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Best Way to Freeze Hamburger Patties

It’s easy to freeze hamburger patties to cook or heat up later. Freezing them helps to extend the time when they are safe to eat and delicious. Ground meat is one of the most versatile foods, so next time you find hamburger on sale at the grocery store, pick up as much as you can fit in your freezer.

Your goal is to preserve the integrity of the meat so the meat will be safe, and the burgers will be delicious.

Follow the safety measures in the tips below, and you’ll wind up with juicy burgers that taste as fresh as the day you first purchased the meat.

You can also purchase burger patties already frozen. They typically cost a little more, so you’re paying for the convenience. It’s much more economical to make them yourself.

How to Freeze Raw Burgers

If you plan to freeze beef patties, it’s best to start with meat that hasn’t previously been frozen. Wash your hands to prevent spreading harmful bacteria.

Package of raw hamburger meat

Carefully remove the raw meat from the original packaging. Discard the plastic and paper that it came in.

Divide and Shape the Meat

First, clean the area where you’ll be working. If you plan to use a cutting board, start with a clean one. Or you can spread waxed paper over the counter, which is what I like to do for easy cleanup.

Secondly, divide the meat into patties. In my experience, the easiest way to do this is to cut the burger in half and then cut each half in half again. So for a pound of meat, you have divided it into quarter pound sections.

I use a kitchen scale to make sure all of the sections are as even as I can get them. You can pick up a scale from most kitchen sections of a department store or even your favorite grocery store.

Next, roll each section of meat into a ball. If you have a hamburger press, slightly flatten each ball and place them in the press one at a time. This makes the job super easy, and the burgers are more consistent.

If you don’t have a press, you can still make the patties without much difficulty. Divide the ground beef as you would for a hamburger press.

Roll each section of meat into balls. Then simply press each ball of hamburger with the palm of your hand, making sure it is level all the way across for even cooking. 

If the patties aren’t as round as you think they should be, work around the edges by patting with your fingertips.

Prepare the Raw Hamburger for Freezing

After you have the patties in the shape you want, it’s time to prepare them for freezing. Cut wax paper (or freezer paper or parchment paper) into squares that are slightly bigger than the patties.

Line the wax paper up in rows on a baking sheet. Now place the hamburger patties in the center of each square. They patties shouldn’t be touching each other.

Carefully place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave them there until they have frozen. This should take about 2 hours.

Storing Hamburger Patties

Check to make sure all of the patties are frozen. If they are, move on to the next step.

Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the patties (with the wax paper, freezer paper, or even plastic wrap) to a freezer bag or airtight container. 

stack of hamburger patties separated by wax paper

I usually stack mine in freezer bags, making sure to keep the wax paper in place so they don’t stick together.

Seal the container to keep as much air out as possible, label with the contents and date, and place in the freezer. Now you have hamburger patties that are ready to cook whenever you want them.

If you want to be even more cautious, you can wrap the bagged meat in aluminum foil. I don’t normally do that, but I have in the past.

  • Note: The airtight container or freezer bag helps to prevent freezer burn, which will happen over time if you’re not careful.

Following these simple steps will help you save money and always have something that’s easy to cook. 

In fact, I often put frozen burgers in my air fryer or skillet, straight from the freezer. This is perfect for a busy weeknight when I’ve forgotten to thaw something for dinner.

Or you can toss a few frozen burgers on the gas or charcoal grill if the weather permits. The result will be delicious burgers that don’t take a long time to prepare since they’re already divided and shaped into patties. 

You can season them with Worcestershire sauce or whatever seasonings you like. I have more on this below.

How to Thaw Frozen Burger Patties

The best way to thaw them is to place patties in the refrigerator overnight. That’s perfect if you have time.

Another great way is to put them in a plastic bag and submerge it in a bowl of cold water. It typically takes an hour or two for them to thaw in water.

I’ve also thawed them in the microwave. The biggest problem with doing this is that they’ll go from frozen to partially cooked very quickly. That’s my least favorite way to thaw hamburger patties.

Although some people set the frozen patties out on the counter to thaw, I think this is quite risky. 

You need to be careful to avoid bacteria from forming after the patties reach room temperature. This can make you very sick.

Please keep in mind that you don’t have to thaw burger patties before cooking them. Most of the time, I simply pop what I need in the air fryer or skillet and start cooking them. 

After thawing hamburger patties, you need to use them within a day. And you should never refreeze them once they are thawed. Putting them back in the freezer could affect the quality and safety of the meat.

How to Freeze Turkey Burgers

If you have ground turkey that you’d like to form into patties and freeze, follow the same instructions as you would for ground beef for the best results. 

ground turkey

The same goes for ground chicken and ground pork. Food safety is essential for any meat that you serve your family.

Cooking Hamburger Patties

The wonderful thing about having a frozen hamburger patty at the ready is that you can have a perfect juicy burger very quickly. All you need are a few simple ingredients, such as lettuce, tomato, pickle slices, onions, or whatever you like.

hamburger with bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese

Another thing that’s delicious on hamburgers is a slice or two of crispy bacon. Because as everyone knows, bacon makes everything better.

Add whatever seasoning you like to the patties before you cook them. I typically sprinkle a little onion powder and garlic powder over the top to add some wonderful flavor. 

Another delicious seasoning is Slap Ya Mama, something I recently discovered. It’s pretty spicy and has a bit of heat, so go easy on this one until you taste it.

Although I love cooking these patties and putting them on hamburger buns (regular for my husband and gluten-free buns for me), I also enjoy eating them on their own. And when I’m cutting carbs, I put them between 2 pieces of cloud bread. Add a slice of cheese for even more wonderful flavor.

cloud bread

If you want to eat them on their own, you can have flavorful burgers with gravy or even some balsamic glaze drizzled over the top. I keep a jar of this in the fridge and heat up a little bit at a time as needed.

jar of balsamic glaze

My husband enjoys any type of meat covered in this delicious homemade barbecue sauce. It’s super easy to make!

How to Freeze Cooked Hamburger Patties

If you have leftover hamburger patties, you can save them for later. Refrigerate them in an airtight container or on a plate covered with plastic wrap for use within a couple of days.

However, if you won’t need them for a while, put them in freezer bags or a freezer-safe container. Label it and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What to Serve with Hamburger Patties

I love the fact that you can serve a wide variety of side dishes with hamburgers. Here are some of our favorites:

French Fries – In some people’s worlds, French fries are a must-have for a hamburger dinner. These are easy and guaranteed to come out tasting delicious and crispy.

Golden brown french fries on a plate with ketchup

Sweet Potato Chips – Instead of picking up a bag of chips, pick up a couple of sweet potatoes and make these. 

Bowl of sweet potato chips

Waffle Fries – Ever wonder how to get great results from frozen waffle fries? Then try this recipe!

English Pea Salad – If you want to bring something different to a backyard potluck, try this English pea salad from Back to My Southern Roots. It’s sure to be a huge hit!

Creamy Coleslaw – This classic side dish is the perfect food to pair with burgers, whether you serve them in a bun or cover them in gravy.

Bowl of coleslaw

Corn Casserole – This side dish is absolutely delicious when it’s fresh. But you can also freeze corn casserole in portions and reheat it in the future.

scooping corn casserole out of a casserole dish

Frozen Hamburgers – Always Ready to Cook

I love having frozen hamburgers in my freezer. They are not only easy to cook, but they also give me peace of mind that I have something easy for those busy nights when I don’t have much time.

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