.

Why Use a Baking Sheet and Wire Rack?

Now, you may be a little confused by the set up I have described to cook your frozen hamburger patties. Let me explain this is a little further.

See, when you cook burgers, particularly ones that are frozen hamburger patties, they release liquid and fat. Placing the frozen hamburgers on the wire rack means that these juices drip down to the sheet below.

Thus, the frozen hamburgers aren't simply sitting in these liquids. Instead, they cook faster and actually able to get slightly crispy as well.

As for why you line the tray with aluminum foil, it simply makes for an easy clean up once you are done.

Arranging the Frozen Hamburgers

I can't stress this enough - always leave a little bit of space between each of the frozen hamburger patties. It doesn't have to be much, but they shouldn't be placed too close together. There should certainly be no overlap of the patties, either.

The reason for spacing the frozen hamburgers apart is so that they can cook more evenly. As such, they will cook at the same rate all over.

If you want to cook many burgers, make sure to do so in batches. Yes, this process may take longer but at least you can guarantee that each burger will be cooked to perfection.

Burgers ready to serve

Do You Need to Flip Burgers During the Cook?

When making burgers on a pan or grill then it is only natural to flip the burgers at the halfway point. This, of course, is because only one side of the burger is being exposed to the heat at any one time.

With burgers in the oven, however, the heat is coming from all sides. Thus, you would imagine that you wouldn't have to do this when you bake frozen hamburger patties.

Nevertheless, you still should flip the burgers. This is because in most ovens, the top of the appliance is hotter than the bottom. Thus, by flipping them over halfway through, you will ensure that each side is exposed equally to the same level of heat.

Should You Season the Burgers Beforehand?

If you are using store bought frozen hamburger patties, then they may not be seasoned all that well. In this case, if you want flavorful burgers, you can try seasoning each frozen hamburger patty with salter and pepper before you put the burgers in the oven.

Place the hamburgers on the rack and then press salt and pepper (along with any other seasonings) into the surface of the frozen burgers. Then carefully flip them over and then repeat this step once more.

Next, bake frozen hamburger patties in the oven until they are done.

Keeping Track of Internal Temp

As I have already mentioned that you have to pay attention to the internal temp when you are cooking hamburgers in the oven. Technically, this is something that you should whenever you cook any kind of meat.

However, in this case, it is especially important. This is because you are dealing with frozen hamburger patties. As such, you need to make sure that they are cooking properly and that they are completely done before you take them out of the oven.

This is why I will insist that you use a meat thermometer for this task. When making frozen hamburgers in the oven, there are so many different factors and issues to contend with. This means that if you go by guesswork alone, there is a good chance that you will get it wrong.

About 5 or 10 minutes before you need to take the hamburgers out of the oven, check the temperature around the burger, not just the center. This way, you will know that they are cooked completely.

The other reason that you should do this is because many ovens operate at different temperatures or with varying power outputs. As such, they will cook the burgers at different rates. To remain on the safe side, use a thermometer to keep track.

Understanding Burger Doneness

Speaking of internal temp, I also want to talk a bit about the idea of burger doneness. Many people have various misconceptions about what it means for a burger to be done.

For some, a browned surface is enough to determine this. Others will tell you take the hamburgers of the heat when the center is still pink.

Well, to begin with most of these guidelines aren't rooted in fact. Thus, you shouldn't follow them under regular circumstances. Still, it is especially important to steer clear from them when you cook frozen burgers.

Remember that just because the burger appears to have a cooked surface doesn't mean its done. You also have to check the center and several parts around the burger to be certain.

The other myth that needs to be debunked immediately is that the center of your burger should still be pink when you take it out of the oven. While this may be true for steak, it isn't the case for burgers.

The thing is that most people consider ground beef or ground meat in general to have a higher risk of food poisoning. This is because any germs or bacteria on the grinding machinery can easily be spread throughout the entire portion of the meat.

This makes it even more important for you to cook frozen burgers according to the safest possible internal temp. It is only then that you can guarantee that the hamburgers will be completely safe for you to eat.

Tuna burgers

How to Defrost Hamburger Patties Quickly?

Now, I would be remiss to not provide you with some pointers on how to defrost patties before baking them in the oven. At the very least, you may want to try thawing them a little bit prior to placing them in the oven. This can help the meat to cook more evenly and result in better tasting hamburgers.

The top trick to use is to place the frozen hamburger patties in a Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Then, place in a large enough bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water. Every 15 minutes to half an hour, empty out the water and refill it with cold water once more.

You will be surprised at how quickly your hamburgers defrost when you use this method. Go ahead and give it a try once - you are sure to use it over and over again.

Related Reading

Wrapping It Up

If you are looking for how to cook frozen burgers in the oven, then the above tutorial and guide is all you need. Follow these instructions and you should have perfectly cooked hamburger patties - from frozen - in no time at all. Go ahead and give these tips a try!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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