How Long to Grill Frozen Burgers

How Long to Grill Frozen Burgers

Grilling frozen burgers can be a bit tricky compared to fresh patties. The freezing process changes the structure of the meat, so they require some special considerations to ensure they turn out juicy and delicious. Follow these tips on thawing, grilling times, temperature, and more for cooking frozen burgers on a gas or charcoal grill.

Thawing Frozen Burgers Prior to Grilling

Thawing is an important first step when grilling frozen hamburgers. Cooking frozen patties directly on the grill risks burning the outside before the inside thaws. Here are some safe ways to thaw frozen burgers before grilling:

  • Refrigerator Thawing: The best way to thaw frozen burgers is by placing the frozen patties on a plate in the refrigerator. Allow them to thaw slowly overnight or for at least 12 hours. The fridge temperature ensures the meat thaws evenly at a safe temperature.
  • Cold Water Thawing: If you need to thaw burgers quicker, place them in a watertight plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until thawed. This may take 1-2 hours.
  • Microwave Thawing: Microwave frozen burgers for 30-45 seconds at 50% power, flipping halfway through. This will partially thaw them so they can finish thawing on the grill safely. Do not microwave completely.

How Long to Grill Thawed Frozen Burgers

Once burgers are thawed, they’ll need a little longer on the grill than fresh patties. Grill thawed frozen burgers over direct medium-high heat for these approximate times:

  • 1/4 pound patties: 6-8 minutes total
  • 1/3 pound patties: 8-10 minutes total
  • 1/2 pound patties: 10-12 minutes total

Cook the burgers for 3-4 minutes per side. Check frequently and flip once with tongs rather than a fork to avoid puncturing the meat. If flare-ups occur, move to a cooler area of the grill.

Checking Temperature of Frozen Burgers

Always rely on an instant-read meat thermometer rather than appearance to test doneness. Burgers made from previously frozen meat often cook unevenly. Internal temperature is the only sure way to confirm safety and doneness.

  • For medium doneness, cook frozen burgers to 160°F internal temperature.
  • 165°F for well done.

After cooking, let the burgers rest for 5 minutes before serving to allow juices to redistribute. Don’t press down on the patties while they cook or rest.

Extra Tips for Grilling Frozen Burgers

Follow these additional tips for the best results when grilling frozen hamburgers:

  • Preheat the gas or charcoal grill to 400°F. Clean and oil grates.
  • Sear burgers over high heat just at the end for flavorful caramelization.
  • Add cheese slices during the final 1-2 minutes of grilling if desired.
  • Use a spatula to press burgers occasionally for even cooking.
  • Watch for flare-ups and move burgers to a cooler area temporarily.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes before serving on buns with favorite toppings.

With the right thawing, cooking times, and temperature, previously frozen burgers can taste just as juicy and flavorful hot off the backyard grill. Use a meat thermometer for foolproof doneness.


Can you grill burgers that are still frozen?

It’s not recommended to put frozen burgers directly on the grill. Always thaw them first using one of the safe methods. Grilling frozen patties risks burning the outside while the inside remains frozen.

How long does it take to grill frozen burgers?

Thawed frozen burgers will need 2-4 more minutes per side on the grill compared to fresh burgers, depending on thickness. Allow at least 6-8 minutes per 1/4 pound burger, 8-10 minutes for 1/3 pound, and 10-12 minutes for 1/2 pound.

Should you flip burgers more than once?

Only flip thawed frozen burgers once while grilling. Flipping repeatedly can cause moisture loss. Let the patties cook undisturbed for at least 3-4 minutes per side. Use tongs instead of a fork to flip.

Do frozen burgers taste as good as fresh?

Properly thawed and cooked frozen burgers can taste nearly as moist and flavorful as fresh. Thaw fully, cook to proper internal temperature, and don’t press the patties. Add a sear at the end over high heat for extra caramelization.

How can you tell when frozen burgers are done grilling?

Use an instant-read thermometer, not color, to determine doneness. Frozen burgers tend to cook unevenly. Cook to 160°F for medium or 165°F for well done. Let rest for 5 minutes after grilling before serving.

Should I put anything on frozen burgers while grilling?

Don’t press down on frozen burgers while they grill. You can brush with a light coating of oil or bbq sauce in the last few minutes, but wait until after grilling to add other toppings.

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