Hamburgers and other types of burgers can be stored in the freezer as a way of preserving them. Both raw burgers and cooked burgers can be kept in the freezer, though raw burgers tend to maintain their texture and taste better when frozen compared with burgers that have been cooked.
Hamburgers can be kept in the freezer indefinitely and will be safe to eat as long as they have been stored consistently at 0°C / 32°F. It is recommended that burgers are used within six months of having been frozen, as their taste can start to deteriorate after this time.
Here we investigate the best ways to store different types of burgers, how long they will last in the freezer, and how to defrost them.
Can You Freeze Burgers?
Burgers are predominantly made from ground beef, which is known to freeze really well. Both raw and previously cooked burgers can be frozen, so you can make the most of leftover burgers after they’ve been barbecued, or you can prepare homemade raw burgers in advance to get a headstart on meal times.
Both raw or cooked hamburgers are best when they’ve been frozen for no longer than six months, but they will remain safe to eat if they’ve been frozen for longer. The freezing time for both types of burgers is the same, but the storing process can vary slightly.
How to Freeze Raw Hamburgers
If you’ve bought raw hamburgers from the store, these can be frozen in their original packaging as long as it is airtight. Store-bought hamburgers will usually come in plastic packaging, and this is perfectly suitable for freezing. If you have prepared homemade burgers from a recipe, these can be frozen before you cook them.
Wrap each burger individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and then put them in a ziploc bag, removing as much air as possible. Alternatively, you could put a sheet of greaseproof paper or parchment paper in between each burger and stack them in Tupperware. The important thing is that air cannot get to the burgers, as this will cause a freezer burn.
How to Freeze Cooked Burgers
If your burgers have already been cooked, but nobody wants to eat them, don’t throw them away. Instead, allow them to cool and then freeze them for use at a later date. This can really help to save on wastage and means you’ve got a meal ready and waiting in your freezer when you haven’t had time to prepare one.
Raw burgers keep better in the freezer compared to cooked burgers, which tend to lose moisture in the cooking process which affects their texture when they freeze. Because of this, if you’ve prepared a batch of burgers and you know there will be some leftovers, it’s best to avoid cooking these and put them in the freezer in their raw state. However, if your burgers have already been cooked, this isn’t a problem. Wrap each burger individually to prevent sticking, and set it in the freezer in an airtight bag.
How Long Can You Keep Burgers Frozen?
Freezing hamburgers will preserve them indefinitely, but the USDA recommends that they will be in their best condition when they have been in the freezer for no longer than four months. Other sources recommended that burgers are best when stored for a maximum of 4 to 6 months.
After burgers have been in the freezer for more than six months, they will still be safe to eat. However, they may start to lose some of their flavor or texture. For best results, use them before four months have passed.
How to Defrost Frozen Burgers
Burgers should always be defrosted in the refrigerator for around 24 hours. If you plan to have burgers for dinner, it’s best to move them from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before. Keep them in their packaging while they defrost, as this will prevent any juices from escaping and coming into contact with other foods in your refrigerator.
Thawing burgers in the refrigerator will allow them to defrost gradually at a safe temperature. Never defrost burgers or any other sort of meat on the countertop at room temperature because this encourages harmful bacteria to multiply and can make the food unsafe to consume. Some burgers which are sold in their frozen state can be cooked from frozen, but you shouldn’t cook homemade burgers from frozen.
Can Thawed Burgers be Frozen Again?
Many people believe that meat cannot be refrozen once it has been thawed, but this is a common misconception. As long as the meat has been thawing in the refrigerator, it is safe to put it back in the freezer if you realize you need to preserve it for longer. Raw burgers which have been previously frozen and thawed out can be moved back to the freezer as long as they are still properly prepared in airtight wrapping.
If you have defrosted a cooked burger, this can go back into the freezer to preserve it for longer. However, the thawing and refreezing process can alter the texture of a cooked burger, so it may not be as tasty as you were expecting when you finally get around to eating it.
Can You Freeze Hamburger Buns?
Hamburger buns are made from bread, which is great for freezing. If you’ve made a batch of burgers to freeze, you can also freeze store-bought or homemade burger buns so that you have everything you need on hand when it comes time to defrost and eat your burgers.
Burger buns will need to be wrapped or stored in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. And just like most types of frozen store-bought bread, they can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you slice the buns before you freeze them, you can pop them straight into the toaster for use with a cooked burger patty, or alternatively, you can defrost them on the countertop for around 4 hours before use.